My new favorite writer, David Sedaris, has a whole audio book dedicated to bits and pieces from his journal/diary that he reads from at book signings and carnigie meeting halls. Thought I should share some of mine from my previous life as a happily married woman in the city of Escondido, CA. Please be forewarned that the pieces need editing. I also have a feeling i could probably come up with better, funnier, longer posts out of them if given more time than the free-90 minutes-internet usage allowed by Seattle Public Library.
Still.. so.. here goes.
Is barking a dog’s way of asking to get to know you?!
There is a dog that lives in one of the houses i gotta walk by when going to Barnes & noble in my “bozene” days. I’ve started referring to him, when i can be bothered to remember he exists, as “Bartolomew Being”, which is the name of a terrier that belonged to Stephanie Being, who also “biteth like a serpent”, in the book “The Code of the Woosters”. So everytime i passed by, this other Being runs upto the “biret attir” that separates us and demands for blood or surrender in no uncertain barks. This morning, being sunday & cloudy, i decided to walk to work. When I approached the atir, I saw my four legged friend run upto the “birret atir” he always runs to when a stranger approacheth. At seeing me, however, instead of being the quarellsome self he used to exhibit four months ago, he seems to change his mind. He stared at me “zeleg lale gize”, in that most almost-human look dogs have, and retired to civil life.
Men vs. Cigarettes: Who is your buddy?
If you have taken the time to ponder over it, the confidence with which a packet of tobacco holds its self is mind boggling. It’s the most understanding, accepting, open-minded lover you can come up with. Unlike that boyfriend whose brain is full of a philosophy he has no intention of walking-the-walk wtih and a tongue that neither dies nor goes to sleep [like some goddamn hell-dwelling worm], Tobacco tells you it’s bad for you. Contains “carbon monoxide”, it says, which is both addictive and harmful to your health, drawing you nearer to the grave each time you breathed it in, and breathed it out. Unlike a man who leads you on while “exploring” his “options” before settling with the first air-headed bimbo that comes his way, cigarettes makes sure you were well informed before “getting into it”. It’s bad for you if you are pregnant, a child, somebody who likes to reduce risks to their health. It’s bad for you, in short, if you are alive and like to continue being. Adhere to it’s warnings and you don’t have to pay hundreds in self-help books or at couches of shrinks who ask “how that makes you feel” as if that was a question that can only be meaningfully asked by “professionals”. You can get a gum for less than 5 bucks, or a nicotine-patch that would work its way into ur blood stream and — i guess – make you wanna smoke less. Unfortunately, there is no such remedy for men who eat at the marrow of your youth, and then leave you with a hole in the heart and an inability to see the world, others and urself again the same way.
One silver lining when it comes to men, boyfriends come and go but cigarettes are forever. Well.. till death do you part, anyway.
Health Care: The devil MAYBE in the details
Long after the debate concluded, and the debators went to their respective cozy and insured villas, I have been in a “health-care” state of mind. Cause: I had my first [american] accident last week. Effect: A realization that it isn’t what it appears to be.
It was Tuesday afternoon, outside the break room where the Microwave was stationed, at work. Instead of minding my own business with the “siletam” soup can’s top which has three warnings ( to: 1. Lift tab to rim. 2. Pull up & back slowly. CAUTION: Edges will be sharp); I was found watching an elderly collague [the type who has gotta feed or bully somebody around] throw a fit about [lunch] schedules one of the managers asked her to make sure were adhered to, but not as if her very life depended on it.
And so, yes, i end up slaying my finger as a hero of yore would have “yeabaat gedai”. The finger didn’t completely come off. Hell, the cut didn’t even go all the way. However, it bled like a “genna doro” so inspite of all my attempts to cover it and bury the evidence using wads of napkins, a manager had to be summoned. When you hear how i have to wrap 4 of those thick “yeBirchiQo wereqet” type of papers six times on the wound and the gore stilll kept on soaking them, you can imagine just how “zegnagn” the scene can be to spoiled faints-at-the-sight-of-blood americans and their excitable-by-nature mexican-collagues.
In the end, it was agreed (except for the protesting voice at the background that was mine, saying the english version of “ere ebakachu tata atabzu, dehna adrege beAlcohol aQatiye toothpaste biQebaw wediyaw yidinal”, nobody paid attention to), that i should be rushed to the emergency room of the medical group that handles the company’s workersmans’ health compensation, etcetra thingy.
Where, upon arriving, i was laid in a comfortable sliding bed; had my blood and temperature checked and asked to measure my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 (“One”, i said, still hoping to wiggle out of the mini-operation with the aid of alcohol and bandage). Then had the tip of my finger, which was lying on a side table covered in disinfectant cloth, attended to by a doctor and two male nurses; who just happen to have their birthday fall on the same day and whose birthday cake they later promised to share with me, and having my luncheon plans dashed by an embicility that preceeds understanding, who was i to resist?
And, ofcourse, they cleaned the wound. They soaked it in an anti-something. Cleaned it again. Split to sing the birthday song and cut the birthday cake. I was then given a pinching anesthetic at both sides of my finger, with the really nice doctor who related his Kenya experience with lucid voice asking how i was feeling at every turn. Upon my finger being sufficiently knocked unconcious; I witnessed a part of it sawed back to it’s place by five of the best.
Afterwards, a tetanus shot that didn’t hurt as much as i thought it would was administered, and a drug test where I asked if lighting a tobacco once every other day counts being conducted, I was given both a bag full of cohesive bandage and Non-Adherent sterile pad with strict orders to keep my wound/bandage clean at all times and avoid soaking it in water. [Making taking a shower every day an even suckier task thankyouverymuch].
Then the cake was served by a male [african american] nurse who asked me what kind of Ethiopian dish i’d be cooking him if, say, he was to come to my house [a question you can never answer correctly if, like me, you are rubbed off in the wrong way by a good number of these men and need to be politically correct for a living]. Finally, i was ready to go back to my office to resume work. Which wasn’t easy, with the pulsuating-finger-top making scanning heavy things impossible. Not to mention the interrogations from eager colleagues who wanted to know my initial reaction: “you didn’t cry?!” one asked, “You told the doctor what?”, “You’d have done what to the wound”?! etecetra.
On the final analysis, maybe if the whole place doesn’t have to “madegdeg” at every cut, health care cost could be cut to a size affordable. Just saying.
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