I wake up in the wee hours Monday, restless and too hot to soundly sleep. I have just one good ear, and the earplug I have in, has shifted and I can hear the buzz and whir of the fan. I flop around looking for the cold side of one of my five pillows but everything is irritating and warm. My body starts to wake up now and I am a cluster of sensations. I feel the fan overhead and the sharp wind of it. I shift in bed and realize my hip is sore (or maybe my hamstring) and I’m thirsty. When I close my eyes, my thoughts scroll like a phone screen in my mind and I can’t shut it off. I eventually give in and fumble my way in the dark to the bathroom for a pee and a drink of water.
It’s after 12 and I have an early wake-up call. Back when I was working I would intentionally set my clock ahead so that when the alarm went off I would have to engage my mind: what time is it really ? It works okay for morning motivation, but “clock trickery” at night is never good. Somehow my bedside clock shifted to a 24 hour clock and now when I look at it in the wee hours, there are either too many or too few numbers and I am forced to wake up enough to decipher what I’m looking at. This is not going as planned and I crawl back into bed, hopeful for a few more hours of whatever sleep I can muster ahead of my alarm.
We are out the door early to K’s pre-surgery appointment in Seattle, where they will implant a tiny chip, a Savi-Scout. It will be inserted by a small needle into the breast where they found a small cancerous mass. It’s a fairly straightforward procedure (followed by a mammogram) to pinpoint the location for the surgeon during surgery. I was allowed to stay in the room to watch, and I have to say what a marvel technology is! When done in tandem with an ultrasound, you can see the needle enter the image on the screen and watch it being guided to the precise location. I am in awe. She has had a team of doctors and nurses that grows with each appointment. Did I mention that all the people we have met with are women?
I know K has been nervous. There are a whole lot of unknowns that come with a diagnosis like this and it can rattle even the most grounded people. But here’s the thing: she is the one putting everyone else at ease. Her good humor and positive attitude are disarming in the best way possible. I can’t even tell you how proud I am to be in these rooms with K and her team of magicians. I know the seriousness of this whole process but I can’t help but be flooded with optimism.
My sister came Monday morning to walk Yoda and help to keep him on his schedule. He’s 14 and a half and a creature of habit. His routines are important and we’ve tried to keep him minimally affected by this unexpected shift in our plans. He loves his auntie (and our neighbor around the corner) and we’re feeling pretty fortunate to have family and friends that really mean it when they ask if they can help.
My sister left me a few things in a plastic sleeve on the kitchen table. Who would have guessed that there was actually a record of my piano lesson days. I retained exactly none of it (although to be fair, this was always my Mom’s dream for me and never my own). I was terrible at it. There is an undeveloped part of my brain that is responsible for my sense of direction, my musical ability, my typing skills and my balance when on anything with blades or wheels. I’m not sure if that sliver of brain has a name, but there is a clear deficiency and I’m not proud.
All that I can remember of piano lessons is watching Speed Racer on TV while I waited for my turn on the bench. Flying cars and a handsome boy-racer were all I remember. Is that weird? Maybe I’m a wee deficient in the memory department too. I have vague recollection of two other things: 1) pretending to fall asleep reading the phone book when it was time to practice at home and 2) a single recital in which I had to perform the Spider’s Walk song. Why the Spider’s Walk? Because I played the exact same thing, different keys, at the same time. My brain does not work in a way that allows different things to be happening with both hands. I nailed it. At least I think I fooled them.
(To this day I can’t play piano (or type for that matter). I’m just not wired that way.)
On the days I don’t have other committments, I have been reviewing my drawings and also trying to get a few days “banked” in the event I find myself without paper and pens some morning. I know I’ve shared about these before, but they are beginning to add up and I would like to do something other than stuff them all in a filing cabinet. I’m still wondering about the possibility of using some of these hundreds of drawings for a single project. A book? A small series of original prints I could sell? Someone suggested cards? There has to be some meaningful way to re-purpose these often silly drawings. I’m sure something will come to me. As long as it isn’t on wheels, on a map or some series of musical notes or typewriter keys, I think I have a chance …
Finally, here’s a nod to real snapshots.
I call these “Where I’m from” :
This is my life.