Monday, December 22, 2008

Hello Gentle Readers

This month is just slipping by me like my wheels trying to get out of my frozen parking space. I've hardly had any energy or time to post silly youtube videos let alone sit down and think about something interesting to pull out, scan and post... However, I thought I'd do a post catching you up on some odds and ends in my life. 

I really should write some observations everyday. I've begun trying to write my dreams down. I did it pretty regularly for a while, when I could pull myself out of bed to write something half asleep. It's fun and a little scary to read them later when I have no remembrance of the dream. For example: 

I had this dream that I was with Burguss Meredeth. He was giving people tattoos and drilling holes into people’s bodies. He gave me an elaborate tattoo on my right arm. It filled up my whole arm and the images were so dense that I couldn't make them out. 

He then wanted to drill 20 holes in my body. I stopped him at the last minute and he started to do it to someone else. I was horrified and had to walk away. 

The mind is a spooky thing. 

This last week has been exhausting. Not because of Christmas. I've not gotten anybody anything. Even shopping on-line seems like a chore. My office is moving to a new space and I've been in charge of basically anything that plugs in; so on top of my usual duties I've had lots of dealings with Networking people and American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) workmen. (I've tried to talk my boss into going with an all telegraph office to save money on phones.) I've nothing to say about this whole process of moving. Just typing this paragraph has bored me, so I can't imagine what it's like for people to read it. 

This week I also had the dreaded phone call in the middle of the night. My parents are now in their 80s and my mother is pretty much bedridden. While in the deepest of sleeps, with two blankets, a patchwork quilt and Dinah, my cat, snuggled sleeping on my leg, the phone rang. After four rings I realized I was really hearing the phone ring and I wasn't dreaming. I laid there thinking it must be a wrong number, but knowing that something was wrong. I picked up the phone too late, and then tried to figure out with the caller ID who called. Before I could it rang again. My father sounding scared said that his heart was racing and he wanted me to come pick him up and take him to the emergency room. I told him to call an ambulance because it would take me at least an hour to drive to his house.  He protested saying he didn't want them to take him to some hospital that he didn't know.  I told him to calm down and to call my sister; I would be there as soon as I could. I threw on some clothes and crawled into my freezing, freezing car. It was about 10 degrees . 

It was creepy driving on the empty Lake Shore Drive wondering what I was going to find on the other end of the highway. I listened to an old radio show from 1939 of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre production of some 1920's melodrama about two men and a woman who crash land in a faraway Indian country where the king decides to put them to death to revenge the death of his brothers who were about to be hanged by the British. I should have had something cheerier on, but it seemed fitting to listen as the heroine said she would rather die than be the king's "wife". The roads were just icy and awful, and the few cars that were out were whipping by me at 80 miles an hour. It's funny how 3:30 in the morning seems different when you are up all night rather than when you just get up. 

I got to my parent's home and went into their living room. My sister was sitting on the couch and she said as I walked in, "He says he's fine now and he doesn't want to go anywhere..." She offered gratefully to stay and take him to his regular doctor later on that morning. I sat for a while asking, "Well what should I do...?" Should I stay? Should I go home? Should I go to the gym? Shopping? They were predicting a huge storm that evening. I said after twenty minutes of making sure he was o.k. and watching the Weather Channel that I was leaving. My sister said, "Let's just consider this a dry run..." 

I drove home barely keeping my eyes open. I had gone to bed at 12:30 the night before so I was only going on a few hours sleep. Orson Welles voice drone on as he threatened to take the young heroine for either his wife or "his slave". As I drove back up Lake Shore Drive at a little after five in the morning, two young women jogged next to me along the lakeside. I just don't understand where that dedication to physical fitness comes from. Not only to get up early, but to go outside and run in sub-freezing weather, along a large choppy body of water. I vowed to not complain when the steam was too hot in the sauna at my gym again. 

I pulled back into my neighborhood and drove up the street that runs past Blagojevich's house. In the distance a huge bright light was in the sky. I thought it was the moon, but it was an enormous tower on top of the ABC News van. It looked like the star of Bethlehem. I don't know what was going on, but the press was out in force. Back in my warm apartment, the cat looking curiously at me, I crawled back into bed. It was 6:30 in the morning; I could sleep for at least an hour. Suddenly I heard the whoosh-whoosh of the helicopters hovering overhead. I looked out my window and watched as they floated around the neighborhood looking for a glimpse of the governor jogging in the frozen streets and floated off to sleep.

I've been exhausted ever since. Not to mention two more trips there to take my father to a couple doctor's appointments. Plus the cold has been awful. I hope it's warm wherever you are... It's been just painfully cold. In a way I like it a lot when it's like this, it's so bracing; and introspective. But then the uncontrollable shaking happens and I just want to be warm. 

So thanks for indulging me in a daily diary entry. Maybe I'll do more. They are a bit cathartic. Stay warm... 

Johnny C...


Frankie said...

I lost my mom 15 years ago. She was young, 59. Dad passed in May at 81. It is a hard process to watch our parents age. It warms my heart to see you being there for your parents, though. My brother only showed up for one weekend when Dad was in intensive care and Dad didn't remember him even being there. My Dad confided in me how hurt he was. It broke my heart.

Your dream was freaky. I have many that are so weird I wouldn't even share them.

Linda said...

Hi Johnny. I check your blog about twice a week because I love to see what you post, but most of all I enjoy your commentary and thoughts! In fact, I wish you would write more about your experiences! Your dream is hysterically funny and some shrink would probably have a field day with it, especially the 20 holes part. When I was a little girl, I was quite chubby and I had this dream that, as I was walking across this bridge, a huge whale swam up to me and started giving me lollipops. In my child's mind, I decided that this is why I was fat! I also admire you for taking such good care of your parents. It was great fun to see your Thanksgiving video and read your comments. And, I have to laugh at your no shopping! I knit presents for all of my friends and family, so my 'shopping' is done by Thanksgiving! OK, before I start sounding like one of those ladies from Women's Household, may I wish you a wonderful holiday season!!!