Your Mom's Insistence Disregarded
6/ 9/ 14
If you're lucky there will be a rest area beyond the next rise because you've fooling yourself about "mind over matter" ever since you crossed the point of no return, which is to say the end of your driveway as you we're leaving; and now you've been in a horn- locked battle of bladders with fellow passengers, which is to say wannabe Wan Kenobis as you pass exit after exit not wanting to be the one to cry "uncle" by leaning dash-ward to wonder aloud if the gas-supply situation had been properly monitored . . . Well, now that you mention it . . . So and so could use a smoke, some other and whom wouldn't mind a Slim Jim and a Mellow Yello, one and all might as well stretch their legs. Whatever on planet earth you do next, do not be the one to suggest the next the rise, getting a few more miles behind you before you stop. Scornful and chagrined, your fellow travelers will call your bluff and there you'll sit all a'squirm with collective minds zeroing-in on your matter.
If you're really lucky there will be a state welcome center beyond the next rise. They have pamphlets and brochures . . . Here's a presidential library, there's the Spinach Capital of the World. Behold the Christ of the Ozarks. Witness healing springs. Visit Old Town Van Buren. Be sure to pick up your dog tick on the way out. They're complimentary. Very much like refreshing cups of OJ going into Florida. Except mandatory . . . Welcome to . . .
The Natural State. Like the state in which my very own dog tick will soon make camp for the night. Boy-howdy, could you be an unluckier dog tick than mine? At first, rejoice, I'm a chemo induced bleeder, sit back and sip to bursting.
Same token: I'm a chemical assassin, poison to suckers, come taste death.
It did. Yet it left its little red bump and had me fretting the tell-tale bullseye bite mark; but a couple days in, I felt comfortable that after all this cancer hullabaloo it would not be some pimply punk parasite to take me down.
Super Stores and Uncle Scores
A few more highlights from my trip.
> One day at Walmart (to pay less and to appease the Ghost of Northwest Arkansas), Elena Jane of the triune boyfriend offered to assist in the pushing of my wheelchair. A roll or two into the feat, she resigned, citing as main reasons: I am too fat and too bald.
> Elena and Walmart continued: What the goldilocked scamp won't tell you is what brought us there that day. I won't either. It would be insensitive. Stooping. Altogether too undignified of me. Well, I suppose I could say this much . . . the pharmacy brought us, an unfortunate condition, an unfortunater bodily operating system.
> The Prescription--hail the liquid form! At least for any family that fit the contagion profile. Per the baby's nurse, I was in the clear. Sad sight. Three grumbling grown men, three far from eager little girls, in single file, pleading for amnesty, envying Jonathan's immunity. Hail the liquid form, at least, my dear family, hail and appease Lord Inoculation.
> Later, Bella the Tall, apprehends an injustice, "Heyyy, why doesn't Uncle Jonathan have to take the medicine?" Now mostly engaged, Abrianna the Furtive, would also like to know as much. Jonathan the Jester pounces, "Because Uncle Jah-ah-on-athan is too fat and too bald to take the medicine." Elena the Culprit laughs. And laughs. And laughs.
> I only fell twice and for convenience sake it was on the same occasion. Sometimes Rome is your brother's house where they sit in extra comfortable chairs and you, as you must when in Rome, do as they do. One such chair was in the guest room. I certainly don't require extra comfort as an excuse for falling, but here I blame it roundly, saving back just a smidgen of blame for my spindly legs and an inconsistent center of gravity. First fall: forgetting to factor in cushiness, my initial surge to rise from the chair lacked thrust enough to stand; after a half-second of hope for recovery, I fell, rump first, back to the chair. Second fall: I missed the chair proper, landed on the chair's arm and after a hopeless half-second, I fell again. Fortunately, Rome's guest rooms are carpeted.
> I spent most of week with Chris and the girls so tales of other Arkansan relatives are few. Limited visiting means conversation and catching up takes the fore. But every evening there was some contingent of Scott's or another milling about the kitchen, paper plates variously laden, Solo cups mismatched -- original drinker's initials sweating in the hands of drinkers-come-lately.Contingents potentially comprising Mother of Many -- the Pasta Salad Refurbisher, Father of Just As Many -- the Grand-baby Bouncer, Brother Michael -- the Blond Tower, Brother Andrew -- the Quietly Attending; and the Most Honorably Mentioned, the Ones and Onlies nieces and nephews: Geoffrey Jonathan, Brandon Michael, Isabella Clarene, Abrianna Lynn, Elena Jane, Marylia Felicity, and Johnny Robert.
Thus, I survived my first full week away from home since the new diagnosis, only a vanishing tick-bite worse for the wear.