This little ditty was one of several forwarded to me by a
classmate of mine. Most of them were very funny. This one
was downright amazing - not quite a candidate for the Darwin
Awards. Thanks Evelyn!
> I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an
airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your
baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If
it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled
knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
Makes you wonder who's watching the watchers.
|OK - I admit it. Truth is,
I don't do all of my writing. Friday ghost writes for
me. He's nocturnal, so he churns out a lot of stuff while
I'm sleeping. Does a very good job, too. [click the pix
- they get bigger]
I have a friend who signs all of his messages
"Matutinally yours." I'd never known what it meant. Since
he's even more into words than I am, I figured it was a real
word. I Finally looked the word up, and found it has to do
with morning, as in "He took his matutinal
walk." Guess he's an early riser.
I've been home all day, getting over whatever got its grips
on me as the weekend began. As soon as I developed a cough,
I started watching the symptoms. No fever, no muscle aches...
I'm the kind to keep track of my symptoms anyway, but these
days it takes on a greater signficance.
When I spoke to my mom on Saturday, I told her I was a little
under the weather. "Be careful" is all she said, implying
how the early stages of an anthrax case looks a lot like flu
- we'd both seen the same quietly hysterical news broadcasts
- and nothing more needed to be said. It's not a conversation
we'd have had a year ago.
I don't know what the book Love in the Time of Cholera
is really about, but I take it as a an acknowledgment
of how love is more palpable in such times. I imagine there
have been many memoirs written in times of plague and times
of war, but seldom are the two combined. We live our lives
more intensely, when we are in touch with the possibility
of the end.
We took Friday to the vet twice this weekend. He's on more
Twice a day, we squirt a sticky syrup and crush half a capsule
of powder into a small bolus of food that he eats quickly,
then we give him more food, watered down, so that he gets
more liquids. He doesn't seem to be drinking much, even though
we got him this fancy pet fountain that cats are supposed
to be attracted to.
But the worst part is our other ritual - administering an
i.v. of Ringer's Lactated solution. How do you give a cat
an i.v.? You insert a needle into the little pouch of flesh
between their shoulders -- that same flap of skin that their
mothers used to carry them by when they were kittens. Friday's
actually pretty good about taking the i.v. at first. After
a while, though, he starts to get uncomfortable. He's never
been a lap cat in the first place, so keeping him still becomes
an impossiblity after a certain point.
Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom that says animals aren't
as sophisticated as humans. I look into Friday's eyes, and
I sense a presence, a personality. I know when I knick a blood
vessel, he experiences pain. Strange as it might sound, there
was a time when the medical profession subscribed to the notion
that black slaves could not feel pain. Who's to say that Friday
doesn't have thought? Who's to say he doesn't remember things?
When we finished giving him his i.v. this morning, he steered
clear of Denise, who'd held him on her lap and inserted the
The experience makes me realize how little I've known of
what happens to you when you're called upon to care for a
loved one, even though many people in my family have needed
significant care. My great grandmother, my uncle, and now
my grandmother, have all required special care. In all of
those situations, I've been more of a witness than a provider.
My parents have been through so much, and they've said very
little about it. 77
The experience also puts me in touch with how important the
quality of life is. The condition threatens Friday's colon
and his kidneys. If they become damaged, his life and ours
will change dramatically. Sometimes, Friday tilts his head
up and looks back at me over his shoulders. Tonight he did
that, and let out a soft, high-pitched "ow" - it wasn't even
a full "meow." I couldn't tell if it was a question, or a
The planes have been flying by one after the other tonight.
After hearing about the plane that was diverted to Dulles,
the sight of them is even more creepy than usual.
Speaking of creepy, I had another dream this morning.
The setting was a park near a river. It was a bright, sunny
day. Lots of people were around, and I was stretched out
on a kind of lawn chair. I was talking to someone familiar,
although I couldn't tell you who it was. We were talking
about the foot bridge that crossed the river, marveling
at the ironwork, and the long cement slabs that formed a
subtle arching stairway across the water.
In the background, I heard noises, like fireworks. I turned
toward the river, and saw a small boat with a cannon on
its deck, cruising down the center of the water. It was
firing. People started running. For some reason I stayed
in my place, until I felt a splash. Now, the boat was too
close for comfort.
I heard another shot, and looked up to see two cannon balls
arcing through the air. It was like standing in center field
and seeing two softballs hit high and deep. I recoginized
the trajectory, then I realized they were coming right at
me. I started to run, but I wasn't quite sure where the
second one would hit - I might run right into its path.
The balls were dropping from the sky now, completing their
arc, closing on me. That's when I woke up.
The Attorney General talked tonight about trusting the maturity
and the wisdom of the American People to handle the latest
alert of a credible threat... Or, did he say intelligence...
I thought about how the news people insist on "dumbing-down"
They talk about cutaneous anthrax, but they usually insert
the phrase "skin anthrax" immediately afterward. At least
they use the term. They can't seem to bring themselves to
say "pulmonary anthrax" - they don't even say "lung anthrax."
They say "the inhaled form of anthrax" or "inhaled anthrax"
or more laughable, "inhalational anthrax." I don't even think
is a word. Then, there's the thing about "bacteria" - it's
the plural form of the word "bacterium." Many of the newscasters
are getting it wrong, using "is" where they should be using