Gina doesn’t have a horse, and I haven’t ridden in years, let alone bareback. I love that feeling of setting off with the horse into unknown territory. I need to go riding again, someday.
Last week was my first week of my third rotation: radiology. The morning rounds have been incredibly useful reviews. Drs. Ziegler and Anderson are wonderful human beings, funny, sharp, and superlative teachers. Dr. Ziegler did the best impression of Dr. Morgan I think I’ve ever seen; she called him “Dr. Lick”, and I just about peed myself laughing. (One really has to wonder about such repulsive, socially-objectionable personal habits; did no one ever tell the man that the underside of his tongue was not a nice thing to show – constantly – in polite company?) The technicians and radiology office staff are pretty damn cool, too – Daniel Cronk, the technician who inducted and oriented us, is hilarious (sarcastic wit, dry as a bone), and I loved him immediately. (He was also really kind and sympathetic when my back fucked up, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
So I agreed to take on an extra clerk duty (basically, perform the treatments on in-hospital large animal patients from 6 pm to midnight-thirty) for a friend…only to wake up Thursday morning with a back spasm that wouldn’t quit. “Hot shower,” I thought…but my apartment complex didn’t have any hot water! I called the emergency number (with the incredibly, inappropriately smug, used-car-salesman automated voice), and was told by the operator that the problem was already called in…but still no water until after 9 am. Moving hurt. Breathing hurt. I decided I’d wait until I could take the shower, and called in late. Sat down in the comfy easy chair to study, figuring that with my back supported, drinking herbal tea, it would get better. It didn’t get better. It got worse. I spent a little time looking for my bottle of Soma (carisoprodol – a heavy muscle relaxant I use in emergencies like this one) – I’d left it behind in the Caribbean. I did breathing exercises. Finally, I decided to get up and try a bath and the electric massager – and moving hurt so bad I threw up. It scared me. I called Brent. Brent was not having a good day. He’d accidentally fallen asleep with the window open, and the rain had come in and ruined his laptop. His car was STILL waiting for a part, and he was having a hard time getting people to give him rides, with his schedule at school (SOAPing the surgery dog in the morning and evening, SGA meetings, various administrative committee meetings, and people that just straight up USE him because he never puts his foot down). We both felt like hell, and both were wishing more than anything that we could be together. I love that man. Talking with him made me feel a bit better, and helped me get it together enough to cross the street to see the doctor there, who prescribed soma for me. Came home, swallowed soma, took a bath, worked on my back with the massager, fell asleep. Next morning, woke up an hour early, and worked on my back again with the massager; was mostly able to function normally. Amazing how effective that drug is. Probably because I’m careful how much I use (one small bottle lasted me 2.5 years, the whole time I was in the Caribbean – there were still 2 pills left when I moved here).
So I called in on the clerk duty that night, called in to talk to Dan about not coming in at all – he was very sympathetic and kind. Very cool guy. I hope I can make up the lecture I missed – those are really useful. Don’t know if I’ll have to make up the clerk duty (usually, making up a clerk duty = doing two of them). Haven’t heard from the friend I was supposed to take the clerk duty for – I’d left him a message. Dunno what’s up there. Will have to try to get hold of him later.
So Friday, after a good day (fairly busy, and learned a lot – got to listen to the radiographs being read by Dr. Feeney, who has been a radiologist for a good long time…OMG, the man’s funny! He’s direct, to the point, but not above making pointed statements, and cusses constantly), two Minnesota students I like a whole lot invited me out to join them for dinner and drinks – and a couple more friends came, too. So Claudia (whose evil twin I am, apparently), Susan, Jen, Conni and I ended up at Old Chicago Pizzeria, drinking Cosmopolitans and eating good pizza and gabbing until fairly late. I think we actually had more fun than anyone else there. At some point, while we were all busy choking on our drinks after some story, someone said “well, it’s official…she’s one of us,” which made me feel wonderful. How often is that kind of acceptance and welcome really offered? The glow of it lasted all night.
Yesterday morning, Susan, Claudia and Claudia’s fiancé Len came to brunch with me at Zeno (my favorite local establishment – a wine, coffee and dessert bar with food and drink to kill or die for, and the PERFECT weekend brunch, served until 2 pm). We didn’t get started until around 12:30, as Claudia slept in late (good for her!), and as the afternoon dimmed and grayed, our fabulous brunch faded into dessert and drinks (Susan is as fond of martinis as I am), and finally ended at 4, when everyone decided that if they were going to get anything accomplished, they’d better get to it. The wind had picked up, and was biting and cruel on the walk back home; shortly after everyone left, it started snowing. I love Uptown when it snows. Pristine blankets of white covering the perfect cityscape, and then this hive-like army of little machines comes out – bobcats and snow-blowers and little snow machines to keep the sidewalks and streets and driveways and parking lots clear. It’s fascinating. It usually cranks up around 4 am when it snows overnight, which was hard when I was sleeping on the sofa (the cats would think “hey, everyone ELSE is up, why not you?”), but which I’m used to, now, and am mostly amused by all the industry.
This afternoon, Hillary and I are going to see Finding Neverland, with Johnny Depp, who I love. Having loved the original J.M. Barrie works as a child, loved the uncompromising and deep and rich fantasy of it, the dangerous edge of magic and adventure that rings true (unlike the Disney version, which was ironed flat), I’m very much looking forward to seeing the film. Movies! I’ve missed going out to movies, and the Lagoon theatre, a stone’s throw from my apartment, shows the underground, the cult, the foreign, and the intellectual films out there. JOY! I love my neighborhood. I dreamed of this for so long. Really glad Hillary hangs out with me, too; I’ve always thought she was a really cool person, worthy of getting to know better (hurray for the opportunity!), and I love and revere her wife. Can anyone ever truly have enough good people in one’s life? I’m going to be seriously sorry to leave Minneapolis behind, someday, because it’ll mean that Audrey and Hillary won’t be our neighbors anymore. But if they can stand us, they’ll always be our friends.
Have been missing my St. Kitts girlfriends a lot lately. Got to talk to Dana last night after the 7th semester Valentine’s Day auction (which Brent was supposed to be auctioned off in, but didn’t have a ride, and ended up stuck at school all day) – she was buzzed, and all charged up from a fun night out. I could just see the sparkle in her eyes…*sigh*. I miss evenings talking over a bottle of wine with her. Miss her psychic insight into and understanding of my life and my mind. Got to talk to Audrey a bit this afternoon, too, which was really cool – she was over trying to get Brent’s old laptop up and running (it crashed and burned before I met Brent), to no avail. Having made it through her awful run of exams, she and Sage had spent most of the weekend at the beach. I could see the two of them in the water, the blue blues and warm sun and trade winds…superimposed over the snowy streets outside my window. What a strange shift in paradigm. Ames was out with Audrey and Brent and a gaggle of others at Sprat Net recently – she’s apparently up to her ass in alligators with the paper, and with school. Haven’t heard from her in a bit, but she’s just made it through exams, too, so no wonder. I should email her.
Next week I’ll be meeting Henry, a rescued orange 4-year-old kitty in need of a home, who sounds like the perfect match for Dad, which is exciting to me. I was hoping for an orange – they’re so damn personable, and this guy sounds like he’d be perfect (tolerant of his foster mom’s Newfoundland puppy, other cats, and pretty much anything else thrown his way). His previous owner mutilated him (declawed = removed the last phalanx of every digit at the joint…imagine life without your fingertips, when walking on all fours), and then gave him up, saying she couldn’t afford him. Did you consider this before you adopted him? The thoughtless lack of foresight in people still astounds and appalls me. I hope Henry is the cat for my Dad. He sounds like a terrific “beginner level” cat.
Made the reservations at the motel for the Oregon externship with Brent this April, today…god, I cannot wait to have him back in my arms. I dream of the little things, constantly – the rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps, the way the morning light catches the gold in the soft hair on his arms and legs, the way he smells (which I love), how perfectly I fit in the crook of his elbow. I miss the huskiness in his voice, and his giant exuberant grin, and the way he looks at me, saying nothing. I was going to surprise him for Valentine’s Day with this cool red velvet bustier I found while unpacking my stuff from storage, but without the laptop, that’s not really an option, now – will have to wait until I see him, I guess. Audrey, bless her heart, is sending me pics of my man, so I don’t have to go totally without seeing him for two months. Thanks, Audrey.
Brent’s tulips are finally disintegrating, the petals falling like fat, slow snowflakes on the countertop, the floor. FTD, despite Brent’s TYPED web order, screwed up the delivery address for two days (and even then didn’t get them to where they were supposed to go), and by the time I got them, not only did I already know about them, but they were pretty frost-bitten. Peg helped me clean them up, trim them, settle them into the vase. I left them in her office for the first day, so she could get some enjoyment from them while I was down in ultrasound. I hope Peg comes to our wedding celebration; she’s so much fun, and such a good person. The note with the flowers said “I wish my tulips were touching your tulips.” Hee. Brent can say these incredibly corny things, and at first I’ll giggle, but still get a tear in my eye, because I know the sentiment is real. I’ve never met anyone who could do that, before.
And of course, that night, after dreaming that I was in a brand-new apartment that was supposed to be perfect, but had green paint wash oozing through the ceiling, and didn’t have water, and Brent wasn’t going to come, and I was crying against the chest of the apartment building bouncer, I lay awake, imagining that first good night kiss, after a day of diving with Brent. After the concert, and hitching a ride back up to The Level with someone kind enough to stop for us (we were beat), walking back to the cabins talking, not touching, the rapport as close as holding hands. Turning at the cabin to say goodnight, and the kiss that just fell into place, gently, like snowflakes settling; the incredible softness of his lips, and how completely he held me against him…I think I was his right then. You had me at hello, Brent; I hope, I hope, I wish on every star in the sky, that you always want me there, in the circle of your arms.