This image comes from 2014, but it’s still a cool idea. Someone created an art project in Juneau, Alaska that allowed people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to ...”
I wake up at 3:40am, hearing something dripping. I follow the sound around the new apartment until I find that it’s coming from the refrigerator. Looking around, I don’t see any water on the floor, inside the refrigerator compartment, or in the freezer. My guess is that this is what it sounds like when it defrosts. I have a sip of water and go back to bed.
I wake up some time later. It’s bright, so I don’t want to open my eyes. I’m enjoying a comfortable rest, and the pillow and sheets smell fresh and clean.
Why is it so bright? I haven’t been here long, but I know that the Sun rises on the other side of the building, and my bedroom only get indirect light in the morning.
Without moving my body, I open my eyes and look around. I see enough to know that I’m in a hospital.
I’m sitting here working this morning when I start to hear that familiar scratching, crawling sound outside. In a few moments, the squirrel’s head appears from the right side of the window. He’s hanging sideways, three stories off the ground, and looking in, about twelve inches from my face. It’s cold outside so I had the window closed, but I slide it open.
“Dude, Cheerios,” he says.
“Oh shoot, I forgot,” I say.
By the time I walk to the kitchen, get the box of Cheerios, and open the door to the deck, he’s already there, waiting.
While I’m on the treadmill, an extremely large, muscular guy walks into the fitness center. He looks at the big-screen television, which is currently playing a commercial, and then looks at me. “You watchin’ this?,” he asks forcefully.
As he turned to look at me, the show I was watching came back on. I catch my breath, point at the tv, and say, “The Princess Bride.”
He turns and looks back at the tv for a few moments. “Cool,” he says, and begins to lift some weights.
For anyone interested in the radioactive iodine treatment instructions I received from the hospital back in 2014 (for the post-surgical treatment of thyroid cancer), here you go. I appreciate that the last four words are, “if you should die.”
I was having a metaphor in a dream this morning and I had to stop it and say, “Really? Aren’t we past this point by now? Pfft.”
(A note from June 1, 2014)
The Native American woman I met last week had an aneurysm and brain surgery last year. (She showed me the scar, and she’s fine now.) Before the aneurysm was discovered, she went to a shaman who’s well-known among Natives here. He lit something, made some smoke, did whatever else he does, then looked at her, put his finger on her forehead and said, “You are blocked here.”
Unfortunately she assumed he was referring to a mental blockage, and thought, “No, I’m an open person, he’s wrong.” Shortly after this, doctors discovered the aneurysm right where he pointed.
February 19, 2014: I passed out for the first time. Before then I knew I was sick, but that was the first day I went down.
*three years of hospital visits and dozens of doctors*
February 19, 2017: For the first time in many years I’ve been able to practice yoga on a daily basis. As usual, during the first several weeks it was difficult and I was sore, but these days all is well. Soon this body will be rock hard and incredibly limber. :)
Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. After knowing “something” was wrong for a long time, on this day three years ago I passed out for the first time.
I just ran across this photo of my old apartment. I like using a shoji screen to add a temporary “wall” in different spaces, and I used to keep Christmas lights going for most of the winter evenings, as shown.