My internet service called me and basically asked: So you moved and discontinued service? Where is our stuff? And I was like “it’s at home, I’ve been sick in the hospital.” And then this lady (who sounded like an old lady with a bible), said “you do sound awful, I can tell you’re really very sick.” So now I’m concerned that I have a terrible frog voice and I sound like a really very sick frog person. I guess I will have to drink more tea with lemon juice and suck on ricolas.
This happened after a visit by Taz the schnauzer therapy dog and her owner Marilyn, who assure me that I look very tired and OHMIGOD, am I not very tired? Because I sure do look exhausted today.
What the fuck. Am I dying? Are the nurses poisoning me?
I’ve been reading a book on the history of witchcraft and I think all the nurses are wondering now if may be a witch and if I might curse them with one of my crystals.
What is a witch? Most people think a witch is a lady with a wart on her nose riding a broomstick and cackling. Or maybe they think about voodoo, crystals, black cats, tarot cards, Wiccan college students dancing naked in meadows and Satanists with black lipstick. More accurately and less Hollywood engaging, a witch is a sorcerer who for some historians also worships the Devil (I do not worship the Devil), and for others practices good magic and believes in gods and goddesses and the spirit of the Universe. A modern witch usually has to deal with people calling her silly and trite. A modern witch may not be burned at the stake or thrown in a lake to drown or lose their head, but she will probably face ridicule several times in her life. So she keeps it mostly to herself and people who don’t offend her.
When I was barely old enough to tie my shoes my Nana Eunice started saturating my head with stories about witches so I figured I, too, was a witch. And I’ve never really shaken the idea. My psychic mind doesn’t make everything perfect but it does give me insight, and I could ignore it or continue to explore it. I’m guessing Taos will be a good place to do that. A hospital room, not so much.
My marriage still feels fragile (Charley is “sick” and missing work again, is Charley ever going to get it together?) maybe I should perform some witch spell for growing up? For enduring love? I apparently look and sound like a weak, invalid, Hospice patient so maybe I need some spells for health? But without my stash of herbs, incense and candles I’m not sure what I can do; there has to be something. I’ll need substitutes and I’m not sure Johnson&Johnson travel shampoos, saltine crackers, Sprite or anything else easily procurable in the hospital are going to be the answers.
“KEEEEEEMMMMMSSS,” Charley has found a nickname that neither relates to my name, my normal nickname (Cloudy) or makes sense, but at least it entertains him. “You are a witch. You are my witch.”
There are many types of people in the world (those who fight, those who flight, those who talk, those who walk, those who nap, those who don’t nap, etc.), but for this particular issue I’m going to address, there are only two: people who will go with the flow when there is a problem, (thus making it work for them as best as possible), and then people who will notice problems and try to fix them on a daily basis. I am in the latter group of people. Since I’ve been here I mentioned problems with my Tums dosage, the room temperature, the showerhead, the cafeteria forgetting condiments, the protocol for giving me medication and testing vitals separately in the middle of the night, and problems with the volunteer department spacing on the book cart. Today I am trying to watch one of my favorite movies on the DVD player and without a remote and only a stop and start button on the box, there is no way to play the movie. Most movies work around this by making “Play Movie” the first option on the menu. But not “Snatch”. You have to press play twice to get to a menu that asks you to select between screen sizes. I call a nurse and she calls maintenance and it’s the same guy who fixed my showerhead and he looks like I just took his happy meal. By the way, there are two types of people who respond to “fixers” like me: those who are grateful for my probing, and those who are personally offended by my gall to rock the boat over pond weeds.
The maintenance man is shaking his head at my pond weeds but since it’s his job, he’s out searching for a remote or a box with more options than “start”, and I’ve settled with “R.I.P.D.” In this movie from 2013, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are ghosts working under a legendary police force to find monstrous evil spirits disguised as ordinary people on earth.
Roger Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes hated this movie, but for mindless entertainment it’s pretty entertaining. It’s based on a Dark Horse comic book and weirdly humorous. People compare it to “Men in Black” but I’m more intrigued by this afterlife profession. What could our afterlives really be like if not just a reincarnation into another form? A natural skeptic, I also am naturally skeptical of my own skepticism and believe witches and ghosts are very real and always present. And my intuition take this side everytime. With that in mind grandma Annie is watching over Charley in Taos and me in this hospital. With that in mind I don’t know my own strength. Also, I love to think of Jeff Bridges’s ghost looking like a sexy woman in human form. What would I be in a second human form? What would you be? Is this the alter-ego? The ultimate cosplay?
My daydreams are in full session and I’m unprepared when I go to the hall kitchen for Sprite and run into a short lady with a broom. “Oh! you’re so big.” It’s the sweet Nepalese girl who cleans the floors and takes out the trash. She’s starting to say it every time I see her and while she probably doesn’t mean anything by it, after the cashier and the Yorkie owner and every other person who has made a point of telling me I am having a big baby or all baby or oh so big, I am over it.
“I know I’m big.”
“You’re so big.”
“You know what, stop! that’s annoying! I know I’m big already! I don’t need you to tell me!”
“Oh, sorry.” She looks crestfallen. I don’t care. My mad level is up. I close the door on her without my Sprite, and swim laps around my room in a pool of adrenaline. The second nurse leader of the day comes in a minute later with a clipboard, an hour after the first nurse leader came with a clipboard, and asks “how are you doing?”
“How am I doing?” Is that all they know how to say? “I’m still good. Colleen came in and took care of all my problems.” I am giving her the stink eye.
This “mad level” is a real thing. Whatever you call it, (my father’s short fuse, my grandfather’s Irish curse, witchery), it was the reason I usually said the worst thing at the worst time arguing with loved ones and authority figures. It wasn’t that I had a temper, it was that I kept it tucked quietly away (silently cursing things) and it would just blow like a tea kettle when everything else seemed relatively tranquil. And I didn’t exactly blow up at the Nepalese lady or nurse leader, but my body language had noticeably changed, my vibe had slapped them in the face, and I could see in their eyes I had exposed my Mr. Hyde.
Dear Ordinary People of the World With Tame Emotional Responses and Tepid Passions,
I have been in this hospital for too long to just smile and nod at everything. I am not so big, I am pregnant, and a visit from two or more nurse leaders in one day is ridiculous. Leave me alone or I will curse you,
Your Impatient Patient Cloudy