What Kind Of Fool Am I?

  • No Comments

A big, huge, silly, ridiculous kind of fool.

Here’s the evidence: Let’s go back to Saturday evening in San Francisco. I’d just finished a nice dinner with friends where I had eaten trout almandine with a nice glass of light red to accompany. It wasn’t a heavy meal and I was pleasantly full but not stuffed.

After dinner we headed off into the late summer night towards the theatre to see a show, quickly crossing streets and heading toward Union Square.

All of the people in our party are tall and in reasonably good shape. I’m walking along and find myself falling well behind the pack. Not only bringing up the rear, but struggling to keep up.

My heart is beating in my ears and I feel like I can’t fight hard enough to catch my breath.

After a bit, The Good Man notices that I’m struggling and he drops back to check on me. I admonish him with, “You have to slow down!”

The Good Man is super tall and quite long legged so this is not the first time I’ve asked this of him in the course of our lives together.

He slows and I’m feeling frantic, winded, sweaty and anxious. And I am mad. At myself.

Can I really be this out of shape? Am I really this far gone?

I grouse to my husband, “I don’t understand! I’m working my ass off lately, I eat almost nothing during the day and we have decent dinners at home. I walk three to four miles several days a week but I can’t keep up with you? It’s not fair, I can’t believe I was stuck with this goddamn body!”

As we near the theatre, it’s crowded. People are pushing and shoving. At one point I can’t seem to find a bathroom and it’s six minutes to show time.

I’m. Freaking. Out.

So I cry. It’s humiliating to admit and I’m mortified that I did it in public, but I cried.

The Good Man did what a good man does and he talked me through it. He asked me if I wanted to go home. He petted my head and he was just there for me as I got myself together.

I sucked back up all my whinging, dried my eyes, and we went on with the night. It turned out really well after all my fuss and kerfuffle.

Back at home, a tiny voice called to me from the back part of my brain.

“Hey. Maybe you need to start using your daily inhaler again.”

“Nooo,” the obstinate part of my brain said. “I don’t want to admit I have asthma.”

“Just try it. If it doesn’t help then stop.”

“Oh fine!” I say, petulant and cranky. And so I hit my inhaler and then went to bed.

The next morning, I go again. The prescription says take two puffs twice a day. Sunday night, I take the next two, and again Monday morning.

At noon Monday, I head out for my regular three mile jaunt with my friend. She’s in awesome shape and lately I’ve been lagging behind her and hardly able to make the walk.

Today, I zoomed around the paths, no trouble keeping pace.

Goddamn it. It was just that easy.

My body just needed a little oxygen.

This on the heels of a recent encounter with my acupuncturist. I have been crying and whining about being *so* tired lately. My western doctors found no medical reason and so I’m visiting this guy to see if he can help.

We’ve tried some various herbs and remedies and finally last week he says, “have you ever had trouble with anemia?”

“Yes,” I reply, rolling my eyes because I don’t want to admit that I have struggled with anemia damn near all of my life.

“Do you take iron?”

“No.”

“Um. I think you are anemic.”

“Oh fine!” I say.

So I am mad and I stomp to the store and I buy my regular iron supplement and I start taking it regularly and I’ll be damned if the ringing in my ears doesn’t stop and I sleep better and my digestion is better and I suddenly have enough energy to get through the day.

All I needed was iron.

Oxygen and iron.

What a genuine idiot I am.

And to think I gripe at The Good Man about overcomplicating things. Who is overcomplicating things now, eh?






Image found here



Oh Woe, My Lost Love

  • 19 Comments

For a whole variety of reasons my doctor has me off the java for a while. And by a while, I mean at least a month, probably. Likely I should keep off it all together.

Acid in the tummy and all.

But I love coffee. Adore coffee. Sing songs in ode to coffee.

And I miss it. Oh how I miss it.

While I moan and wail over my loss, I looked through the photos on my iPhone and found this little beauty shot taken a couple weeks ago.

That is The Good Man’s latte with a crispy little Amaretti cookie on the side. The (Italian) guy pulling shots at Cafe Venetia in Palo Alto always makes a charming little design.

Look how pretty. *sigh*

Such sorrow for my lost love…….



Photo copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth



Tomorrow: bad poetry as ode to the fact I also can’t have wine. *whimper*



Photo taken with an iPhone4s using the Camera+ app. Subject to the Creative Commons license, found in the right column of this page.



How Did I Get Here?

  • 10 Comments

Yesterday was not what I’d call an ordinary day by any definition.

Let’s roll back a few days to give you the backstory.

On Friday I stood shoulder to shoulder with my best friend inside an auction barn in Las Cruces. We tried to talk over the drone of an auctioneer and watched the local 4H kids walk their animals around a pen while local businessmen bid up the price.

On Tuesday, I stood on the show floor of one of the largest IT conventions in the US, surrounded by the drone of booth workers shouting out to passerby as I tried my very best to be all business.

I have to say, it was a bit disorienting. I guess that 180 degree turn in the span of just five days is the closest example I can get of who I am. Both auction barn and big corporate.

Yesterday was my second day attending the show and I was doing my best to stay grounded in the midst of the chaos that is any trade show.

While waiting for a morning meeting, I idly checked my email on my iPhone. I saw a note from one of my aunts letting me know that a dear uncle of mine had passed away. He had gone through a long and valiant battle with cancer, and for a while he got topside on that demon. Sadly, just yesterday he lost the fight.

I was instantly crushed and heartbroken. I couldn’t begin to imagine how my aunt must be managing. I’d sat with my mom in the days after my dad passed, and I know that for a woman to lose her husband of 40-plus years is a long, sorrowful journey. It is a world turned upside down.

Glancing at the clock, I saw it was time to go, so I put on my game face and got back to work.

Later I had to meet with a Senior VP of the company who demands answers as he fires off questions from a fire hose and I do my best to keep up. He’s brilliant but irascible.

After I finished with Mr VP, it was off to another meeting with a telecom carrier, and then a hardware manufacturer, and then…and then…..

It was a brutal day and I had gotten up extra early to get to San Francisco through morning traffic and suddenly the lack of sleep caught up with me. My legs and back ached.

But I pushed forward.

When the day was mostly over, it was time to go to the big celebration to close the show, a huge event put on over at Treasure Island.

I changed clothes in a dingy bathroom and then set out for the meet-up spot to catch a shuttle bus. I got myself turned around and walked about three blocks in the wrong direction, only to turn and walk back against of tide of city people at the end of their day.

I was tired, sweaty, in pain and generally DONE with the day when my iPhone buzzed. The Good Man conveyed to me the sad news about Steve Jobs.

As I had worked for the man for a decade, I felt a certain affinity for him and at that moment, it was the straw that broke me.

I leaned against a mailbox on New Montgomery street, while cars honked, police officers directed traffic and busses coughed fumes, and I cried.

I cried because after traveling then working at this show, I am worn down to a nub. I cried because I did a terrible job of comforting my godkids last week as I found myself at a loss to explain why their pigs had to die. I cried because my uncle was a good man with a good life but grief never gets easier. I cried because the passing of a legend means the end of a very profound era.

It’s just a little to much death in too short a time frame.

Sometimes when it’s all built up inside you and the pressure cooker is about to blow, and you’ve found the end of your tether, crying is just a real good way to let off some steam.

It only lasted a few minutes. Then I straightened my spine, threw my shoulders back and walked ahead to meet my boss because he’s in town from London and had terrible jet lag. He relied on me to help get him to the right shuttle. And my supplier expected me to “say some words” to the team. And every one expected me to be adult and professional when I felt anything but.

Thankfully I met up with a couple friends out on the island. They handed me beer and gave me nodding, knowing looks.

And today, while still sad, I’m trying to be myself again.

Or in the immortal words of Stevie Ray Vaughan, I’m “walking the tightrope/both day and night”






Image from Agent Faircloth



How Quickly Time Flies

  • 4 Comments

A year is really a blip in time isn’t it? A hardly noticeable heartbeat. And then another. And then another.

Time to confess why I’m so melancholy.

I thought I was over it. I’m not over it. Not by a long shot.

Posted one year ago Tuesday. Posted here again because it’s all still true.

Immersed in memory.

___________________________________

There Is This Man I Know…

First posted: August 23, 2010


It would be wrong to call him a cowboy. That implies something he’s not.

He is, in fact, a farmer. Chile, corn, cotton, alfalfa. He fretted the drought and smiled at rainy skies.

Except that time it rained so hard it washed away the seeds he’d just planted. That night, he fretted while the rain fell.

That’s unusual for a farmer.

He has a smile that could light up a room, the sky, the world.

He has the mind of a trickster, and his wry sense of humor is what drew me in.

Back then, he was a tall, slim drink of water.

His chest bore a long scar, a remnant from open heart surgery in childhood. It fixed a congenital problem. For a while, anyway.

That surgery colored his whole world. He was told he might not live past the age of twenty.

But he did. He lived. Oh, he was alive.

He took me out to dinner. We each ordered steaks at the truckstop diner in Vado, New Mexico.

It was far more romantic than it sounds.

He took me fishing and let me use his brand new rod and reel. I managed to irretrievably knot up the fishing line. He didn’t even get mad.

Because he is a gentleman.

He took me for long rides down bumpy dirt roads. I sat next to him in the cab of his pickup, holding on tight, grinning.

He has a confidence that is older than his years.

He and I had some fun then parted ways amiably. I still call him my friend. More than a friend. A dear friend. “One of us” from a loosely knit group of kids who made a family while running around Las Cruces, growing up and getting educated.

I haven’t seen him in years, but over the years I’d ask after him and sometimes he’d ask after me, too.

He’s got an amazing wife and three sons and the weight of responsibility for his family’s farm. A responsibility he stood up to each and every day.

Last week, he had surgery. That ol’ heart problem was giving him trouble again.

The surgery went well, but he got an infection at the hospital that he couldn’t quite fight off.

Sunday morning, my friend, my family, someone who showed me how to live passed away.

He was just 40.

I can’t stop being angry. It’s not fair. No one ever said life was going to be fair, but I don’t care. It’s not fair.

I’m not good at grief. I’ve lost a father. I lost my best friend from high school. I lost a grandmother who was very integral to my life.

You’d think all the practice would make me better at this.

I’m not good at this.

Sometimes it’s just easier to be angry.

It’s an acceptable stage of grief.