|Around the Block
Recall: My DH is ushering the paramedics in but not before tidying up a little bit. Discarded toys on the floor, too many glasses of water and candy wrappers on the living room table. He looks relaxed in his just awakened state. My DS who stayed up with me, isn’t as calm. The paramedics, a man and a woman, both white, find me seated on the leather couch. I am weak from worry. It is the holidays after all, says Allen who is clearly gay and the lead guy in this quick check. Final diagnosis: Indigestion at best, anxiety attack at worse. Allen is now inquiring about the decor and the mirrors by the entrance. He is also clearly interested in my DH more than his patient. The lady who didn’t introduce herself, is taking off the wires from the sticky thingies on my ankles and wrists after monitoring me for a few minutes. “Your heart and blood pressure are looking beautiful.” I wonder about her choice of words. Beautiful blood pressure. Hmmm…odd. I beam a little just the same. “It may even be better than mine!” she says smiling. She did look overweight, and Allen was too, but much slimmer than her. DH and Allen are chatting about feng shui now. He lives in a condo and didn’t have to worry about that, he intimates to DH. TMI, Allen. TMI, I thought.
I am much calmer now having been told my vital signs are “beautiful” and listening both amused and annoyed at Allen. He gives me the option to go with them to the hospital for a fuller check or to see my doctor the soonest possible. I choose the latter and sign the pink release forms that he hands over to me on a brown clipboard. He gives me the standard words of advice: relax, observe, etcetera then goes on to lecture me about my tight pants. I just changed from my frumpy jammies to decent blue jeans just in case I needed to be whisked away. “Wear something more comfortable, Cathreen. Sweat pants or pajamas. Your jeans are way too tight.” I think he just told me I was way too fat in so many words. He goes back to chatting up my DH about the wooden horse by the door now. We say our thanks and goodbyes. I walk up the stairs, one slow step in front of the other with my DH and DS behind me.
The nine-out-of-ten on the Worry Wart Scale me. I dared my DH to be honest during our after-dinner couple time on the couch last night. “So you think I’m a worrier? On a scale of 1 to 10, where am I?” He didn’t even skip a beat. “Nine.” NINE. That’s almost a perfect 10, I thought. “Oh, a bump. Could it be cancer…” He’s mimicking me now. “Oh, my hands are pale…” and he looks anxiously at his hands like I do when I don’t feel like myself and does short, deep breaths. We both laugh. His in amusement. Me in more worry. I’m a 9. Damn. And I thought I was the calm one. But then again, that’s his opinion.
This brings me back to my University years in Diliman when Cynthia, my friend from freshman year in HRA school tells me the same thing while we are on the Ikot jeep to our next class. I was sharing something I don’t even remember anymore. “Chiquita, you are such a worry wart.” Probinsiyana me didn’t even know what “worry wart” meant. She was laughing when she said this so I thought it was a joke. I think I laughed along with her. Just going along. I did a lot of these going alongs when I was younger.
I am both my best accomplishment and my greatest failure. I love with all my arms, hands, fingers, my very breath and then I hate with all my entrails, loins, blood boiling. Overflowing. I see everything and nothing. I walk my morning walks for days, weeks, giving and sharing with my all my heart and then one day I am comatose on the coach, in hiding, eyes closed to the shimmering, twinkling light of the Christmas tree. I stay this way for too many hours, withdrawn into this shell of emptiness. Homesickness.
|Free Flight/Lamp Light