October 30, 2008

Fragments 149

Farm workers and port-a-potties brought to the lettuce fields. 2008.

Himself: Had a great day. Went in to work half an hour early.

Herself: Class….and I am glad I went. The depression began to wane and the day moved on. Slowly too, I get a better hand on my IBS….back to an old fiber and only a little nausea after dinners now. Progress.

Food: Bread and butter twice…..then three cookies. I can’t believe I ate those. Fish sandwich, slaw and fries.
There are days when the whole day is bullets. Perhaps because of my depression over Mary, I saw the day in little fragments.

  • Class: There were several incredibly powerful and moving pieces read in class yesterday. Sometimes I’m amazed at how much talent resides in that one room. One of those readers has been asked to join our Thursday Poets Group. She, far more than I, belongs there but I will keep going and enjoy her work.

  • Doctor: I really like this guy, but I don’t think he reads his own stuff. “Well, it isn’t a trigger finger,” he said after listening to me. “We will have to send you to therapy. You have overused it. Maybe arthritis.” (Therapy at 40 bucks a pop.) I reply, “The x-rays don’t show any arthritis.” As he is leaving he asks, “Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?” “Yes,” I answer, show him the other wrist which had surgery, and we start all over. Now I go in for that incredibly painful electrical test. “Oh,” he tells me, “This has improved since the 80’s.” Do I believe him? No. I’m to wear my brace all the time now. Isn’t it good I just bought a new one?

  • Overhead the cop chopper goes round and round. Up the hill a-ways, some idiot broke into the new market and tried to steal their ATM machine with a stolen, older Suburban. They picked the right truck for the job, but all they got was the ATM out the door. They abandoned the truck a few blocks away, and now lights and humming blades fill the air.

  • Confession time: I continue attempting to learn how to swim the crawl properly. Oh yes, that’s what I said. All those years of teaching swimming, and I can only fake it. It’s the breathing. I can’t seem to coordinate my truly good looking stroke with taking a breath. It’s very embarrassing, but I no longer care. So every workout day, I go in a half hour early and I struggle. After due thought….months of it now, I think it’s a matter of slowing down my stroke or breathing every other stroke.

    And too, you can tell the swimmers who were trained in another time. The new young folks turn at the end of the lanes by flipping then pushing off with their legs. I was taught to touch the wall, turn with the head out, and push off still upright. I love the side stroke too, but I know a truly ancient style where the top arm comes out as if it were doing the crawl. I learned that one from my mother….and who knows where she learned it.

  • Halloween: It’s becoming bigger and bigger. My friend Dee, who is now teaching in Bulgaria, loves the holiday. She’s being very Halloween deprived right now as it’s not a holiday they celebrate there.

    I thought we would be Halloween deprived here too. Never a kid to be seen here. Adult white-bread-land is us. We got an invitation yesterday tho. A wonderful, very eccentric woman is turning her house into a Halloween happy place for kids. One of the Wednesday Writers, a retired Gidget girl, is going to be the “Princess.” What does a princess do? I had to ask. She said, airily waving her arms, “Act like a princess in her tower.” Laughing together for a moment, I agreed we had to see this.

  • Marion B: Her computer is down. Her phone is down and out. She’s down and out with Santa Ana dust allergies.

    She told me to go ahead and post pictures on her blog….since she can’t. Can I get into her blog? No. Even with the name and new password, in hand, sent from the DM, I cannot get into her blog. I’m sure I complicated the matter by trying three or four times to get in, and to email the old address for info, before I finally read the DM’s instructions to fools like me. I sent off a help note finally, got a case number, and I note that the Password retrieval info has changed on the page now. There will be new info up as soon as I can get there…hopefully today.

  • Today: I swim. This simple stuff of waving my limbs in the water for 45 minutes three times a week has given me my hip back. Yes, it still hurts, but I can move through it now. It doesn’t help the bursitis, ah well. Obviously all the other parts will keep falling apart. But the hips now maintain. I think of Mary and wonder if she would have been better if she could have done this too. One of those, “what ifs” that don’t matter now.

    This afternoon, I journey by bus and trolley to meet G at the doctor’s office at three. That way we can go together to meet Pete when he gets off work. “Fiveish,” he said. He’s cold free, allergy free, and nose cancer free……hurrah. A little less nose, but it’s all his. I’m sure we will have hours of brilliant gossip over dinner. Laughter too.


  1. Good news about the swimming helping your hip. Way to go! My mother needs a new hip. Can't move at all really. She's still holding on to returning to her home in Grenada, after spending the summer in Canada. She thinks Grenada will "cure" the pain. No so sure of that.

  2. Dear Mage,

    I just got to read all your posts for this week. I think you are very hard on yourself about your friendship with Mary. I know the sadness and grief at such things that should have been, but some things, and some friendships or lack thereof, can't be helped. You are not to blame.

    Keep swimming, keep yourself safe.


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