Tuesday, January 15, 2013

de puta madre

I sat in the medical center's parking lot, looking at the little machine that might open the gate if I put money in it.  Not credit cards.  Real money, the green stuff, something that I haven't held in my hands for quite a while now.  I backed up, waving some a-hole in a giant SUV to go ahead of me.  I had to think.

I raced home.  Lola's dog walker had an issue and I knew she had been in her crate a really long time.  I pushed the petal down on my hooptie, frantic.

I don't really want to give you real numbers about my personal finances.  It's just kind of embarrassing and seems inappropriate.  Let's just say when my insurance went up eight dollars per paycheck at the beginning of the year, I felt it.  Today, when I saw sixteen dollars more per paycheck gone, because of the 2% payroll tax increase, I sort of freaked out.  That's almost fifty dollars a month.  That is really a lot for me right now.

I entered the house and ran back to our room.  Lola's bed was torn to pieces and she was sitting in pee.  I was horrified.  Lola has never pissed her bed.  She couldn't hold it, and then destroyed the area.  She smelled like pee.  Everything smelled like pee.  She would need a new bed.  Motherfuckers.  My poor dog.  

I could go inside and look for an ATM.  But even if there was one, I knew I didn't have twenty dollars in my account and that I would overdraw it, costing me more money.  I drove around the parking lot.  I had thought that I had seen a gate that looked totally moveable near one end.  I drove toward it, clandestinely.  The gate had a big chain around it.  FUCK.  Hijo de la pinche gran puta. 

I walked from one class to the next, in these odd shoes that I thought might help my formerly sore and broken foot.  I felt the sole slip off and start flapping, loose.  MOTHERFUCKER.

The next day, I received a text from Lola's dog walker that she was ill.  Everyone is.  She wanted to know if she should get someone else to walk Lola.  YES, I texted back.  I knew I couldn't get back, I was at work.  I tried to check in later.  My phone battery was dead. I entered the house, hopeful.  It smelled like dog shit.  Alec walked up from outside with Lola.
"She was sitting in her crate all day with shit!  No one came!"
My poor dog, sitting in a cage next to SHIT all day.  A la fucking chingada. MOTHERFUCKER!

I looked at the low curb of the parking lot.  My '97 Mazda has driven from Atlanta to Tijuana, both ways.  It has been from Tijuana to Los Cabos, both ways.  It has done insanely secret, off road things in the Arizona desert.  It dodged every sinkhole in Tijuana, or muscled right through it.  I drove over the curb, through the grass and between the trees, turned my signal on and carefully pulled into traffic. It was liberating.

Suck your four dollars that I didn't have anyway. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

More Fun in the New Year

"Spider Pig!  Spider Pig!  Does whatever a Spider Pig does....".
The doctor abruptly stopped looking at my gnarled finger and answered his cell phone, bringing his interesting ringtone to a halt.

I looked at my hand.  They had unwrapped and un-splinted it, allowing me to see the effects of the surgery in their full glory.  It looked like a shriveled mummy hand, dry and orange-ish with marks all over its skin from the cast.  My pinky finger was covered with black bruises and the big star, my broken ring finger, still shifted unnaturally to the right.  It was hugely swollen and two large wires stuck out of it right below the knuckle.  I couldn't move either finger.

Alec's mom and sister came to visit us for a few days.  On their last evening here, they treated us to an expensive dinner in Buckhead, Atlanta's version of uptown.  As we were being seated, I heard a really loud burp from the table next to ours.  I was kind of shocked, this wasn't just any burp, it was like a frat boy challenge. I felt like I was about to start laughing and tried to keep my eyes from the source:  an older man that was sitting with a female companion.  Both seemed completely nonplussed.

The doctor returned, without explanation. 
"Hmm, it has rotated," he said, refering to the odd angle of my finger.  The 'Peanuts" theme music started roaring from his phone this time.
"Is that your ringtone?!" I asked, loudly.  He looked at me without smiling and walked out of the room, while answering his phone again.
I examined my hand some more and thought of the five hundred dollar bill the doctor had submitted to my insurance company for my first office visit.  I began to wonder if this little man could answer his phone on his own time.
He returned again, without explanation.
"Well, what I'm going to do," he said, grabbing my broken finger, wires and all,
"is push it this way," he continued, shoving my finger into a straighter position,
"and tape it to this!" he finished, splinting and taping my broken finger to my pinky.
Electric waves of pain shot through my hand and arm while he completed his project.
"You have a low pain threshold" he stated critically, while re-wrapping my mummy hand.
"You have an ugly phone and a stupid ringtone" I thought back.
"You are very anxious about this hand" he stated in the same disparaging tone, after informing me that I was losing mobility in all of the fingers on my left hand and would need to do exercises in order to avoid having a permanent claw for a hand.  

The food was delicious.  As I took the second bite of my salad, I heard another cacophonous burp. Alec's sister and I locked eyes.  Who the fuck does that?  He let out another, mini-burp that would be extraordinary for a normal person.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"Oh my God," Alec's sister said lowly, "if he doesn't stop, I don't know, I might have to say something to the waiter!". 

I raced back to school to teach my next class.  My hand was throbbing.  I didn't know it then, but it was only going to get worse.

"I hate to say it, Ms. Wagner, but I think you're going to end up with a mangled hand" Deandre stated solemnly, shaking her head back and forth, after her class asked me about my afternoon's events. 
"That man's crazy".