lunes, enero 01, 2007

The Road of Good Intentions, Part II

When last you left us, we were in Vegas, planning a flight to Albuquerque Saturday a.m.

6 a.m. found us with a room service breakfast.

By seven, we're at the airport for our 8:30 flight. Which has been cancelled. As have the earlier flights to ABQ. They're doing them one by one, though. We stand in line for an hour and a half. During which time, we call Southwest airlines and book a flight home to Oakland.

Ktrion has been talking a lot on the phone with her mom, Doña Leora since yesterday. Doña Leora is very disappointed but keeps advising us not to come. She doesn't want us to go through all these obstacles only to be stranded at the albuquerque airport or somewhere on I-40.

Much subdued, we book a 1 pm flight back to Oakland.

By the way, did I mention we're getting by with only one cell phone?

L*'s cell phone came to grief on Thursday, when, in a suicide mission, it hid in the pocket of a hoodie destined for the washing machine. When it surfaced Thursday evening, there was water behind the windows, and no sign of life.

Ktrion had meant to change the outgoing message on L*'s voice mail, but never actually got around to it.

So late Saturday morning, as we're kicking our heels in the airport, we call in to check L*'s voicemail to hear that her father's in the hospital. Many phone calls later we find out that he's actually ok. It was a scare, and a side effect of one of the medications he's on, and they kept him overnight.

With that extra bit of excitement, we do finally get on our plane and fly back to California. Ktrion resists the temptation to kiss the ground.

A really nice woman from Southwest airlines has us fill out a form regarding to our mislaid luggage (which she confirms is prob'ly in Vegas and awaiting a trip to Albuquerque.

We cook one of our favorite comfort dinners, green tea soup with tofu. L* gets an email from her folks that they to have arrived home at last.

We watch The Girl in the Cafe and Ktrion weeps profusely.
We go to bed early.

Sunday morning, L* goes to Bikram yoga, and Ktrion goes to monkey yoga.

Ktrion calls Doña Leora, and once she's off the phone, begins weeping again, just because mom is so loviing and accepting.

After las dos get cleaned up--with Ktrion living up to her nickname of La Pokey, and L* providing the necessary prodding--we head out to Berkeley with a short list: cell phones, elephant pharmacy, andronicos.

The young woman of color who helps us at the cell phone place is pretty nice and doesn't even laugh at how hip we aren't. She tries to talk us into ringbacktones. We're too embarrassed to tell her that one of our goals is to downloand "Survivor" by Destiny's Child for L*'s cell phone.

It's after four when we get to elephant pharmacy. Ktrion has been feeling ache-y all day, but attributes it to tiredness and yoga. Elephant Pharmacy is a really fun place to check things out: alternative medicine, organic cotton baby things, cruelty-free cosmetics, you name it. Ktrion keeps feeling dizzy, but finds the water cooler which dispenses free hot and cold bottled water, and sets about rehydrating herself.

Ktrion's makeup is all safely god-knows-where in her luggage. So L* suggest that Ktrion get new makeup at Elephant pharmacy. Alas, the makeup artist has just gone on break, and the woman at the makeup counter admits that it would be better to wait till the makeup artist gets back.

L* and Ktrion stroll across the street to Andronico's where they purchase shrimp. L* has in mind a new year's eve dinner of stuffed organic anaheim chile's. The stuffing will involved shrimp and perhaps quinoa. Some details are yet to be worked out. In the produce section, Ktrion's dizziness manifests as being on the verge of throwing up. Yikes!

Back to elephant pharmacy, which really, our two are now too tired to deal with, but the makeup artist is a young woman of color not unlike our hip students, and so we decide to tough it out. Ktrion sits in the tall director's chair provided and all of her symptoms immediately disappear. No nausea, no body aches, no sensitivity to light, no dizziness.

L* takes the opportunity to slip out to the cart to try out her new cell phone by calling her folks. "Buy whatever you want," she admonishes Ktrion.

L*'s folks are home and tired and a little blue.

After these adventures, we are feeling really exhausted. Perhaps too exhausted to cook this sumptuous meal. And so: Thai food to the rescue. And we are, of course, appropriately humbled when we order our food "medium" spicy and it kicks our (collective) ass. It's so hot, Ktrion feels her ears itching. "Holy Mother of God!"

A cute toddler is fascinated by L*, and then by the open flame on the table keeping our soup hot.

We get home and play with our cell phones for about an hour, then tidy up and prepare for our evening ritual. L* lights the new, clean-burning candle at the altar. We take turn reading the novena's worth of poems sent to us by Dr. CPE last week. Then we talk about 2006 which has been a harder year than we ever could have imagined.

L*'s brother died this past June. This has been the first Christmas without him, and the whole family is struggling to find its footing and to reconfigure. His birthday will be January 2nd.

L*'s cancer--you know about. The detection, surgery, chemotherapy, aftermath. In the movies, they would always talk about "her cancer is in remission" or "he's cancer-free," but it's not like that in real life. There are no tests done that will then find "no evidence of disease."

L*'s dad has been living with cancer for ten years now. I'm willing to bet there's not a man with prostate cancer in all of Santa Cruz or Monterey counties who doesn't know L*'s father. He's done patient outreach, especially with the Latino community, and really taught patients to be their own advocates. Indeed, he and L*'s mom are our inspiration as patient-activists.

With these somber thoughts, and wondering what the new year will bring, we turn in early. Ktrion is now having chills and body aches, and continues taking the Chinese remedy "cold-stop" pills.

At midnight, we awaken briefly to the sound of firecrackers and gunshots, and neighbors hooting and hollering "Happy New Year."

At 2 a.m. L* has now manifested her own symptoms to whatever the two of us have caught: she's throwing up. And continues to do so throughout the night.

Sunday morning finds us sick as dogs. L* is sipping ginger ale and coke. Ktrion is drinking tea. Perhaps our bodies are trying to purge themselves of 2006.

We both bathe and put on loungewear, and Ktrion does a masque and then puts on her makeup, having realized how central it is to her feeling of well-being.

Ktrion spends some time programming numbers into our new cellphones from both our address books. She is struck by how rarely she calls anyone.

We hope this is merely a 24-hour bug, and that we'll be back to our normal selves tomorrow.

We are thankful that we are not now in eastern New Mexico, throwing up and anticipating a day of air travel on the morrow.

4 comentarios:

Artichoke Heart dijo...

Happy New Year, and all my best wishes to you and L. for 2007!

El Literati for Tianguis dijo...

happy new year to you both. vegas sounded like a blast. i loved the mary janes.

Cracked Chancla dijo...

oops. that was me that left the last message. i'm still getting used to managing both accounts.

rabfish dijo...

i love that you have an evening ritual. and i'm glad you have inspiring examples helping you. i'm sure you are being the same for others yourselves. you're certainly teaching me. happy new year and blessings