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i will knock that needle out like a straight ninja. or…not.

16 Sep

So, this past weekend, I unfortunately had to be rushed to the Emergency Room due to a severe allergic reaction. All is well now, thankfully, although the doctors are not entirely sure what caused it. (Do they ever definitively know anything?) So I get to the ER and the fear begins. It’s unavoidable and unfailing. Antsy, heart racing, holding my breath against that weird scent in the air, that Thriller-like waiting room where the other sickies stare at you, greedy for your limbs, the patient check-in people who nearly froth at the mouth at the prospect of either draining you of money or condescendingly asking you if you have insurance, the whole thing. I hate it all. I secretly love the whole we’re-going-to-take-care-of-you vibe, but that’s better served within the cushy environs of a four-star hotel, not County General. Anyway. As a result of my steadily swelling tongue (what a terrifying feeling, by the way) and other allergy-related factors, I was quickly processed, taken to a bed, and my vitals were checked. After the doctor did her thing, she informed me, with a sad shaking of her head, that the nurse would come back in and give me medication through an IV. I’m still trying to imagine exactly how my face looked, because upon seeing my expression, she laughed and said, “never mind, never mind! We’ll just give you a shot in the arm.” So, replacing torture with…another brand of torture?  

I took a deep breath, sighed, and said ok, as if my reply meant anything. I was getting that shot whether I wanted it (hardly) or not (totally). Really, what was I going to do? I had no choice but to await my punishment for getting ill. (It’s all perspective, isn’t it?) Years ago, when I was promised a shot, my mother and father watched bemusedly as I weakly attempted to roll off the hospital bed and escape. Not now. My tongue was about to escape the confines of my mouth. I needed that shot. And so I closed my eyes and waited. When the nurse returned, she went to work. She pulled out the syringe. I nearly fainted, then busied myself with taking off my sweater to prepare my arm.

“Oh, no, hon. This shot isn’t going in your arm.”

Does this nurse know what the doctor told me? What kind of crazy communication skills are going on in this hospital? Why promise me a shot in the arm, which isn’t as bad as a shot anywhere else? Note to self: check options for malpractice suits. “Wh-wh-where is it going?”

“Either in your thigh or in your derriere. We need it to go into a muscle.”

I lifted up my dress and pointed toward my thigh, almost screaming that she was going nowhere near my poor tush.

That needle hurt like mad. I literally limped out of the room some time later, my thigh on all kinds of fire. Terrible, just terrible.

But people go through worse, which is the real perspective of the matter. Despite wanting to knock that needle out of her hand and jumping through some sort of plate-glass window to get out of the situation, I had to keep that in mind: so many people, a number of them close to me, have gone through much worse. A painful needle in the thigh was manageable, even though I wondered, mid-wince, whether she put some kind of Terminator-like solvent in me or something. Seriously, that stuff was crucially painful. But in the end, the symptoms abated, I slept the rest of the day away, and I was ok.

Moral of the story: Don’t get allergies?

Actual Moral: acquire ninja skills.

I’m Well Aware of what’s Going on, Thank You.

4 Apr

Sadly, I’m one of those people. You know those people. They pretend to be entirely oblivious of what’s going on around them, feigning confusion, blinking innocently all the while. Oblivion is rare, though–I’m usually lucid and all too aware of what’s happening. In the end, though, I just really enjoy blending in. I like being invisible, carefully listening, not too obvious. Not sure why. Perhaps it’s because of the fantasy that one day, “Law and Order” types will show up and need my help. And yes, I will have seen everything.

I heard something quite interesting yesterday. First off, everyone needs validation. It keeps them going. Don’t care who you are – most normal people like hearing that they’re all right, that they matter in some way. My sis informed me that she met a former college professor the other day at a book reading. Anywho, according to her, he said that he actually read some of my work in the past. (Backstory: I didn’t take any classes with said professor, but I did take classes and subsequently became obsessed with his wonderful wife, who was/is a writer extraordinare in her own right and was/is one amaaazing teacher). I was like, wha? He read some of my work? Apparently, my professor showed him some of my stuff. Anyway, long, long story short, he told my sis to let me know that I should keep writing, and that he saw “light” in my writing.

I was a bit flabbergasted by that one. Light? Light? What a lovely thing to say, really. What a lovely, interesting thing to say. I was a bit moved by that one. In truth, I was positively in love with poetry and prose in those days, and maybe that came through in my work. I need to find that love again. I really do.

The countdown to the New Kids on the Block reunion tour begins today. From now on (well, I started this yesterday) until whenever they start showing up in an area near me, each post label will bear a hit song from NKOTB. And there are so many hits to choose from, believe you me.



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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