October 14, 2009

Has it been five years? Compare...

October 14, 2004

My blog and welcome to it

Why through a looking glass? Most people see the place I call home, the place I was born, the city where my great, great, great grandmother is buried, as one unlike any other. Many can't understand why I stay. I can't see that there is anywhere else to go.

Perhaps we do look at life differently here, or I do, which explains the looking glass: life mirrored, slightly askew. It's not how you might assume from TV, whether "reality based," i.e., news, or fictitious.

Today? It's the second anniversary of my having quit smoking, and of one of my closest college friends, then age 41, e-mailing to announce she had stage 4 breast cancer. It's the day after my mom's birthday; a week after my own.

Twenty-two years since I have moved to this block, twenty-two years with the same phone number, in the so-called real world, where my mind is prone to wander, and my synapses misfire with some consistency.

It is a strange world, when life's most intimate details are proclaimed in cyberspace -- but since I gave up cigarettes (without becoming an irritating "reformed smoker"), I need a hobby. More precisely, a place to talk to myself, and, I hope, to you, whomever you may be.

It is a challenge, to understand why smoking indoors has been outlawed here, when the average person who stands on the street will breathe in more carbon monoxide in 20 minutes than I would exhale in 200.

I get it -- that I am smaller than the average car, much less bus or truck, so it's easier to try to make me conform to a new social norm than to force the average driver to make an effort. (Car does beat pedestrian; bus beats car, and so on in the run-me-over sweepstakes.)

One caveat: despite or because of all the techno-changes since my brain was young enough to absorb them without forgetting what to eat for dinner, I remain technologically challenged. It wasn't my intention, but there's just TMI out there.

I realize I'm adding more, but no one ever said irony wasn't my strong suit -- it's one I wear well, one that escapes many people in many places, but its absence would be stranger here, particularly at this time in our political landscape, to put it politely.

October 14, 2009

Today? Life is different: I'm smoking again, despite or to spite local ordinances; my friend with breast cancer died on Halloween two years ago; and now the count is up to 27 years on the same block in Wonderland, with my synapses misfiring completely inconsistently.

The world has mostly gotten stranger. For example, we've endured The Big Awful, when the economy cratered, and we all said, "disposable income? It was nice knowing you." Welcome to Brave New World. And, "good-bye, privacy. Hello, Facebook."

On the other hand, five years ago, when I traveled, I pretended to be Canadian, and now I don't have to explain that I didn't vote for the idiot who has belatedly returned to his ranch with My Little Pony.

Back then I wasn't preparing to do battle with Cambridge health plans, my so-called insurance. Now, not only do I need surgery to remove a gland most associated with pubescent growth, I also need a D&C for post-menopausal bleeding (TMI? You bet. But I am still talking to myself here, and so it goes.)

It seems it is better to go under general anesthesia once than twice, and it only gets more complicated from there. One doctor -- the gland guy -- has privileges at hospital A; my other doctor, one of 25 years standing, has privileges at hospital B, 90 blocks south and right around the corner from my apartment.

Chances of their meeting in pre-op? Zero.

Chances of my finding two surgeons from two different hospital departments at the same institution who both take my crappy insurance AND want to tag-team each other in the OR? I don't think MasterCard makes a commercial for this one.

I may have stumbled upon an occasion for which even the most comprehensive electronic Hallmark equivalent doesn't make a greeting card. If anyone did, it would say,

"Sorry you need two surgeries to make sure you don't have cancer."

Inside it would read,

"But congratulations on growing your hair for the past 22 months so now it's long enough to donate to those who do."

Irony: it's not just a concept -- it's a way of life.

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Blogger the only daughter said...

And you wear it so well.

I'll be firing up good, positive thoughts for a meeting of minds and scalpels--somewhere in the middle (or better).


5:33 PM  

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