Recovery Is Slow

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Sometimes, you have to revisit your demons to understand how far you’ve come in the healing process.



Let’s Have Some Group Therapy

Originally posted August 17, 2011


Ok. I’m going to be strong here. : deep breath :

They say that talking through your feelings after a tragedy helps lessen the pain. I’ve kept this pent up inside for almost a week. I thought I could feel better. I thought I could forget.

But the nightmare. Oh the pain. It continues.

So I think it’s time I opened up and discussed my feelings. I need to get closure.

This is going to take all my courage.

Here we go.

Last week, it was Tuesday, and I was at the ballpark with The Good Man and some of our friends.

It was a clear, warm August night. The San Francisco Giants were playing baseball against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the crowd was full of anticipation.

My vacation was just beginning and we couldn’t have asked for a better night. A cool breeze played over the outfield and the laughter came easy.

It was the middle of the fourth inning. The Pirates had been sat down and the Giants were up to bat. No hits in the game so far, so I decided to get up from my seat and use the ladies room.

Evidently I wasn’t the only one needing a stretch break in the 4th inning because the line to use the ladies room was really long. But the line moved fast and thankfully, I was able to get my business done and get out of there.

Feeling a growl in my tummy, I walked the length of the third deck of AT&T Park to find a vendor with the shortest line. No luck this night, the food sellers were hopping.

So I just got on line. All you can do is wait. I had nachos on my mind. If you go to the right vendor, they’ll serve you up this tray with two reservoirs. One holds cheese. One holds salsa. Chips line the middle. It’s perfection in a non-recyclable plastic rectangle.

The key to this whole delicious thing is the liquid cheese dispensed from a cheese machine. The nice lady behind the counter pushes a button and cheese comes out.

When the cheese is flowing, you know all is right with the world.

I waited in a long line while some dude in the front bought eight thousand hot dogs and had to contact the International Monetary Fund to get the transaction done. I watched the game on the in-house monitors.

Jeff Keppinger doubled and the waiting crowd sent up a cheer.

Still, I stood in line.

What got me through the drudgery was the thought of the ballpark nachos. So happy. So good. Cheese AND Salsa? Can it really be true?

Finally Hot Dog Boy walked away and the line moved up. The next guy only wanted a beer, and was done fast. One more step forward.

But wait. Something was wrong. Something was amiss.

Something was…out of order.

I noticed one of the ladies who vend the sweet mystery of life that is ballpark nachos was holding a big silver bag and wringing the life out of it.

She was extracting every last morsel of the orange cheesy goodness.

And then I realized. The truth came to roost.

The Cheese Machine had gone offline.

Oh dear god! The humanity!

What will become of us? What can be done?!

I saw a guy come out from the back to install a new bag of cheese into the machine. Then I heard a lady tell someone “It’s going to take a few minutes, the cheese has to warm up.”

I panicked. What should I do?

You are never prepared for an emergency when the terror strikes. These type of situations call for clear, calm thinking.

I considered moving over to another food vendor, but the lines were outrageously long. I’d only have to wait and wait for the dispensary of another cheese supplier. And what if THEY ran out too?

No. Now was the time to be a grown up. I had to become Zen. I had to stand my ground. By god I’d wait for that freaking fake cheese to warm up.

The minutes ticked by at an utter molasses pace. I couldn’t watch the game I was so heart rended by the fear and worry I had. What will become of the nachos?

Finally, after an eternity, I saw one of the vendor ladies tentatively try the button on the now silent machine. Sweet molten cheese flowed like lava from an active volcano. The night was saved! The cheese rides again!

The crowd parted and I stepped right up to the register. “One nachos, please, the kind with both cheese and salsa.”

“That’s a deluxe nachos,” the Goddess in a Green Visor behind the counter informed me as she filled the reservoir with the sweet fake orangey manna from the gods of processed cheese food.

She even gave me a swipe of cheese across the top of the chips.

Yes. Deluxe. My destiny.

I paid the tab and turned away, comforted by the crispy cheesy salsa-y treat.

I vowed to eat every morsel, my spoils in the victory over the thronging masses that night at AT&T Park.

I am a survivor. I am stronger than my fears.

I grew up a little that day.







Image from The Fun Ones.


What Kind Of Fool Am I?

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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



Friend, Grant Me Absolution

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It was, on a Fall day in 1988 that I first crossed paths with the girl who would become my best friend in the whole wide world. Mother of my god kids. Forgiver of all my aberrant behaviors. Supporter of my dreams.

She is the best.

It’s now twenty-four years later and she’s still closer than family and knows me better than I know myself.

Several months ago, over iced tea on her back patio near Radium Springs, she invited The Good Man and me to come out to New Mexico for a summer camping trip. Now I adore camping and was totally on board. The Good Man and I were already talking about flying or driving and how long we should stay.

And then life does what it does. It got in the way.

When my best friend asked me to spend some time in Quemado, it was February and I had nothing on the calendar that would inhibit a vist.

Five months, lots of overtime hours, and three countries later, my outlook wasn’t as clear.

So I was a bit sad to have to tell my friend that no, I wasn’t going to be able to go camping. I had just got back from London and The Good Man was up to his eyeballs in alligators with work too.

And money is always a question mark.

Damn it all to hell…we just couldn’t swing it.

I was supposed to be out there charring marshmallows and hiking where there is no mobile signal over this past weekend.

*sigh*

When I was still in flux about going, I happened to get an email from a joint called The Uptown Theatre in Napa. This is where I saw Rosanne Cash and Hugh Laurie and it’s rapidly become one of my all time favorite venues for live music.

Seems this little ol’ band called The Mavericks have reunited and were doing a show at the Uptown. The same weekend I should have been going camping.

The Mavericks are more than a fantastically talented band, they are an integral part of my life and the life of my best friend and our friendship. Their album “Music For All Occasions” is a landmark in our world. We love this band. A lot. Their music sums up a lot of what the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s mean to both of us.

It’s a soundtrack to our most cherished memories.

So when I saw they were playing a show nearby, I hedged my bets. All along, I planned to go to New Mexico, but I bought the not very expensive tickets too. If I lost out on the tickets in favor of New Mexico, so much the better. If we couldn’t swing camping, then The Good Man and I would take in a show.

Eventually we had to make the tough choice to stay back in California while my dearest friend and family went out to the woods and enjoyed the best of New Mexico.

Which meant The Good Man and I went to Napa. Being Catholic raised, the guilt was overwhelming. Both my best friend and my best guy should have been with me that night. It felt wrong to be at a Maverick’s show without her. Like I was being both a bad friend and a bad person.

That said, I still enjoyed the hell out of the show. This band is amazing! I last saw them back in 1998 when I had just moved to the state of California and seeing them live was a tonic to my confused, tortured soul. My friend and I lamented back then that she wasn’t able to come out for that show.

And here I went and did it again.

Gah!

Every day I’m checking the band’s webpage to see if they have added any dates. If they come anywhere near New Mexico or Northern California again, we’re are going! No if’s, and’s, but’s or international demands from my Boss.

We’ll bring the godkids too. They need to know what we know.

Confession is good for the soul, right? I hope so. I called my best friend yesterday but her phone went right to voicemail. That means she’s still out there where email and Facebook and all the rest don’t really matter.

If I don’t catch her by phone maybe she’ll see this post and know that I went and saw our favorite band without her (again!), but I was thinking of her the whole time. And that’s the truth.

Plus, I’ve done way worse things over the course of our twenty-four years and she’s forgiven me. I think we’ll be all good.

Should I tell her that I had tickets in the second row? Hmm. Maybe not.

Should I tell her that I met and had a nice chat with Robert Reynolds after the show? No, I probably shouldn’t.

That might be pushing it a bit.

_______________

A couple photos from the incredible show:




Lead singer, the amazing Raul Malo




Original members, reunited. Raul Malo (l), Paul Deakin (c), Robert Reynolds (r)



All images Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Photos taken with an iPhone4s and the Camera+ App.



What Tuesday Looked Like

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Tuesday. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m going toe to toe with an obnoxious company who are being jerks simply for the pleasure of being jerks.

I’ve gone twelve rounds with these yabos and I’m e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.

And so, this is the perfect representation of my Tuesday.

This photo, oddly enough, was taken while I was on an evening con call with a whole other clan of jerkwads.

The Good Man texted me from the living room to ask how I was doing and this was the reply he got.

Rawr face. Coming at you.

May Wednesday be nicer.







Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page, and taken with an iPhone4s and the Camera+ app.