|Thank you this week to Katherine in Texas and Katie in Maryland|
I don't respond. I'm curious why she mentioned it at all, it's only a few pounds. I don't tell her that I only weigh less because I have less muscle than I've ever had before.
I do tell her, once we're both settled in the tiny white examination room, that's it's been frustrating to feel continuously awful when I live such a healthy lifestyle. "It's been tough on me and tough on my marriage- I've only been married four months." She nods her head and waits. "I'm trying- I see a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist, and I mean, I don't even drink alcohol anymore! That's how healthy I am!"
"Oh- then have a beer!" The nurse says, waving her wrist as if to say, well that's an easy fix! "Nothing wrong with that, I drink a beer every day!"
"Oh, it's not by choice," I explain. "I'm allergic to alcohol. Alcohol and chocolate. And fruit."
The nurse widens her eyes and lets her jaw drop, an exaggerated pose of horror. Then she leans in and whispers, conspiratorially, "I would kill myself."
This is, of course, the moment where I should gently inform her that perhaps, with future patients, she might choose her words a bit more delicately, remind her that many people who chronic illnesses do indeed kill themselves, or at least live with the idea as a permanent, morbid fixture in their thoughts. Not me, I'm not that sick. But many.
But I don't. I don't say anything, just study her for a moment and move on. "Well, I've gotten used to the diet. But not being able to exercise when it flairs up, that's what's really tough on me."
"It's a good thing you don't have to exercise," she says, turning back towards the computer.
"What?" I'm missing something. "What do you mean?"
"Well honey, look at you. You're in good shape. For people in good shape, like you? They don't have to exercise. It's not so important."
I lean back, exhale slowly. "I think I should see the doctor now," I say, and close my eyes.
For a moment he looks shy. He traces a finger around the ghostly thin white petals. "You're supposed to feed it an ice cube of water once a week."
I keep the orchid on my bedside table, next to the two succulents we bought to replace the first succulent, which lived outside and melted. We figured two would be happier than one.
In the week that follows, David brings me something new every day. A tiny carton of salted carmel ice cream, a carmel apple. He makes french toast waffles and brings them to me in bed so I can eat them, turn my head, and fall back to sleep.
One day, he drives me out to Hickory Nut Gap Farm so we can visit the pumpkin patch, some inane, little-kid outing I've been wanting to do all season. There was nobody around in the field, so we stopped in at the farm store. It smelled like woodsmoke and roasting meat and cold mornings inside the store, exactly like my house in Vermont. I felt a wave of homesickness wash over me, and then another wave of guilt for feeling homesick. "We'd like to go to the pumpkin patch," Dave announces to the young girl standing behind the counter.
"You don't want to do that," she says. "It costs six bucks per person, and it's not really a pumpkin patch. It's just pumpkins in a field."
So we go outside, and pick a pumpkin from a pile that's been laid out by the shed. A woman approaches and asks if I would take a picture of her with her husband and their toddler, who has red hair and marble blue eyes. David pats my shoulder. After they leave, I take a picture of him and the dog, smiling in a sea of bright orange. I love them so much.
There's a bakery down the street from my house that I've taken to writing in every afternoon. It's busy, and cheerful, almost chaotically loud at times when the great groups of friends that gather around the tables (magically, in the middle of the day, how is is possible to have so many friends in the middle of a week day?) raise their voices to be heard above the hiss of the milk steamer.
It's especially nice to work there when it rains. It's been raining a lot lately, the sky dark and lit with diffused light, the puzzling type of light that doesn't seem to make the world any brighter. The clouds feels very close when it's like that, more like a ceiling than a sky.
I particularly likes that this bakery has stacks of a magazine that currently features an article of mine. I love that I'm simultaneously inside the magazine and watching other people leaf through its pages as I'm waiting to order.
I've been writing a lot, nothing poetic or personal or profound (not that it would be, when I see writers try their damnedest to say something elaborately profound I immediately set the book back on the shelf, most of the time) but articles for work, easy but time consuming.
Well, they're not exactly easy, I shouldn't say that. But they're not impossible either, the way some things feel, which is a good start.
|join us on Instagram @melinadream|
I'm in a happy place, feeling as if finally, my ship is coming in. But, scared at the same time, because one never knows this for sure, but one day at a time. Hoping this is it for me.
As always, everyone- thank you. See ya. Soon.