July 10th, 2006

getting by


I have been pretty deep blue for nearly 24 hours now. I don't know why. I can't think of anything that has happened to cause it -- markgritter is back to work from his vacation, but I don't think that should do it. Dinner didn't help. Ice cream didn't help. Getting hugged and snuggled didn't help. Curling up with a good book didn't help. Sleeping didn't help. Scruffing and playing with the dog didn't help. Working out didn't help. I don't know what. I'm going to poke Sampo, because it's such a bundle of joy and good cheer that it could hardly help but perk me up, right?

Umm. I keep thinking -- I wish I remembered who the interview had been with -- I keep thinking of an exchange from an interview I read some years ago. The interviewer asked, "What question do people ask you most about your books?" And the author said, "Why don't you ever write about nice people?" Interviewer: "Uhh...do a lot of people ask you that?" Author: "No, just my mom. But she asks it a lot." Except it's not my mom, it's part of my brain: "Can we write about nice people for awhile?" Writerbrain: "No." Rest-of-brain: "Please?" Writerbrain: "Let me think about it: no." And truepenny is right, you gotta dance with who brung ya. I don't recall if she phrased it quite that way, but that was where it was going.

I have a bunch of tests with the vertigo specialist today. I am not allowed anything but broth for lunch. I'm not sure what on earth eating non-broth things for lunch would do to their tests, but it's frankly a little alarming. Two of the three procedure sheets for the tests they're doing say, "There may be slight discomfort associated with this procedure -- there should not be any pain." The third doesn't say that. It just says not to eat anything but broth for four hours before the test. I imagine this was not intended to make me nervous.

I'm hoping that I will be up for stopping on the way home to eat something nice and non-broth-like. I can imagine enjoying that. I'm not anhedonic. I'm just blue.


I was so very, very wrong.

Specifically, when I said, "Any medical appointment where they don't put anything metal inside your body is a good medical appointment"? Oh, was I wrong.

They put things in my ears.

Maybe I should have made this a voice post, because I'm not sure you can properly hear the creeping disgust here: things. In my ears. At one point the audiologist-or-other-professional said, "We're going to put a wick in your ear. Let me know when it hits your eardrum." And I? Being a mature and reasonable person? Did not call her any nasty names, did not attempt to knock her down and flee down the hallway, did not fling myself on the floor and howl. I didn't even squirm. I sat and let her put the thing on my eardrum and the other thing over it and then make it sound like a woodpecker had moved into my eardrum. And then she came in to take it out and said, "How are we doing?" I did not say, "You're doing fine; no one has put anything on your eardrum." I did not say, "Bloody awful, thanks for asking." I did not say, "We're just barely halfway done with this one test and God knows what you will think to do after the left side is done and I was trying to distract myself with that one Diane Ackerman poem from Planets, but the woodpecker tapping was too fast for anything but Edna St. Vincent Millay or maybemaybe e. e. cummings, and I ran out of clean e. e. cummings, and I don't even like the dirty e. e. cummings, and we're only halfway done with this one test so how do you think I'm doing?" I said, "Fine."

Mature and reasonable is so overrated.

(Happily, the medical personnel in question were from here, so they could hear the difference between "fine" and "fine." (And Zathros.) Also the way I was clutching the arm of the chair and clenching my jaw may have tipped them off.)

And they flung my head and upper body about and made me watch funny lights and blew air in my ears -- cold in the right, then cold in the left, then warm in the right, then warm in the left -- and asked me to name presidents and cars and flowers. And I did not say, "Lady, I do not know you nearly well enough to let you do that, even with mechanical assistance." No. Because I am a mature and reasonable person, even when they tangle my hair in electrodes, even when they leave goop on my face without wiping it off, even when they touch the hair that grows right above my ears that is the part of my body most likely to make me irrationally violent when touched by any but a handful of people in any but an extremely small handful of circumstances.

And the worst part of being a mature and reasonable person is that you know you don't get to take a break from it and be a bratty beast for awhile, and you know you have to go back again tomorrow, and you know they may say, "Sorry, we see nothing; too bad for you."

I get ice cream, is what I have to say about all that.