About me

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It was good while it lasted

So I stopped the afib medication (Tikosyn) because the cure was worse than the problem, and I lived a glorious four more days without a triple digit heart rate while walking across the room. It was 45 bpm to be sorta precise, and even lower when asleep, which is all below the 50 bpm for which Tikosyn is contraindicated, but that's just an inconvenience when you're a cardiologist looking to fit one more patient in your decision tree.

Dumbass fucker.

I lost a holiday weekend to this nonsense, worked a couple of days, and then I blasted off to Del Rio, Texas, at 4 A.M. for #1 Son's graduation from the USAF's flight school. The flights there were bumpy, and I opened the barf bag on the last flight, though I never used it, which is a good thing because I needed two and I held only one. You see the impending eruption was going to be bidirectional.

Grabbed my bags, spent thirty minutes in the can being sure my belly was calm again, and then I took my rental car for a three-hour tour of southwest Texas. Though I cut the evenings early and started the mornings late, it was still an energy consuming time, and of course I'd do it again, right down to the flight simulator that I took into Mexican territory just because I could before I landed almost safely with a little help from Josh on the throttle. As you might expect, being occupied with the controls prevented further motion sickness, but not to worry as watching the others made up for it.

Let me add that it was a bone dry weekend for me because I didn't want to tempt my fate and have the atrial fibrillation return early. I think I was the only one there toasting with a glass of water.

Then up at 4 again for the return trip. Fewer bumps, but not to worry as my fatigue contributed to the air discomfort as I nodded in and out of a dream state, although I didn't need to grab a bag. Home at 7, and on the couch with a giant smoothie made with assorted frozen fruit by 8 for a little TV. As the smoothie chilled my unsettled tummy, I felt it, that brief motor boat, the sinking feeling of unspecified and unspecific angst. The afib was back, not just as a brief visitor, but as an upclose and personal, and quite unwelcomed, friend.

As my dorm suite mates in 1971 would say: Fuck a duck.



Friday, September 6, 2013

Of all the things I didn't need

So yesterday, I went to the airport, and I did so not for work. Nope, it’s for me, that very rare event in which I step on a plane when I’m not working. I’m headed to Del Rio, the one in Texas, the one on the border with Mexico, the one you probably wouldn't want to visit without some compelling reason such as your #1 Son graduating from the USAF’s flight school and headed out to fly secret stuff on secret missions that if you knew about we’d have to kill you. That kind of compelling reason.

You are correct: I really don’t like being a passenger on a plane anymore.

I’m strolling down the concourse, my tummy full of Starbucks yogurt parfait and a banana, and I turn the corner at my gate. Standing there all buffed and stern is a Marine Honor Guard. Okay, cool, but I’m also confused. I’m also wrong. Again. It turns out that my flight is returning a fallen warrior to his home in Texas.

Now, I have no problem with this, and frankly it’s an honor. It’s also a stark reminder of that one thing this parent, this dad, keeps compartmentalized way off in that far corner with the concrete, uranium-enriched, chain-link, barbed wire, junkyard dog guarded wall. The one with the sign clearly stating to stay the fuck away from me or you’ll be an emotional wreck for days.

I boarded the plane early. It’s Southwest, and I always get EarlyBird boarding because I don’t need to be in the middle seat with my grip stacked under my feet. I walked to the rear of the plane as is my habit, stowed my stuff, and said absently to the attendant as I stepped to the head that I needed some tissues. Without a word or even a look, she handed me her box of tissues. I might have mumbled my thanks.

We departed over thirty minutes late. No one complained. We flew in silence. The Honor Guard and family sat at the front of the plane. We landed in Houston with the usual flight announcements. As we approached the gate fifteen minutes early, the attendant asked us to remain seated until the Honor Guard left the plane. She choked on her words. The plane stopped at the gate as silence hung thick on the plane.

Before the Honor Guard could unbuckle and stand, the fat ass slob of a damned fool four rows ahead of me popped up and started rifling through his crap in the overhead bin. My eyes widened as he continued. The attendant repeated her request to remain seated. His only reaction was the rolling of his overly-entitled multiple chins. Someone from the window seat of the last row on the left side suggested less than mildly “Sit the fuck DOWN!”

He remained standing, rattling through his crap. That someone in the window seat was boiling, and more than ready to assist the jackass with sitting down, likely with several bruises and, if luck held, some broken bones. It would have been so simple, so easy, so quick, though the floor might have been more involved than the seat. 


The flight attendant rose and walked down the aisle and stood by our clueless jackass, silently violating his space until he sat down. She returned to her post sharing a brief glance with me, offering an additional tissue as the large white shipping box was off-loaded from the plane under the watchful eyes of the Honor Guard. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I wonder what it's like to feel that way.

So I was late for a run, what with having tarried with a smoothie, and then I had to take the NCSU route to downtown because the traffic prevented my left turn on Blue Ridge. Fifteen minutes late. I parked in my usual spot. Paid quickly, and hoofed off into the last half mile.

Yes, I park a half mile away from the start so the fast walk can be my warm up. Feets Be old, you know.

I cut the corner and crossed in front of my fave bistro, The Burough, and there at my fave table at my fave bistro, sat a couple, two twenty-something men, corner to corner, hand in hand, eyes melting into eyes. A beautiful sight, but I couldn't pause to admire it. I had to get to Tir Na Nog to meet m'Grace for our downtown run.

About an hour and not quite five miles later, she and I are approaching The Burough looking for dinner. We took a seat inside because all the outdoor seats were taken, and my handsome couple was still at my fave table at my fave bistro. I chose a seat inside by the window that gave me a clear view of the scene.

Time had not passed for them. I doubt they could tell you how long they had been there. I doubt they remembered what they ate, what they drank, what rolled by them in the traffic. They were lost in one another, the vortex about them palpable, real, and not to be shared but surely to be envied.


I wonder what it's like to feel that way.