Friday, April 10, 2009

Random biopsies

Yes, it's me again. I have a little extra time this morning since I worked last night until nine. I've been working over time to increase my income, but that means I don't have a lot of time for writing or posting or much of anything else. Right now, I'm skimming emails and even deleting things unread because I just do not have the time. Too many people wanting/needing my attention and I just don't have it to give. That does not mean, however, that I don't answer my phone or talk to people when I take quick breaks or just need to exercise another part of my brain, the verbal part, that only gets exercised when I yell at idiot doctors. And to think these people are charged with protecting life with their surgical skills. They can barely string two coherent sentences together and those that can end up detailing every single second of a four-hour surgery in minute and excruciating detail. Fun, fun.

Okay, I'm done complaining about work. It puts a roof over my head and keeps the lights and phone and Internet on and it provides the occasional treat, like fresh strawberries and blackberries, but sometimes I wonder whether it's worth it. Like now.

I haven't been able to put in the hours needed to finish the edits on my novel or write the submissions for fast looming deadlines, but at least my nervous energy, born of feeling like I'm chained to my office desk, has resulted in frantic bouts of cleaning in the kitchen. All the scorch marks on my cookware are gone and the refrigerator is getting close to pristine. It's helps that there isn't much food in it to move around so I can get into the corners. The dishes are all clean and put away (gasp!) and the counters are clear. Today I tackle the inside of the microwave with a bowl of water and lemon juice to see if it works and I'll probably do the laundry today after I finished slaving in the transcription mines.

When I talked to Mom last night she told me that Jimmy's youngest daughter, Alex (short for Alexandria like the city in Egypt), is bright and quite serious, very unlike Alisha, her older sister, who is more interested in getting married next year. Alisha is very girly and giggly and, for a time at least, was very into dark poetry full of pain and angst and cutting and suicide. Alex is more like me at her age (12). But I could not dispossess Mom of the idea that you cannot have better than a 4.0 grade point average. You can't be better than perfect. She still insists that Alex's GPA is 4.1 or 4.2. I changed the subject. There is nothing but frustration and madness down the avenues Mom travels in her sharply oblique path to logic.

It's hard to tell the time on weekends, other than by the passage of the sun overhead, because there are no children talking and laughing and grumbling on their way to school. It's a raucous sound, a little mellower than a flock of crows, that bursts full voice through the sounds of the furnace kicking on and my fingers tapping the keyboard, a sound full of life that runs the emotional gamut like a concert pianist practicing scales before launching into Rachmaninoff's crashing crescendos. And it always makes me smile.

For some reason, I'm craving a grilled cheese sandwich with olive tapenade for breakfast this morning, but I'm out of bread and it will take hours before I can mix, knead, proof, rise, shape and bake a loaf. Even pita bread would take time and I need to get a shower and jump back into the surgical fray to wrestle with foreign doctors mangling English while breaking the sound barrier -- and my nerves -- and either chewing gum or eating food while yelling at underlings to check breathing and or to remind them what kind of anesthesia, suture or instrument they left in the patient.

Aah, life in a medium-sized city under pewter skies with an arctic wind whistling through the cracks in the doorway.

That is all. Disperse.

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