I want to become a mime just so I can be called “Auntie Mime”, learn how to do makeup to look like Rosalind Russell, and dress in stunningly fabulous ensembles, including silken tunics, turbans, kitten heels, and other extravagant accoutrements, flitting around a variety of gorgeously appointed rooms with elaborate curving staircases, waving around a cigarette holder sans regular disgusting cigarette but into which a chocolate or candy cigarette was inserted instead, acting out all sorts of outlandish reactions to what everyone else was saying. But then again, there’s the little matter of mimes being annoying as hell. Oh well.
One year ago today, five excruciatingly long days after my first biopsy, the radiologist called with the imaging results. “How are you doing today?” she said.
“Well, that depends,” I said, my heart already pounding like mad, “on what you tell me.”
So she told me. And my heart pounded even madder as she explained my diagnosis and told me the next steps to take, which I wrote on a piece of paper with all the lip-biting carefulness of a first grader trying to get an “A” on a spelling test. Immediately upon that call’s end, I initiated those steps.
Over the next three weeks, I had two biopsies and more imaging (I got to experience a charming variety of biopsies, each more delightful than the one before), and three weeks and one day after my first diagnosis, in the relative darkness of the radiologist’s office, she delivered more heart-pounding news, and I almost literally fell out of my chair.
At that moment, everything around me seemed to be outlined in black, like a cartoon, so vivid and sharp, even in the low light, and I felt simultaneously numb and like I could feel every atom making up my body.
They were waiting for me one floor down at the surgeon’s office. I asked countless times if they knew I was coming, if they knew why I was coming, if all I had to do was go down there and they’d know what to do. Each time I was assured yes, yes, and yes.
And then I took more steps, both in terms of procedures/appointments and in physical steps to and from them.
Thus commenced the worst year of my existence but also the best, because I’m here in a chair now with no signs of falling out of it.
That is all. That’s the post. It kinda speaks for itself, no?
The surgeon’s new digs are fabulous, swanky but comfortable, and I want to hang out for hours in the waiting room with the woman I’ve been chatting with. We’ll call her “D”. When the receptionist calls me in for my procedure, I want to do the equivalent of hitting a snooze button a few times, because I haven’t had the chance to ask the woman if she’s on social media or if we can exchange contact information. I have her name, though, and I know where she works, so I plan to call to say hi and hope she doesn’t think I’m a stalker.
Several days later, I call D’s office. The receptionist asks which client this is in reference to. I say, “I’m not a client. I’m a personal person,” with magnificent eloquence, and state my name. She puts me on hold, and when she returns, she says D isn’t available, which naturally means D said, “JFC, what a stalker. Tell her I’m not here,” which I believe even more when I don’t hear back from her.
“Oh, well,” I think. “One less person to make lunch plans with that I’ll want to cancel.”
At the very end of my run this morning, or, more technically, my cooldown walk, I ran into my buddy Charles, the overnight manager at Fairway in my neighborhood,
He was on West 75th, at the back of his car, with the trunk open, and inside were several big bags of potato chips, mostly the Ruffles depicted here, and one bag of Lays ruffled chips as well. I made some remark about how wherever he was going was the place to be because of the potato chips.
He immediately grabbed a bag and handed it to me, and I told him he just made my day. He said, “What, you’re not allowed to have chips in your house?” I told him that I have absolutely no control when it comes to chips, so I usually don’t allow them in my house.
I said that for a lot of girls, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but for me Ruffles are. He laughed his big laugh and told me I was silly, and the entire exchange was just so giddy-making.
Anyway, this reminded me of Charles Chips, which we used to have delivered to our house back in the late ’60s in a big mustard-colored tin with a brown logo, which always delighted me. So today’s exchange really was, literally, Charles chips!
Somewhere along the way in the past several years since switching my “blog” from Moveable Type to WordPress, or maybe it was when switching hosting companies from PowWeb to SiteGround, the folder containing all of the images used within posts was lost. So any post that contained an image, whether an illustration by me or a photograph, is missing that element of the post, and it saddens me because I took great pride in all elements of a post working together to create the little “experience”.
The separate photo albums, however, remain intact, but most captions/explanations are missing, which also pains me because I remember being very pleased with that stuff as well. This blog served as my Internet “home” for such a long time.
I know that in the so-called grand scheme of things, none of this really matters, and this is what people call a “First World problem”, a phrase that I detest for a variety of reasons I don’t want to even address. Hey, I live in the First World, so “sue me” (which is really a First World problem; litigiousness, that is).
So what does any of this have to do with the price of beans or a roll of film for an old Kodak Instamatic with a flashcube that rotates on its own after each picture (swoon!)? Nothing. But this is my blog, and this is my “home”, where I can complain about First, Third, or Tenth World problems with aplomb and cry into my defunct TaB if I want to.
I had relied on the marvelously helpful Joni Mueller for years for any problems I had with this blog, but that wonderfully generous woman left this world two Mays ago, so I can’t enlist her help. I mourn the loss of her life, but know that if she were here, she would tell me if there was any chance of me recovering the old photos. I’m pretty sure they’re as gone as she is, though. Alas.
What’s the point of this post? There is none. And there doesn’t have to be one. Ahhh, the beauty of being “home”.
Life is too motherfuckin’ short to save the good china, the old scotch, the fancy dress. Use it, drink it, wear it. Get the hell out there and make an ass of yourself, in a way that’s not rife with “look at me” Instagram desperation. Laugh that laugh some jackass told you was too loud. Have dessert. Have it first, before dinner (or lunch) (or breakfast). Hell, have dessert FOR dinner (or lunch) (or breakfast). Don’t save anything for a rainy day. And when it rains, get out there and sing in it, with or without an umbrella, even if off-key.
After lunch at Gee Whiz Diner (in operation since 1989!) with one of my favorite gal pals (ew) on Friday, (not pictured!), I met my top secret husband at Jajaja in the West Village for nachos (and more) and sundry nonsense. I walked home five miles from Astor Place, through way too many clones with egregious sartorial taste. Last night was one of the only times I was unable to finish every last atom of food on my (or Eric’s) plate. (The cocktail is his. I was tipsy on his mere presence.)
I saw “you” again this morning. This time it was along the promenade around the 80s, east of Carl Schurz Park. “You” wore a baseball cap, white hair peeking out, slowly jogging, and I thought, “Nope, it’s not you. You hate cardio!”
But maybe the you I pretend has been in the Witness Protection Program for the past four years jogs now. Maybe it’s part of the ruse to throw off those who know you, for whom the mere thought of you jogging is amusing.
I love seeing “you” from time to time, oh dear DOG, how I miss YOU.