Essays. Meanderings and mutterings. Lots of photos of our cat. Counting coup on fifty years existence.
"It's Friday." A sigh, as she skims out of scrubs. Sits on the narrow bench. "When do I stop feeling dumb?"
"RN or scrub?" I ask. I'm newly back, I can hardly keep track of the orderlies who have become scrubs become nurses in the three years I have been gone. I have not worked with her yet at all. I remember to take my schedule book from my OR pouch and put it with the purse to take home.
"RN. I've been circulating, I asked them to let me not scrub for a while until I get this." Apologetic, abashed, she slips shoes on.
"Good, I did the same for a month when I was shiny new. I needed it. Have you been here a year yet?" Her face squeezes, 'no'. "It takes a good year."
"It's true, it really does!" A voice from behind the locker, an experienced scrub, who had been very quick learning, W waves and leaves. Definitely shift change. I'm half dressed. Or half undressed, depending on mood.
"So I'll be smart again after a year?" A big grin, hopeful.
"You're smart now. You feel dumb because you can see how far you still have to go. Proof that you really are smart. I had a big moment of 'I can do anything' at two years as well. This takes time, there is so much to it. I still have moments of idiocy, after ten years, I'm back at bottom unexpectedly, after being gone."
Another voice on her way out the door. "I still have 'em," L, who has the most meticulously, rationally, clearly organized room I have ever seen. "And I never left!" She laughs, an infectious, kind chuckle. "Have a good weekend," and is gone as well.
Newish nurse, whose name escapes, is dressed, as am I. "We forget how hard it is, the first time we put on sterile gloves in front of an impatient surgeon. How hard all these necessary little tasks that we've done hundreds of times are when it's all new and scary. A certain courage in your own ability grows with each day, and the thrill gets better, and the dumb feeling less."
Slam the locker, worried that I have forgotten something. We walk out. "It gets better. If you think this is all fun and really cool when it's going well, you are on the path. If you don't enjoy it, even when you've got it working, you probably never will."
"Oh, I love it. So, I'll get this, right? Promise?"
"Absolutely. Then you'll come and do Ortho." She shakes her head at me, laughs. Yeah, she'll be fine.
"I needed to hear that. See you Monday." I take the stairs down. It's 99°F (38°C ) outside.
This is a familiar conversation. I heard it when I was new and swamped, I spun it for the folks I trained who are now training me again, I will play it as a motif of my work-life in surgery. I knew from my first week that I'd found my niche, the effort produces the value. At least 51% of the time, I love my job. Often, much more.
I think he likes me.
Labels: love story
Funny, I don't mind myself in photos lately. Not that I think I've become photogenic. The sag, the uneven skin, the lack of prettiness, are grown etched with my life, which I won't deny, don't regret. I love my life, and my face is becoming the creation of my experiences. Even my mess of hair is expressive of my journey.
I look at my cousin, twenty years older, loving, lively, joyous in all the troubles of her life, and I know I look much like her. Nothing specific, but I will grow to resemble her more as I add on years. She showed me photos taken in Mexico, a recent trip. She is by the pool, in a bathing suit, unselfconscious in her body in a bathing suit. I love this about her. As I love her. As I love her husband, E, as I have since I first met him over twenty years ago. Then didn't see either of them for the pair of intervening decades, until contacting them upon the move out to Boston.
Unexpected cousins, familiar, quite literally. Kin in unexpected corners, lost though not forgotten. Peat for mushrooming affection. Nerves connecting, regenerating.
The trip back from Ruth's Diner. The demise of a sign. Likely the victim of a snow plow, or landslide, rather than vandalism.
The waves from the move settle. The sofa showed, as did car. The Fortean Times showed today, and D is dealing with finding appropriate MDs for himself. I have licenses, RN and Driver, though both took wrangling, most with D's unstinting assistance. Due to K's loan of her vehicle, we had food in the house, and I got to work on time every day this week. A date at the Hong Kong Tea House, (struggling to survive road construction) worth waiting three years for.
The apartment, as scoped out by R is quite livable. Bright, and with a possibly illegal amount of closet space, we came to appreciate it's flow for a week, empty. The dishwasher is not to be, it's one that has to be plugged in and hooked up - to where we have the water filter. We have decided to be ecologically sound, and wash by hand. Plugs are a bit scarce, so we have power squids. Not AC, but a swamp cooler, more efficient in a desert anyway. The shower head much too low for D, we found another one, and I got it on. Very proud of my bit of plumb. The beige-ness of the place has absorbed our red couch, and the rug really pulls the room together.
An old friend, and the nursing educator when I was greenly wet behind the ears in the OR asked me what I was doing, as D had gotten an MS, MA, and was now going for his PhD? I couldn't answer. Not because I had no interests, no accomplishments, but that I could not explain in a few locker-room-minutes. K and I are going to hand build pottery, since my back won't compass the wheel, my back screwed up from friends saving my life when I choked. But that's ok, since that was when I started writing a novel in a month, and I plan to take a writing class at the Library soon, to get the second one into shape. For a start.
All kinds of starts.
Moby enjoying closets, ups and unders, space to jump around, birds to chatter at in the mornings, friends to adore him.
Photos of ugly things, from a fresh eye, an unexpected angle, can find appealing aspects. Boston decorates and embellishes, the Wasatch Mountains reign regally, all places strive to enamor, even in strip mall blight, bright touches reach out for attentive approval.
For me, the shy, too busy to be bothered, unselfconscious, loveliness.
Rosemary plant, bought yesterday, smelling wonderful. Some bells I intended to hang today, but didn't. A stuffed Totoro on a suction cup on the counter.
TV Programmes You Won’t Watch
Lost, American Idol, America's Next Top Lost Model Survivor's Big Brother.
Favourite Trivial Pursuit Categories
Science, History, Um, I've not played it in so long, I don't remember the categories. Jeopardy has more clever categories.
Superpowers You’d Like To Have.
Healing touch. Teleportation. Bilocation.
Newspapers, Magazines or Periodicals Read Regularly
Fortean Times. Christian Science Monitor. BBC News. (Yeah, I know the complaints from Brits about BBC, but it beats US news black and blue.)
Songs You Dislike
Wonderwall. Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw. Anything by Journey.
Blog Posts of Your Own That You’d Recommend.
People You’d Like To See Answer These Same Stupid Questions
My own parents had no adult friends, no social life outside of family. No wonder they had no idea how to relate to me as an adult. My dear Massachusetts cousins have circles of friends, when their children grow up, they settle into "friend" role - obviously, to them. Another set of parents close to me, have as friends only church friends, assumptive in their beliefs, confusingly unprecedented when the sons find different realities.
Resigned to never having a relationship with my parents, I find forgiveness easier with each moment of understanding.
Post Secret has fatherly secrets today, the best are the tall tales told children. Playful, friendly foundation for non-hierarchical, adult conversation.
Window (Photo - D)
D's photo of Moby, lightly photoshopped.
Labels: Photoshopped Cat Photo
~What sleep that fought through our whirling brains was contaminated with dreams of juggling bowling balls and flaming torches. We managed a scant four hours, only to relent, in frustrated exhaustion, and pack our bags, and throw out obscene amounts of useable, not worth packing, food/cleaners/stuff. The lime curd spread about broke my heart. We couldn't eat it with our anxious guts, nor justify the room for it in our already overloaded bags. Normally, we pack light. Not this time.
We shoved unhappy cat into bag, and dragged ourselves up to wait for cab. He came, loaded his trunk with our baggage, when another cabbie from the same company showed, and stopped all of us. HE had been called for this job, and insisted we call the dispatcher to see which of them was given the fare. Undisuadable, aggressive, unwilling to concede that we should not be put in between them in this dispute, he insisted we call. D, in frustration, just wanting to get to the airport, called, confirmed that the first was indeed the cab number sent to us, and we got in. At that point, I would not have gotten in the second taxi, no matter what. I rather hoped that if the other cab number had been right, D would have simply lied, but it wasn't necessary.
Long check-in because we needed to get Moby's ticket, and check four bags between us. Then through security, who made me take Moby out of the bag, but made sure I had someone to get my bags through (D, of course, they get credit for asking.) As I wrangled my unwilling, trembling feline back into the carrier, the woman grinned at the outstretched paws, and helped me get him zipped up.
The wait, the recommended near two hours, drags on our grated minds. A crossword puzzle defeats us handily.
We splurged, (I cannot complain of my wages as an RN in Boston) on "Business Class" tickets. I expect those extra inches, and the included meal were far and away the most expensive of my life, but I cried with joyous, grateful, relief as a tray with omelette, potatoes, sausages, fruit and crossaint, and decent hot tea, were placed before me. They gave me breakfast! Oh! Moby only mewed on take-off, and landing, seemed to simply shut down the rest of the time.
My brain is mush. But we are connected again.
Actually, I was waiting for a friend to give me a lift, but it's exactly where I have been waiting for the bus. Now that the insurance for the long-awaited, not yet arrived car, is in place, I will take another friend up on the offer of a vehicle. One of those Daves that I have trusted with life and finances before, and readily will again.
Whine. Whine, whine. Whinewhinewhine, whinewhinewhinewhine.
The car won't be here for another 1-2 weeks. The bus is an hour each way. Much as I come with the weight of previous experience and suchlike at work, I am still required, by myself at the minimum, to prove myself, get all the changes down pat. Steeling myself for a full two weeks of up at 0500, home at 1630, getting done anything else on weekends. By bus. In a town with less than ideal public transit. As compared to a certain large NE city.
Oh, well. Annoying, frustrating, not the worst bit of my life. Just the papercut right here, right now.
* Your most marked characteristic?
I always look at the world a little differently, not intentionally, just happens.
* The quality you most like in a man?
Humor. Gentle humor.
* The quality you most like in a woman?
Humor. And backbone.
* What do you most value in your friends?
* What is your principle defect?
Anti social habits. My sociability is bright surface, or deep down dark, the massive middle confuses me, and I neglect the daily bread&butter of friendship. I prefer to eat with a book, I get anxious about parties, that sort of thing. Ask me to greet new people so they are welcome, or sit death watch, and I'm fine.
* What is your favourite occupation?
Singing, dancing, writing. Not all at the same time.
* What is your dream of happiness?
Exactly what I have, in a decent house.
* What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
* What would you like to be?
Able to live off writing.
* In what country would you like to live?
Oh, right here is fine, international politics and erosion of civil rights aside. I hold little esteem or hope for any country or system. I had enough trouble going mid-west to west to New England accents, I'm ready to just deal with the hand dealt for now, and language I understand.
* What is your favourite colour?
Purple. Deep dark intense purple, blued or red. Just no violet.
* What is your favourite flower?
* What is your favourite bird?
Red winged blackbird. Any corvid.
* Who are your favourite prose writers?
John LeCarre, Terry Pratchett, Louis McMaster Bujold. I need to branch out. Sandra Boynton.
* Who are your favourite poets?
e.e. cummings, Ogden Nash.
* Who are your favourite heroes of fiction?
Never much cared for heros of any stripe. George Smiley, The Luggage.
* Who are your favourite heroines of fiction?
Moll Flanders, Imogene, Granny Weatherwax.
* Who are your favourite composers?
Smetana, John Linnell, Anonymous.
* Who are your favourite painters/photographers?
O'Keefe, Da Vinci, Segal, Van Eyck. Not absolute, but who I enjoy right now.
* Who are your heroes in real life?
Anonymous, as always. Ordinary people doing their job well. The high profile ones are often more complicated than being simple heros.
* Who are your favourite heroines of history?
Nope, I got nothing. Same answer. Heroes are by necessity fictional.
* What are your favourite names?
Always like simple, uncluttered names, like Sam, Tom, Mark. Too few women's names like that. Thankfully, my real one is.
* What is it you most dislike?
Willful ignorance, petty meanness.
* What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Mellowness. Which I ain't got.
* How would you like to die?
Quickly, with minimal protraction. Wouldn't mind drowning, knowing how oxygen deprivation feels, though it would leave a mess behind, which I would not want. As long as it's not in an ICU, with tubes and wires all over the place.
* What is your present state of mind?
* What is your motto?
"Well, let's see."
First, the best Indian, perhaps the best (unqualified) restaurant in Boston, India Quality. We ate there our next to last evening, with great feeling. Nourishment, subtle, powerful flavors and textures, chicken masala, tea spiced with cinnamon and cardamon, Royal Nan worth the appellation. We were, as always, treated with gentle care. The owner came to ask us where we had been, amazing to think oneself missed at a restaurant, we hadn't realized we'd not been for a while. We regretfully told him this was our last supper with them. At the end of the meal, a kind of iced halva with pistachio dessert was bestowed upon us, a gift for we who would not be back. We walked home feeling blessed, our spiritual ache salved, our bodies eased.
D did his research on movers, this time. Unlike when I arranged movers three years ago for the trip out, recommended on my Traveling RN company site. They dithered, were difficult to reach, finally deserted us completely. We apparently got off easy compared to others who received their ridiculous disservices. The Moovers were sublime. Easy to reach, forthcoming and thorough, Moovers Inc.. showed up five minutes early, with transparent procedures, friendly and competent. The local assistant picked up and shifted our full file cabinet like it was a box of fluffed pillows. On the other end, they again showed up on time, under budget, (About $300 less than estimated) again cheerful. Nothing broke that could not be readily put down to my lapses in packing (a mug in the corner of a box, completely unpadded. Whoops.) If you find yourself moving across the North American continent, find these guys.
Finally, I just stopped over at Alembic, who fears blogging because of the evil spammers. Such as I have had remarkably little trouble with. Oh, a spate here and there, and I stomp on them fast and hard. I get more on my email, and my isp and various Mac filters and firewalls keep most of the crap out. Which does not explain why this blog has been so resistant so far. I suspect, working nearly invisibly, Spam Poison has been doing it's job.
Thanks for all your kind words as I have belabored the cold wet miseries of moving. Yeah, like I'm done. More stories to be told. They are germinating at the moment, needful of warm and dark quiet.
Moby has deemed life acceptable, as birds squabbled just outside his window this morning. "Oh, dude, you didn't tell me there'd be birds!"
The empty places echoed, sucked up hope. The Moovers, wonderful folks who will have a whole post extolling their many virtues, brought our stuff Wednesday. I scampered off from Orientation (another whole post) a bit early, and sorted, unboxed, then D's parents took us to dinner. Thursday, off at 3, and did enough to welcome friends. R, who checked out the place for us, expressed amazement at my transformation of a Room of Boxes, to a warm place to eat pizza and salad.
Today, I am home, unable to do much more than stare and sit.
There will be more, after I have slept a bit more, eaten a few more decent meals, gathered my scattered wits, and taken a few more photos.
I'll be fine, D is my home in all the ways that matter, I'm overtired, stressed, without furniture, spending too much of our cushion on necessities, too much time in malls and stores, not eating well, not wanting to eat.
We rented a car. I failed, scolded by a woman at the DMV, for not being able to get my local driver's license at that office. Got pillows and a quilt, close to where Dave lives, so were happy to give him his forgotten sunglasses. Ordered a couch - in marine blue. Cleaning products, a phone, tissues. In Boston, we knew from hard experience where, exactly, to go for this, over weeks, a trip at a time, with a cart. Here, we'd forgotten, much has changed in three years, and we are not in the same area we once knew, and that neighborhood has changed anyway. We tried to do everything today.
My mood drifted up all morning, flexible and cheerful. By this evening, my cheer wanes, thins, falls grey and flaccid.
I'm fine. I'll be fine. The mounting fears and discontents wash over. Moby hides today, slinks to his closet. D comforts, nursing his own terrors for school and work. He called the internet/cable people today, and I heard him twice explain "No, we don't have a TV." He'd already told him it was on the mover's truck, to be here Wednesday, hopefully. We miss our most excellent bed. Aerobeds are good, for a night or two.
We watch Sister Wendy, and I am soothed. She used to be shown after Dr. Who, long ago, before we were married, staying up late on Saturday together, talking, watching PBS. Her, and Rick Steves travel shows. We referred to them as the Buck-toothed nun and the Boring Traveler, as we loved watching them.
All the imperfections and trials of moving. Uprooting. We need sleep.
Labels: moving rant
I could list all the bothersomes that have been done, or the balls gotten rolling. Will, later. Maybe.
Labels: Self portrait
K and her son met us at the airport.
"It can be no coincidence that in no language on Earth is there a phrase that means 'as pretty as an airport.'"- Douglas Adams.
Moby has been intermittently brave, and hiding. Mostly, he seems to have forgiven us for his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He's a very patient friend.