"Things that interfere with writing well: Earning a living, especially by teaching."

-William H. Gass

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Post Game Wrap-Up

I would love to tell you all about my surgery, but thanks to my friend anesthesia, I don't have much to report.  I can assure you that I entered the hospital with a sense of somber reverence, deeply thoughtful about my decision...

And, of course, I spent the following two days off of work resting quietly, allowing my body to heal...I certainly didn't use it to play tennis or ride my bike or put a new composter in the back yard or walk around town in the sunshine.  I mean I just had SURGERY for heaven's sake.

My doctor came to talk to me in the recovery room, and he mentioned that I was his third sterilization of the day - perhaps more women are realizing the children path is one only SOME people should take...?  If you are considering it, let me ease any worries you may have: As it stands, the most difficult recovery period of my life was right after the 2004 election, and the most painful surgery I've yet to have involved three very wise teeth.  The most difficult part of the surgery was abstaining from food or drink all day, and of course dealing with the antiquated sexist breeder-brained world which, I hope, is changing.  

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Final Fertile Weekend

Ah, the final days of fertility. The condom collection is down to the dregs, resorting at this point to the rain-slicker-thick ones tossed to me from a pick up truck filled with transvestites at the gay pride parade. The mandated pre-op blood work is evidenced by a nasty bluish junkie mark near the unlucky vein. The Depo shot to cover the risky post-op you-still-might-get-pregnant period has made of me a bi-polar Dolly Parton in heat. Between the migraines, back aches, weight gain, ear aches, weird fucking shaking attacks, and general psychoticry, I am reminded of exactly why I hate birth control.

All the more reason to go party in NYC all weekend with one of my favorite childless couples in celebration of a huge kiss goodbye to all of the above. Thus, I give to you the Final Fertile Weekend Recap:

1. The Bus
You know the bus. It was what you took in college. I am not in college. When you take the bus and you aren't in college you basically take a little trip into loserland. But you also don't put a whole lotta extra carbon into the air, so this counteracts the loserness of the whole escapade. Also it's an excuse, at least for me, to count gummy bears as a meal.

The driver on the way down must have wanted some sensitive national security information from one of the passengers, because we were basically in a traveling guantanamo. This rattletrap ramshackle poor excuse for a bus sounded like a collection of New Year's Eve party favors every time we: turned, accelerated, braked....etc. This was "auditory torture." The constant fear that we were going to tumble into a collection of bolts and seats flung wildly all over the highway was not enough. Oh no. There was also the traditional "olfactory torture," guaranteed to shock and awe even the toughest conscience. And it wasn't just the bathroom (which was egregious) but the air in the bus seemed thick with a potpourri of industrial cleaning agents and urine. On top of these add "climate torture." Our tyrannical driver turned the temperature dial to "Tundra" and rejoiced in our collective shivering. Then, just when we were about to fall unconscious, he spun the dial entirely around, selecting "Ethiopia." I actually extracted clothing from my bag (tank tops, underwear, a tee shirt) and fashioned leg warmers for the Tundra setting, which I had to periodically remove when we entered the Dallol Depression, and so on. It was as if he was waiting for the entire bus to scream "Uncle!"

By the time I climbed out of Port Authority and hit 42nd Street I had Dysentery and PTSD.

2. Indulgence
Luckily, my friends knew to inject me with Sangria and Tapas. In a Hell's Kitchen restaurant by a name I've already forgotten, I devoured marinated artichokes and portobello and manchego and octopus and prosciutto and aioli covered potatoes with shameless abandon. Like any good evening in new york, it was three am before we even thought to check our watches.

The next day we walked through the world, as microcosmed by Queens. India, Mexico, Korea (and, later, a quick cab ride to Greece for dinner). It got hot, so we stopped for what ended up being an inordinate number of frozen margaritas and a soccer match. The bartenders were very pretty and very dumb.

The streets are covered with a layer of grit in New York, and no matter the flow of sanitation workers there are just too many packages and papers and discarded pieces of gum to keep up. If you are ever looking for a visual to back up your personal worries about overpopulation, go hang out in New York.

After our impressive midday margarita pit stop we required naps and then showers. By the time we finished dinner it was nine thirty. We stopped at a local bar for a night cap at ten, and ended up unlocking the fifteen bolts on the front door right around three am again. Whoops.

3. Back home
On the bus ride home (considerably less reminiscent of abu gharib) I had plenty of time to reflect, over gummy bears, on my last day of fertility. After leaving dirty, crowded New York, I'm first reminded of my genuine belief that we should be pumping contraceptives into the water before we send the human race to follow the dinosaurs, because I'd actually like my species to stick around despite how annoying I find most of its representatives. I think of the little girl on the E train, packed between other passengers, whose mother kept trying unsuccessfully to keep the child from grabbing everyone's hair and how decisively uncute I found this to be. Mostly, I think of my relationship. There are thousands of late-night groggy conversations where we crystal ball our way through a wedding, through new careers, through cities and languages we've yet to see or speak, through a future that we only half plan and have pictured and repictured, both with and without each other, since we first knew how to think. Distinctly and consistently absent are: babies and voting republican. If I change my mind on the former, send me to an adoption agency. If I change my mind on the latter, send me off a cliff. Either way, tomorrow, I'm sending myself off to surgery. Au revoir, condoms. Ciao, depo provera. Adios, fertility. It's been a long strange trip. I'm glad to get off that bus.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

the best thing i have done as a science teacher

I rearranged my room the other day, and moved my model of the solar system to a new location. Now, it sits atop a tall file cabinet, right over the oft-visited pencil sharpener, which also got moved. So now, I've gotten to have the following interaction approximately sixteen times:

Student: Hey, where's the sharpener?
Kelly: It's right under Uranus.

It's definitely June.