Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life at the Lake

I have a sense of being un-well. I feel as if I am sicker then I was before I had the gallbladder surgery. This feeling of being ill doesn’t sit well. I had the surgery. I fought the demon and did what they counseled I should and I feel worse for having done it. My doctor spent almost an hour with me on my last visit, but I walked out of her office with appointments scheduled with two new specialists.

I keep feeling as if I walked into the lion’s den and the lions continue finding reasons why I cant walk out again. This body that has had polio seems to be a very interesting body that does everything in a more complex manner. I once had a dentist so intrigued with the polio he asked if he could take x-rays of my legs. I asked him if he thought he would find cavities in my ankles and he told me I had a great sense of humor. I wanted to scream, he wanted to take leg pictures.

My mind keeps returning to the time I started having erratic menstrual symptoms. I went to my doctor who sent me to an OB/GYN man who decided that he needed to do a diagnostic D&C. Simple enough.

Most women have to have a D&C sometime in their life I supposed, so I went along with his need to investigate. Half way through the D&C I had a blood vessel break in my brain. I spent two weeks in the ICU and three months being an invalid. The doctors said, “You were lucky that it happened in a medical atmosphere.” I said, “It’s this polio plagued body, everything is a bit harder for me.” But every doctor that came to my bedside to discuss what was happening in my brain also felt compelled to throw the covers off of my legs and satisfy his curiosity about what polio had wrought.

I don’t know what the polio could have done to cause all this negative reaction to a simple gallbladder removal, but my mind keeps telling me that these two new specialist are going to want to get a gander at my legs before they do anything about what is going on inside my abdomen.

If all of this yammer reeks of self-pity then you understand why I haven’t written for awhile. I detest self-pity. It is defeating, debilitating, and demeaning. I haven’t had to come face to face with a case of self pity for a very long time, but this past two weeks it keeps threatening to take up residence in this ’polio plagued’ body. Soooooo, this past Thursday, after I dropped my grandson at school, the car and I just kept driving. I figured if my legs and brain couldn’t out run the self-pity then maybe the car could. I opened the windows to let the air hit my face, put my favorite Credence Clearwater CD in the player, told the beagle to jump up into the co-pilot’s seat, and hit the gas. I turned corners and twisted into neighborhoods hoping that the pity patrol would lose sight of us.

The beagle and I helped CCR sing several of their songs and I was just on the verge of believing that I may have won this race for clear thinking when out of the corner of my eye I caught the sight of water floating in the air. When I turned my head to get a better view I saw that they had turned on the fountain in the park. It is a huge park with a lovely man made lake and two fountains, but they rarely turn the fountains on. Maybe the fountains had been turned on just for the beagle and I. We would go park under a tree, watch the birds glide on the lake, and enjoy the fountain throwing its water into the sky. Surely pity wouldn’t be able to survive among all of natures beauty.

What I found in the park was a lake that was overflowing because of all the recent rain. There were two city employees setting up the paraphernalia to drain some of the water into the street gutters, there were strolling senior citizens, stay at home moms pushing strollers, and two young people that I assumed had ditched school to hold hands and smile love into each other’s eyes as they walked around the lake. It was green, peaceful, and serene. I felt myself slowly begin to roll the stress off my shoulders.

And then from behind a large group of bushes I saw him appear. He is large, proud, velvety brown with a throat so white it looks like beautiful fluff. He carries himself across the water as if he is the king of that universe. He is regal and he is beautiful. He is a gander, a male goose so large and commanding that most of the smaller birds give him his rightful due.

Behind him float three pure white female geese. There isn’t another mark of color on any of the three. They are HIS. They are his perfectly colored, beautiful women. I have seen him and his women before. I think they are fascinating to watch. The four of them are so superior in attitude and beauty.

As he and his women lazily navigated the lake an unsuspecting woman pushed a stroller on the sidewalk that surrounds the water. I assumed that she was a nanny. She was a 30 something Latina pushing a Caucasian baby. As she pushed the child she softly chatted to it in Spanish. I thought she made a lovely Rockwell picture. In all probability the child was learning to speak in both languages. My mind was playing with the advantages of that when I realized that the gander was watching her too. As she approached the area where the water had flowed over the lip of the sidewalk the gander started honking at her. She wasn’t aware that she was being spoken to by a bird and blithely continued her walking ... right into the area where the water of the lake had flowed over the sidewalk. The gander was irate. He had warned her. After all, he had three women to protect and he wasn’t about to let some human wander into ’his’ water and create danger for them. He stormed out of the lake, stretched his neck out as far as it would go honking and screaming at her the whole time. Her reaction was to stop! She stopped as if transfixed.

That seemed to fuel the gander’s anger even more. He waddled and ran making his way over to where she was standing and went in for the attack, his neck stretched out so far I thought it was going to snap. He started nipping at her knees between his raucous screaming. She, on the other hand, just reached over and grabbed him by the neck and pushed him away, he came back, she pushed him away. Back and forth they went in the battle for territory until one of the city employees came over and started stomping his boots hoping to frighten the gander back into the water. But the gander was more man than the man in the boots figured. He turned from the woman’s knees and went right for the boots. It was bird against boots and the bird seemed to be winning until the man walked the boots more and more into the water. Into the water meant closer to the three beautiful white geese and that worried the gander even more so he turned to his women and yelled an order. They instantly huddled close together and started swimming away. The gander took one last nip at the boots, flapped his wings and skidded over the water until he was in front of his women. He then turned around and yelled at them for a minute before the four of them once again assumed their proper placements and regally swam off into the center of the lake.

The Latina laughed as she rubbed her knee and thanked the man and his boots. But as she turned and continued on her way the drama was anything but over. The goose mafia had been watching the whole scene from the safety of the island in the middle of the lake. The mafia consists of approximately 12 geese of varying sizes, and they usually negotiate the lake in a dominering pack of 'goose power'. They expect the other birds, that make the lake their home, to accede to their wishes and give them their due. If the birds don’t, the mafia just muscles their way through and take what they want. One of the mafia had his eyes on one of those beautiful women that belonged to the gander.

As the mafia was crossing the lake I could hear them screaming at the foolish male that wanted to start trouble. I imagined them yelling, “Don’t be a fool, he’ll kill you. He’s the Godfather. You don’t mess with the Godfather’s women.”

But that fool wanted one of those beautiful women and although everyone was yelling at him he decided to go for it. Of course, when he approached one of those untouchable beauties she yelled her head off and ratted him out to the gander, so his goose was cooked. The gander kicked his butt. The funny part of the whole drama was that when the errant mafioso swam back over to the goose mafia, several of them took a swipe at him too as if to say, "Fool!! We told you so!"

Stress and self-pity cant survive in a mind that is filled with beautiful green trees, a fountain throwing rainbow filled water, a lake with overflowing edges, and a gander protecting his harem of perfectly cloud-colored females. I spent two hours watching life in and around the lake. Two hours of pulling away from the frustration of living inside a body that doctors of every specialty find intriguing. I guess I can’t blame them. I was once told that the things that were done to me when I was a child are now considered archaic and torture chamberish. Maybe, if I didn’t live in this body, I might find it interesting too.

In the meantime this gallbladderless body with the funny polio legs would like the magic answer to feeling well again. Maybe I’ll get a hint tomorrow when I keep the two doctors appointments and give blood at the hospital.

No comments:

Post a Comment