Back in late December, I pondered my usual long weekend augmented by the MLK holiday. Martin and I nearly share a birthday.
Where to go? What to do? Palm Springs? Fort Lauderdale? Augusta? Probably not Wilmington again. I settled on Myrtle Beach so I could revisit Huntington Beach State Park, Brookgreen Garden, and, maybe, Ripley's Aquarium.
However, I had a bad feeling about the trip, and I decided to stay home. That feeling is always right, no matter what the ex has, and has had, to say about it. She liked her empirical evidence. No matter as now I muddle along without the council of women.
So here comes the second of January with it's early morning news that my friend has died in the early morning. CNS lymphoma. Fortunately, I had already planned to work from home for two days. That gave me time to build the facade.
That event pushed me over the edge, and I booked four nights at the Myrtle Beach Hampton. It would be an easy drive with plenty of time to process a lot of deep thinking. There was even a balcony.
I shuffled work, and pushed several activities ahead so the impact of my long weekend would be minimal at work. I scheduled fasting blood work for the morning I would leave. I scheduled the dentist for the day before.
I did not schedule the overnight ballooning of the small and innocuous bump on my tummy into a huge festering mass resembling Krakatoa that would require slicing wide open, extreme manipulation, and stuffing with about a half-mile of wicking material. Oh, and the follow-up visit two days later.
And yes, I was within the 48-hour window that precluded cancellation of my hotel reservation. Fortunately, the person on the phone in Myrtle Beach was sympathetic, and she let me off the hook. She also blessed me, and at this point, I'm willing to accept her offer of divine intervention.
So, here I am in Raleigh with a covered hole in my tum with a wick sticking out. I believe we can write off my Abercrombie and Fitch modelling career. I'll have to be a little more creative in my processing of a friend's death. I'll also need to make a note to listen to that voice a little more.