Monday morning, very early
I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was so tired going to bed that it was hard to imagine that I might wake feeling less pain and exhaustion, although exhaustion is not really the right word. Although I feel sick, sick with a cold that came on me yesterday, I don’t feel as tired now.
Yesterday morning Mary took off very early to join Elaine and the running group. I heard her moving about when she got up but Mary says I was snoring when she stopped by my room to tell me where she was going – she had not heard me snore before and did not want to wake me. So I must have drifted in and out.
She parked her car in a parking lot where the group meets, and without thinking about it Elaine locked the doors – leaving the keys inside. Then she said to Mary, “You do have the keys…?” So the run was punctuated for them both by worries about getting into the car later.
Both of them were feeling not quite fit – the past weeks have been stressful and they haven’t been running regularly. Yesterday’s run was 18 miles, but when they passed Elaine’s apartment at mile ten they hopped the wall. By that time Mary had hurt her knee and was limping. From there they called me to tell me about the car.
Our plan was to get the Auto Club to the car, using my card, to unlock it. Then we’d all go out for breakfast or lunch, depending. Mary thought the Thai restaurant (one we’ve all gone to) would be good because they have a hot spicy vegetable soup that would be good for my cold.
Right now, at this early hour, I sit in Mary’s living room with my laptop, listening to the refrigerator run, watching the blades of the ceiling fan turn, and thinking about when I will get online. I will probably take the laptop to Elaine’s place to get online, load this journal entry, and then write to work to tell them about my time sheet, which I forgot to finish and sign before I left.
That is another reason I am feeling a little anxious – I need to contact work. I also told Mary I would head out to a 24-hour grocery early to get punch ingredients. Yesterday was full of things not going quite as planned, and not getting the punch ingredients was one of the undone things.
I called the auto club. I used the “outside California” number on the card, and was on hold for a very long time. When I finally got through and told the woman where I was, she then had to transfer me to another number, which meant waiting yet another really long time. But this time we were really fed up, sitting in the parking lot, feeling we would never get through at that time. So we decided to go ahead and eat.
The Thai restaurant, which was a little distance away, was not open for lunch. We chose Marie Callendar’s instead. Lunch was good and we decided to hit costume shops afterwards, as none of us, except Joey, had a costume.
Why? Why didn’t we have costumes? And why did we need them? We all procrastinated. I thought I might just not want or need one, so I didn’t care so much, but Mary’s work group is all dressing up so she felt a serious need to have one, and Elaine and Ed – well, clubs? Something. We found a Halloween store. These have now cropped up – temporary stores that sell nothing but Halloween supplies – and hunted down costumes. I even got one, feeling somehow that I needed one, that I may go with Joey trick-or-treating and would like to be wearing a costume. Because of my large size I didn’t have many choices. I ended up with a jailbird outfit. Simple, comfortable, will do the job. Elaine and Ed found matching Viking outfits that look great. Mary didn’t find anything she liked. We went to another store, did more hunting there, and finally split up and went our separate ways.
This time we had better success with the auto club. We got through the waiting on the phone in less time and waiting in the parking lot for the locksmith, who showed in reasonable time and who got into the car very quickly. Mary says sometimes they can’t even open it! (This was not the first time her keys had been locked inside.) We drove home to Mary’s place, planning to rest and then go out for additional supplies and carve the pumpkin Mary had gotten.
As soon as we got back I took a bath. I felt much better. The day had been warmish and my outfit was uncomfortable. As soon as I was dressed again I heard Elaine. She wanted to go shopping for a dress for the reception, having decided not to wear the wedding dress again. I agreed to join her, somewhat reluctantly because I was tired, but thinking I could relieve Mary of some of her errands in the process. Mary wrote a list of things she needed and we took off.
More things not going so well. The mall closed at six. No shopping for dresses. I think this put Elaine off and our hunting for Halloween parts for mary put her in a resentful mood.
I can never “do right” by both daughters on these trips. There are always incidents that make one or the other feel neglected, and I have never learned how to negotiate them. I do think my plan of a few trips ago to map everything out on paper did help, but it isn’t always possible to plan these things perfectly.
Later – about 12:40 p.m.
I slept after that last entry, woke at a little before six, got dressed and headed out to get stuff for Mary. I succeeded in getting punch ingredients, a ladle, vampire fangs, and dry ice. When I got back, we all went to a bagel place for a bagel breakfast, during which Elaine called and said “get us bagels too!” I agreed to do so, although I felt very tired and sick. That would give me a chance to get online to write to someone at work to finish my time sheet and turn it in.
After bagels, I followed Mary to the “Henderson Multigenerational Center”, a recreation center that has everything. Including a rock climbing wall. We dropped Joey there for a “track break” program, then Mary and I went our separate ways, Mary as Vampira, complete with ghostly punch, and me in ordinary clothes, headed for Elaine and Ed’s.
After visiting a bit with the newlyweds, I went back to Mary’s to sleep. Sleep and read. I would doze, wake a bit and read, doze some more. Now I am feeling a little better, at least a little less tired, and would like to have lunch with Elaine.
These days I have felt so fat. Of course I was reminded of my size when I saw pictures one of the photographers took of us at the wedding. In spite of my best efforts I can’t seem to accept myself. I know that I am who I am at whatever size, yet I feel “less than” when I am “more than”. It is so ridiculous, considering I do not think of other large people this way at all. The biggest difficulty, though, comes from my inability to do very much. I feel pain in my legs and often my feet as well. Those things won’t go away if I lose weight but they will lessen some. So once again I am starting over. This time I am going to try, initially, just to change my food intake. I can add exercise only gradually because it hurts so much.
I have been reading books a friend at the chorale loaned to me. They are books about “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”, a series about a detective agency run by a large woman in Botswana. The books are written in a very gentle style, an effort at helping others feel what it is like to be a part of that culture. And one of the elements of that culture is that the woman owner is a “traditional size” woman. It’s a great term, that, and she receives compliments on her size frequently.
I am in the “It’s a Grind” coffee shop on the corner of Eastern and Pebble, just a few blocks from Mary’s place. It has free wireless access but so far I have been unable to connect to it. I may just have to ask!
Small place, cozy, cool. I am wearing a comfortable T-shirt and slacks so I feel comfy too. But damn. I can’t get online. I have become so dependent!
I am being irritated at the music playing in the background. It’s a young woman singing in that confessional way current “indie” singers have – no real melody, pretty enough voice, rambling thoughts. On the order of Alanis. Don’t like it. Maybe I wouldn’t notice if I were online.
Back to life here in Henderson, NV, as seen through the eyes of the visitor from SLO.
Some hack is now covering “It’s a Wild World”, by Cat Stevens. Some songs should be left alone.
Mary called to say the dry ice was a huge success, all went well at the Halloween lunch at work. Elaine and Ed are at their couples counselor’s now, dressed as Vikings if they went ahead with that plan. The two have a great relationship now but they recognize that marriages can go adrift if they do not pay enough attention, and they are committed in the best sense of the word. How cute they are!
A guy came in just now wearing a full-on cowboy outfit and I don’t think it’s a costume. Where are the cows? Not anywhere in Henderson, that I know.
Tomorrow is the start of the NaNoWriMo. I wonder if I will get my 1500 words in before I hit the road. Perhaps not. Perhaps I will start out behind.
I have been listening to Nevada Public Radio while here. It’s the only option I find acceptable. Interesting things I tune into:
· A discussion of “road rage” in the Las Vegas Valley. A conclusion by a panel that LV is the worst place for it. Could be, considering what I see and what Mary and Elaine encounter in their everyday lives. I have witnessed crazed driving and several accidents just on this trip alone. It was interesting to me that although the panel discussed some things that they saw as major contributors – sprawl, fast growth – they did not hit on some obvious solutions. I recall one comment about drivers consistently going 20 miles over the speed limit, making those who adhere to the speed limit appear to be “in the way”. One solution to this problem is the roads themselves. Why design them so that they can carry traffic at that speed? But of course the bigger solution has to do with density. And parking availability. Back to my parking mantra. NOBODY TALKS ABOUT PARKING. They don’t see it. Don’t recognize the problem. Instead, the same people who complain about the increased traffic and road rage applaud all the free parking all over the place…it’s so obvious it should hit one in the face but it didn’t hit me, not really, for a long time.
· A discussion of the culture of bonobos, the primate family. A researcher came to the conclusion that these animals have matriarchal societies, that the females are dominant. And yet she found that in most of the zoos she visited the caretakers came up with elaborate explanations of why the males were not acting “normally” – in other words, in a dominant fashion. They did not see the obvious. Even more telling – many of them actively work to prevent the females from attacking the males. They never feel the need to do that with chimps, where the males attack the females. Interesting evidence of ingrained gender prejudice among scientists. My recollection is that the bonobos are the closest species to homo sapiens genetically. If so, this new discovery is even more interesting.
· Several discussions on “whither Nevada?” – education, jobs, housing.
While I have been here I have essentially gone through a makeover. But I don’t feel different in any way. I had my hair cut and colored, had my nails done, had my makeup done and bought new makeup, bought lots of new clothes. But I am still me, not different, don’t feel different. Just poorer.