Travel Portrait 21
On Being Patient #2: Strike or Spike
May 10, 2009 [listen]
"I've accrued how much???"
He notated the numbers of vacation time and sick leave."
"Between the estimated surgery recuperation in relation
to the end of the fiscal year, I won't be able to use any
of my vacation time for vacationing."
He pressed HANG UP on the phone, then twiddled his
You use or you lose. You snooze, you lose.
"I need to pay attention to this stuff. Let me see
if I can take a vacation to visit my doctor and check-out
that exhibit over there at the Art Museum, and add in a
tidbit of remote access work.
He instant messaged his boss to see if he can change the
status of the work day from SICK to VACATION. He did so
while waiting in line just before the post office closed.
"Go ahead," is the reply.
You calculate how much more vacation hours you have to
lose and schedule them for health-related appointments,
and post-surgery-sit-around-and-do-nothing recuperative
Sitting in the driver's seat of his car while in a parking
space, he pressed the CALENDAR button on his phone
until the "month" interface filled the screen.
He jotted down some potential dates on a piece of junk snailmail,
using the passenger-side seat as a makeshift desk. Afterwhich,
he pressed the EMAIL button and began thumbing the
request for time.
That morning, I wake up hours before sunrise, procrastinating.
"I don't have to be at the museum until noon, then
I have the Catscan at three. Oh yeah, let me update the
website. Darn! Dishes and laundry. Coffee."
Mug clink on microwave dish, slam door shut. Preset beep.
Beep, beep-beep. Baahroooo....
Clutter, clutter clear. Table-thump backpack: zip-zip
open. Thunk, laptop spank; lid open. Boot.
While waiting, load laundry.
Beep... Beep... Beep... Tepid coffee. Preset again.
"Welcome to desktop!" Autoconnect to the
wireless. Let the updating begin!!!
Pour liquid detergent into dispenser. Select cycle signal,
then press START.
Launch web-browser. Waiting...waiting...waiting....
TV remote, press ON. Press ON! Trying a better
angle, press ON!! Oh, other remote!!! Press ON.
"Hey you. Yeah you. This is your phone reminding you
that you have two hours before you have to be at the museum.
You! You!! You!!!"
"You over there. Sit your two-timing, reheated coffee
ass down, and update that website!"
"Don't dally, son. Don't snack until you check your
blood sugar and your blood pressure. And don't forget to
breath while washing the dishes."
Overwhelmed, he stopped, sat down on his cushy leather
couch. Passed out.
"Fretful faint, narcoleptic crash, or stressful
snooze? Was there a spike in adrenaline, and/or ACTH???"
"What is the time?"
You post the content, updating the website. You grab your
mug full of room-temperature coffee. You go upstairs, take
a shower, get dressed, grab your museum ticket, go downstairs
and take the laundry out of the washer and put the load
into the dryer with a sheet of fabric softener. You run
upstairs, pop the meds, swig the sludgy mocha java, dart
back downstairs into the kitchen for a bowl of crispy cereal.
You scarf down a piece of soft fruit and discard the peel
into the trashcan before throwing on your jacket, grabbing
your phone, shutting down the laptop, unplugging the power
source, checking for your car keys and wallet. Panicking
you set the house alarm, open, shut, top and bottom lock
the front door (Aloha!!!), into the car and drive
At the stop sign...
"What did I forget???"
Big Breakfast in a Mixing Bowl Petite
Tofu Tiles (firm)
Olive Oil [sizzle both sides]
Smoked Kielbassa (skinny rounds)
Habanero Pepper (sliver skins)
Whisked Eggs with Powdered Anise Seeds
Processed Cheese (slices torn apart)
Cranberry Juice (tumbler with ice cubes)