This WebMD gets all kinds of attention. I, however, have a CellParamedic. The critical difference, I suppose, is that mine will never make you think you have something you don’t — and in fact, he will probably prescribe you 100mg of Suckitup and 20mg Driveonipam.
My version will diagnose via MMS, howevs.
“Soo. I cut my thumb. Doing the dishes. Do two really tight bandaids equal six stitches?”
“Depends. Is it still bleeding?”
“Kinda. And worse, it’s on my space bar thumb.”
“You’re handicapped! Send me a pic.”
So, I did. And the BroMedic who has poopooed hobbling sprains and internally bleeding quads, said, “Yeah. They could glue that. You should get it looked at.”
Healthcare, access to, gets a lot of attention. Now, I fully realize that I should grace all recruitment posters forevermore, but… spend 10 years in the civilian workforce before you join up, and you will find the contrasts endlessly fascinating.
What did I have to do to get my dumb thumb looked at by a medical professional? I had to show up.
That’s it. No calling the advice nurse, no appointment, I just wandered in and flashed my ID. It was the dumbest owie in the world, and they saw me right away, treated it like it mattered, and even humored my request to dress it so it “looked important.”
Sure, I had to give an oath to get access to this Hippocratic one, but…it seems like a pretty healthy trade to me.
Last night, when the fire alarm went off at 9:30 p.m., I’d been sound asleep for two hours. When I shuffled outside like Blanche Devereaux in the opening credits of Golden Girls, complete with sleep mask, of course the disbelief — “Were you asleep already?”
Yes. My relationship to time is surreal at mildest.
I get up at 3 a.m. Every morning. I figure this means I LIVE here, but I EXIST in a different timezone altogether. Echo, to be exact. If Italy is in Bravo during Daylight Saving (hissssss) and if you figure 0300 is regular people’s 0600…
I hear it’s beautiful in Kazakhstan. Wish I was here.
To add to my clock melting all over the joint, I’m a time whisperer. Try me sometime. Ask me what time it is. No matter how long it’s been since I saw a clock, I can nail it within seven minutes. It’s a gift nobody cares about in the least.
It also means that I have an artistic relationship with the time piece on my microwave. It’s never right, and I never notice.
Enter Art vs. Science vs. Microwave.
“I can fix this. I will Google the manuals of 12 different brands and I will figure this out.”
“This is entirely impressive effort, but oh yeah. It’s a Multistar. Not… one of the dozen you sent.”
“Can you hang a clock over it? Even that would be better.”
“Oh! Wait. Figured it out. I think it’s two of the buttons on the leftish side. But…eh. I don’t remember which. That means it will be fun all over again next time the alarm goes off and cuts the power.”
Because tell Dalí this: You can’t tell what time it is in a sleep mask, anyway.
Yellow flowers can do no wrong, and sunflowers. Girasole. When there’s acres and acres of them…
It earns a sunflower safari.
Name, worthy; looking like the sun, rays and all.
Gathered in a gaggle, an audience of flora.
And busy bees. Busy, busy bees.
REO Speedwagon would have to rethink their whole shebang these days. “Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who…” As someone who once was the co-proprietor of the Black Cat Detective Agency circa 1988, and who received as many condolence messages to Columbo’s passing as his own family, I am always on the case. Encyclopedia Brown, Harriet, these are my people. REO, your methods of investigation are lazy and haphazard.
But nowadays? The stuff you used to have to sleuth out, to piece together, to slap down your quarter on the gas can for, is delivered — whether you want it to be, or not.
The trick isn’t in the discovery, it’s in how NOT to discover. Keeping yourself away from information anymore requires effort. My Super Bowl bet every year is not who’s going to win, it’s who can go the longest without finding out who won. It’s HARD.
In the Ye Olden Days of And Lo! There Was a Speedwagon! you did have to rely on he-saids, and “Hey, I wonder what you-know-who is up to these days?” You’d have to dig. Ask around. Now, it’s delivered. Life stories, live news feeds.
The question is, is it better to know? Is any information ultimately better than not knowing? Is ignorance really still bliss, or just a blatant misspelling of “denial?”
Do you want to know — or not?
Wandering into Rome without a map is easy. Navigating your own tiny neighborhood, there’s the tricky cultural journey.
It’s all a matter of scale. A big place has a lot of space for your flailing and a bunch of company, compatriots of flail. Take that competence to a village, and all of a sudden it’s loud. Your outsider status magnifies in direct disproportion to the amount of people you’re around.
Even the tiniest things somehow require courage mustering. There’s a seasonal outdoor sandwich counter/bar/cafe up the road. It’s been closed since I’ve been here, but last night it was open, the tables out front scattered with a few generations. I was drawn and scared at the same time. It seems like a silly thing to be chicken about — I know 39 words, and 37 of them are food and drink related. But it’s like…walking into someone’s living room, knowing their rules and house customs, and fitting in — oh yeah, and you just happen to be a martian.
I walked by once. Recon. Nerve steeling and chicken chiding. But I knew, no victor spoils if you don’t play, and this is exactly the kind of thing Mom will want to do when she comes. So. I did it.
I ordered a glass of wine from the older man behind the counter, in an apron and turquoise t-shirt emblazoned with “COACH” on the back. And I sat down and watched. The generations at the tables in front owned the joint. They talked and got up to sweep, and ducked behind the counter to the beer taps, and knew everyone who passed. A family came in with a kid, maybe three. He got an ice cream cup and they sat. When they went to leave, Mrs. Proprietor kissed his little cheeks, village-style.
In addition to my 39 words, I have three phrases, learned in this order: “I’m a vegan,” “I’m sorry,” and a new one, last night. Ci Vediamo. Until next time. I said it when I left, and I meant it.
And then victor spoils. For going out, for really living where you live, for trying — the view from my favorite pizza place last night was three couples, in tank tops and cutoffs, ballroom dancing in a parking lot, the hatchback of a car open to hear the stereo.
You don’t ask why. You just appreciate the happening.
Walking home down the dirt path, a fruit stand materialized. It’s never been there before, and now my words were all warmed up — I was getting fruit. It’s sitting in my kitchen now, a — literally — ten pound melon, carried home like a heavy prize for facing the challenge really, really close to home.
Because Ci Vediamo. It is home. And I’ll see you next time.
Through a complicated system of wires, pulleys, and walkie talkies, you can make Top 40 radio from a patio chair beside the pool.
But I would love this job even if this view was a mud puddle.
Sure, you CAN take your 120 seconds of live air and find a perfectly well-spoken adult to have an easy and tidy interview with about the subject du jour…what where’s the high dive in that?
Drag three 10-year-old boys out of the deep end and open up your mic. And ask them for the Water Slide Report. It’s almost like traffic and weather, right?
“So how fast is the slide moving today?”
“Oh, I’d say it’s about 400 miles per hour.”
“Really? That’s almost the speed of light. We have a very casual relationship with math and science here on the Morning Zoo.”
And then you talk techno music, summer vacation, and stick some temporary tattoos on them before turning them loose again.
One of their buddies will walk into the pool and say, “DUDE. I just heard you on the RADIO.”
Triple Lindy, friends. Triple Lindy.