She caught the movie ‘becoming jane’ over the weekend. Average age of the audience, 60+. She’d always been an Austin fan. The quick, witty repartee. The lovely use of words. She wasn’t quick verbally herself; she’d have the best comeback about a half-hour after the conversation was over. But in writing, she could say anything she couldn’t manage to get out of her mouth in an actual conversation. If she ever became a ‘real’ writer – which she supposed meant published – she’d want to be compared to Austin more than any other writer.
Strike that. She didn’t want to be compared to any previous writer, no matter how exceptional. She wanted people to say that they liked her work because she wrote in her own way, her own words. Not because she reminded them of another writer. She wanted people to envision, as they read her words, that those words poured forth from her very soul, to her fingertips, to the keys on the computer – and right into their own minds and hearts and souls. If indeed that bit of human flesh really existed. The soul, that is. Jury’s still out on that one, though.
Friday evening, invited to an outdoor concert with a friend. She’d been looking forward to it as it was, but after five weeks of chronic pain 24/7, the evening became even more. Not just good music and a good friend, but a chance for a few hours of peace from pain. It took a dose of acetaminophen, but it worked. The concert was in an enclosed wooded area, complete with a stage on a pond. Situated so the setting sun was at their back rather than in their eyes. The trees protecting them from the heat, creating a breeze, blocking sounds of traffic…sheltering them from the outside world’s stresses and worries.
Green trees meeting blue skies, sounds of children playing, people talking, laughter. Sitting comfortably, resting, no pain. She closed her eyes and simply felt the moment. The warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze cooling her skin, a full tummy from the first meal she’d managed to get down all week. And her eyes teared up behind the sunglasses that hid her feelings from the world. So much pain for so long, and now this moment of utter peace. Perhaps that moment meant more because of the suffering that came first. The pain began to return as she drove home that night on the wet, dark highway.
She sat in the sun Sunday afternoon, in the little plaza outside of the mall and theatre. Killing time till the movie, after which she would pick rugrat up at work and let her drive them home. There were a couple dozen loungers sitting in benches around four spouting fountains. Most of them were with someone – a child, a friend, a spouse. Only a very few, like herself, were alone; all those alone were older, overweight, and greying. Well, at least she was covering the greying part. Those were always the kind of people who went places alone. You didn’t see the ‘beautiful people’ going places alone.
The fountains were on a timed setting to spout high and low alternately. The sound of the rushing water, and that wonderful warm sun on her skin, lulled her despite the pain in her back. She took one acetaminophen and hoped that would get her through the upcoming movie. And then she tried to calm her mind and body and enjoy the relatively relaxing, quiet moment. The little boy and his even smaller sister with the nerf-like softball, who discovered that if they threw their ball directly into the spouting fountain, the water would shoot it up in the air once before dropping it back into the surrounding pool, much to their delight.
Her favorite was the boy with the beautiful brown skin and eyes to die for, who stood in front of the four fountains swinging his arms ‘round and ‘round, back and forth, as though he were conducting a symphony of water. When his arms would rise and the fountains would follow, he giggled in glee, believing he’d performed that magical feat himself. She eventually roused herself, went up to the theatre, and watched a romantic comedy, ‘no reservations.’ Her choice of genre probably wasn’t the greatest, given how she was feeling about herself and her body lately (forgive the indelicacy, but how can one love their body when among other things, it is refusing to excrete the body’s waste), and she needed another Tylenol in order to sit comfortably through the movie. But it was, at least, distracting, for a time.
Her arm had seemed to heal, and the lumpy, swollen veins were no more. Only two small, indistinguishable lumps remained and would be gone soon. No more pain, finally, in her arms. But she’d been on the anticoagulant long enough now for some side effects: loss of appetite (with no accompanying weight loss, unfortunately), nausea, extreme physical and mental fatigue, and severe back/side pain. The first three of those symptoms were roundly denied by many doctors (including hers) and the maker of the med itself. Coumadin shouldn’t be responsible for that, her doc had said. But if you look online, you find hundreds, thousands of patients suffering those same debilitating effects while taking that particular med. Those side effects, however, are certainly not as serious as the clot, and so patients must simply bear them for their time on the med.
The last effect, however, was much more serious. Ongoing, nearly unbearable pain in her lower back, on both sides. Sometimes it throbbed endlessly, seemingly in concert with her heart – lub-throb, lub-throb, lub-throb, shooting through her back as she tried to sleep. Sometimes it felt as though something was tearing, ripping, deep inside. The only explanation for that kind of back pain, provided by the med manufacturer, the pharmacy, and online was…bleeding kidneys. No, that’s not a good thing. And yes, she’ll be contacting the doc again.
She feels as though she is on hold. Held in a moment in time, waiting. Waiting for the pain to stop, waiting to feel human again. The problem is, her life cannot be held static right now. She has three short weeks to complete her current job, and she must be prepared for her new job. She’s worried she won’t finish up, she’ll somehow fail her current boss. And she is even more terrified of not being ‘all there’ in her new job. How can she start a new job when she is still in pain, can’t think straight, and has no physical stamina. Even the commute to the new job will drain her dry.
And life goes on.