Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This isn’t really where I wanted to be right now. I didn’t want to be explaining that I haven’t written 750 words for 2 days, but that’s fine. It will have to be. My time machine has a broken confabulator. Anyway, Sunday afternoon saw Mary attacked by a fine case of the screaming meemies-mood swing, escorted by a skull-crushing headache and well on her way being carried off to Emotional Valhalla, where calm, hope and happy thoughts go to die horribly. Now is forgotten, or never experienced and strange things occur. I ended up in the ER with one of my headaches; ick.

So, Monday and Tuesday were a complete wash. I can’t even remember it. I know I folded laundry… and did some other stuff. Well, on to Tuesday; yesterday. Oh, yeah, I left my phone in the ER on Sunday, so Tuesday turned into a kind of “Iliad and the Odyssey,” a real two-fer, if there ever was one.

Yesterday, I had to leave the house by 10 A. M. to start my journey to my primary care doctor’s appointment at 12:30 P.M. I actually made it out the door to the bus stop at the exact time. It takes me a while to get ready and I have to be very methodical; cane, dark glasses, 7 tubes of lib balm, 80 cinnamon discs, bus pass, a pen, and my phone. Except I don’t HAVE my phone, because dimbulb left it in the ER waiting room. That’s why I have to act out the “Iliad and the Odyssey,” Redux. I decide to take my brand-new journal for my WIP, per Andie-Roo. Thanks, my dear friend. The journal is a new thing. I’ve avoided this like the plague, but my new friend, Ryan King, a very awesome writer suggested it; I love how he uses his journal. Thanks Ryan.

Since I’ve decided I’m going to try to self-publish some of my derangements in an orderly fashion, I figure a journal is in order, so JC bought me a spiral-bound 5-section, wide-ruled notebook. I have, very professionally, I might add, added post-it labels, “Dads and Moms,” “Weekly” and the ever-popular “Daily.” The first section is just ad-hoc, for the “inspiration.” This is what I have so far: ”Does this pen write consistently,” about 5 million times all over the page. Some of it looks dribbly, some of it skippy. Those pens failed the audition and went to pen heaven. Beneath all of that lies, “Add moms to dad blog,” the immortal “book” and “1 early life,” “2 music,” “3 computers,” “4 homeless.” Since I’m no longer homeless, I have to think up a number 5. I thought of “4 homeless and beyond,” but that just sounds like I went to my death, so I think I’ll think more prosaically. Maybe “4 homeless and then homeful.” Nope.

A must-read for any discerning bibliophile. Well, my journal had a nice ride over the thousands of miles we covered yesterday. I grabbed my “briefcase,” (aka FEDEX mailer) with all my current medical shit in it, a couple packs of crackers for the journey, water bottle and then discovered that I didn’t have 12 hands. So, I dumped all this shit into my back pack and hoisted it up onto my back. I gave JC a kiss and said I’d see him in about April, of 2016.

My doctor walked into the room looking like Shiva Destroyer of Worlds. She is a lovely woman and is from India. She also keeps up on what’s going on with her patients and she is part of the TGH network, where I visited the Neurology specialty clinic last Thursday. She and I put our heads together and came up with this: she has ordered the blood work. We both know there’s nothing wrong with my thyroid. We both know my bipolarity is under control. We both know blah-blah-blah. I am to go back to that Neurology clinic AFTER the blood work results are in; there is another doctor there who is a Movement Disorder Specialist, whom I should see. Good deal there. I go back to see her in a month. Yay.

I felt better and couldn’t wait to resume my trek. I got out to the patient waiting room. I’ve lost another 2 lbs. and am down to an even 100. My pants were falling down and I’m trying to get into my back pack. I feel this breeze, and I realize to my horror, that I’m mooning the waiting room. I hoist up my pants, saying “Shit, now everyone’s going to know that Mary has a crack problem.” There’s a guy standing next to me and he’s trying to “sign” one of those little electronic gizmos. This idiot is trying to “erase” his signature because he fucked it up. He says, “Oh, I made a mistake.” The nurse says, “everyone does it; it’s okay.” I pop up with my “crack” remark and then say, “Hey guy, you aren’t going to be graded on penmanship.” He looks at me and says, “I bet you got U’s in Citizenship all the time, too.” Asshole.

Right now, it’s after 2 P. M. I’ve been gone since 10 A. M. I still have to go south to TGH to the Security Office to get my phone; someone did turn it in when I left it in the ER waiting room on Sunday. I’m at the 30th Street Clinic which, as the crow flies, is really about 4 miles from where I live. It took me a little over 2 hours to get here. Remember that 1 minute in human life is like 7 bus years. You have to have left the house in 1394 B.C. to get to any appointment on time. Expect to return home in a casket, sometime in the 40th century.

So, I go out to wait for the bus. TGH has helpfully installed giant blue signs in line of sight between where you might be able to see actual bus activity and comfortably wait in the bus shelter, so of course, I have to stand out in the sun. If I don’t, I know the fucker is going to race by here at 90 miles an hour and never even slow down, so he can keep to his already hopelessly fucked-up schedule. I’ll fix his little blue bus wagon; I lurk out in plain view.

Oh. My. God! That guy is actually here and on time! He slows down and makes the bus kneel! I don’t have to climb Mt. Everest! Yay! I run back to about the 2nd or 3rd row. It’s pretty empty, so that’s nice. I sit down in relief; onward to Marion Transit Center to catch a bus to the hospital. “…AND ALL THAT’S HOLY AND GOD AND JESUS CHRIST AND FLEW UP INTO HEAVEN. YES SIR, WELL SHE HAD ALL THAT MONEY AND SHE WAS GOING TO START HER OWN CHURCH AND I TOLD HER SHE WAS WRONG, AND BLAH-BLAH, LA-DE-DA-DE-DA-DE-DA” Ten minutes of this. I’m not hearing another thing. It’s behind me and it’s incessant. I finally kind of half-stand and turn and look back and shout, ‘WHY THE HELL ARE YOU BOTHERING WITH A PHONE?” Silence. I turn and sit. I would never, ever have done that before I got sick. I would have sat there and endured it. No more. As I sit back down, this nice looking young man catches my eye, and he just grins.

So, here we are at the mixing bowl of hysteria that is the Marion Transfer Center, downtown Tampa, Florida. This is the central hub of HARTline, municipal travel. I need to hop off the number 18 and catch the number 19 bus. The hysteria is not from the passengers. No, no, dear hearts. The hysteria comes from the buses themselves, or rather the bus drivers. Coming into and going out of the Marion Transfer Center is the next best thing to the Wheel-O-Death, or a scary carnival ride. I was able to go out to TGH and get my phone safely and get back safely.

Getting in and out of MTC is something else. Buses screech and roar. Bus ass-ends heave into view and out of view so quickly, you’re not sure you didn’t hallucinate them. They perform these ballets of giants better left to whales in oceans. Once begun, you’re certain you are headed for a fiery collision, only to experience a cheery wave and a revving engine. Once we left the center, heading north to home on the famous Nebraska Avenue, number 2 bus, motto: “where every crazy fucker ends up, sooner or later,” we found ourselves at a red light next to the number 19 bus.

I began to fantasize about HARTline Bus NASCAR, which would be so fucking awesome, I almost have a seizure thinking about it. At first, I was thinking we could just paint the buses like they do in real NASCAR, but that was just lame-sauce. What we could do, to spice it up, is have the inhabitants in each area ride the buses. Number 2 would so win, because this is truly Crazy Fucker land. Number 32 might give us a run because that’s Psychiatrist’s Row, but they have a disadvantage; St. Joe’s Hospital. Sick people. Same for number 19. Too many sick people. You still have to have a certain amount of people with canes and blind folks; but that can be sneaky; witness me. Wheelchair people, too. It hurts to get your shin rammed into by someone in a wheelchair. 

So, you have to have some of them on all buses; it'll be in HARTline Bus NASCAR official rules. See, here’s how my NASCAR works. HARTline buses and "riders" drive around the track, like real NASCAR, which would be cool, because these things are tippy. But, here’s the fun part. To score, you have intervals, where the “riders,” who have to live on the bus line, get out and beat the hell out of the other “riders.” Just think of the mayhem. Last rider standing wins. What do you think?

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