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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sick Day ...

Moon Imbri posing
Ariel's celtic bed

Today is Wednesday and I’ve been trying to write something today. Wednesday’s topic is “hang in there!” - a musing on how being halfway there, things are getting better, let’s be tenacious! … But I woke up sick.

Well, honestly, it’s been coming for days and I’ve ignored it. Medicated it, denied it and pushed through. And today it has insisted on pushing through me. Between huddling among the blankets in bed and camping trips in the Little Library, not much was getting done – other than lurking among Facebook & Twitter watching my friends play. Tried to sleep it off – but my dreams today insist on being gross i.e. 5year old humor gross, boogers & slime and creepy crawley wet things. *shudder*. Try writing a one-line story for #1lineWed with those images in your head! No sanctuary there.

I had planned on discussing NLP (NeuraLinguistic Programming) and retraining the mind – a subject that we touched and learned about in a Leadership program I did this year. I had found it fascinating and, as an actor, actually effective to apply to thinking in my own life. It’s retraining your own thoughts and responses to life, intentionally adding a good spin to it like a Pavlov’s dog. It’s similar to how I tie certain feelings & memories to lines in a play, crafting this character I will be wearing on stage. Rather than crafting a theatrical character, it allows me to be more the person I want to be, imagined being.

But my thoughts, and writing, kept being pulled away today by the primal reactive physical sensations of whatever this bug/virus is. Hard to say things are getting better today than yesterday – when I feel worse today. My brain feels like it has been through food processor and poured back into my skull; it’s sloshy in there. My head feels too heavy for my neck. I try to talk and my tongue feels swollen. …

However, things ARE getting better. Though it’s hard to acknowledge that right now.

Yesterday’s bus ride took forever to get home yesterday – an hour and a half – and Salem, which calls itself City of Salem, is actually just a town. A slow car ride between my office and home, opposite ends from each other, would take 25 minutes to drive. But I am a commuter now. I catch the bus across the street from work, it was late in coming and I had watched almost a full episode of Bob’s Burgers to keep myself distracted form a rumbly downstairs. When it finally appeared, the bus driver tried to get my attention as I boarded. Popping my headphones out, I turned back to her and she, a bit embarrassed told me that she would need everyone to exit at the next stop. She and the bus were running “too late” and another bus has been dispatched from the Downtown Transit Center, this bus was to be dead-ended to the terminal. Well, nothing for it; I could stay and wait there but the next stop had a bench and covered area, more comfortable albeit in a remote industrial area.

I took my now-usual seat in the back – good view through the windshield – and she drove on south, cut over to the industrial park and wove over to the next stop, conveniently in front of the bus terminal. I and the other two passenger got out. The other lady passenger, in the neon workout pants, started walking down the road. But I and the guy with the stiff leg brace walked down the gravel shoulder to the three sided stop. I figured the other bus should be here soon so I bee-lined to the posted schedule. Nope – we had a good forty minute wait. A toilet-less forty minutes; time for more Netflix’ Bob Burgers.

I informed my new companion, who looked decidedly uncomfortable (well, in pain) of the expected wait. He took the news rather dejectedly. He asked how late the buses run; we looked it up, only until about 9, and then he looked worried. Said he needed to make it to the hospital for ice and treatment. And that is when I got reminded how, as bad as things get, it may be worse for someone else.

I was silently raging that I was being inconvenienced with the loooong trip home, my time being wasted when I could do something productive. I wanted home and a bathroom, Immodium, Pepto and a good 2-3 hours on the computer.

My companion, however, had his day start with a leg broken the day before. He became homeless that morning, leaving with everything he had in his truck. Which broke down on him that afternoon. And now, here he was just trying to get to the hospital, with enough time to get to the Mission Shelter before it closed its doors tonight.

I couldn’t do much to help; I gave him my evening stash of Coca Cola; didn’t need the liquid anyway. Had no food on me to share but I gave him what change I had for the bus; he tried to give me a fiver in exchange for it, but I said no. I was in a similar situation a month ago, sans homeless, and knew what a little help could accomplish, it was my way of paying it forward. It was rare for me to have change anyway (I’m a plastic carrier, less careless spending that way). We figured out which bus for him to transfer to downtown and which he would need to catch for the Mission. We chatted until the bus came. When we got downtown, we got him situated on his next bus and I sat to wait for my connection to come.

So – yes – today I am sick. But today I am sick at home. With blankets, and my own bed, and my own clothes in my walk-in closet. I have food in my fridge, which for the last few months was usually empty but now isn’t. I have a “Little Library” which I only share with my son and my two cats. My legs, though weak & shaky today, are fine. No TV but I have my computer and Netflix and Hulu and online articles to read. For company I have my Facebook and Twitter friends who show me love and share curiosities. Tomorrow I will be better. I will climb into the bus – and the next bus – to go to my office where I work with people I consider to be my supportive friends.

Today’s not what I planned – but tomorrow may be. So I’m hanging in there.

So what are your thoughts this Wednesday?

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