I Lived A Lifetime

I had a bewitching weekend, surrounded by peace and happiness. I took my surgery incision with me, of course, as well as a set of dumbbells and a voracious appetite. Other than experiencing a sliver of sublime living, my goal was to put on five lbs. from Monday until today, work my muscles as if everyday life might intercede at any moment, and amplify the gratefulness I feel. I succeeded on all fronts. From sirloin burgers, to vegetable-loaded mac, waffle chips and sour cream and onion dip, Dot pretzel sticks, sea salt caramel gelato, protein drinks, twenty cups of coffee, and brats with sausage buns, I ate like it was 2020. Maximizing my moments and practicing incrementalism, I also took advantage of the dumbbells, so much so that I might have to buy them dinner.

Life is peeking at me from a conspicuous distance. I’ll remember this weekend; its details are entrenched in my memory. Knowing that people I love were having their own moments, ones punctuated by helplessness, propelled me to focus on savoring the life around me. This carousel might slow at any moment; even the minutes that make me draw my breath in quickly with surprise or dismay will one day be ones to cherish. For here, now: I’m lucky and privileged.

I was cautious over the weekend. For the first time in a LONG time, I opted not to cross any natural bridges or fallen trees. Being prominently featured on The Darwin Awards was very much on my mind. My surgeon might frown on my arrival tomorrow if I were to show up with an abdominal piercing provided to me by limbs jutting out of my intestines. On another note, I’m supposed to get my staples out tomorrow. I’m still holding out hope I’ll get to bring a few home with me to make a souvenir of my guts attempting to strangle me.

I laughed today, discovering that one of my eleven new hobbies transposes to one of my old ones: electronics. From jewelry to stereo, this might be the circle of life. Realizing that I now own a great soldering iron fooled me into thinking that I could easily repair a small stereo I own. It turns out I was right, even though the ‘fix’ followed a circuitous route that defied logic, including, of course, one attempt to solder my finger. After repairing a couple of things, I realized that I could also take advantage of the moment and add a bucket of color even to my stereo. So I dragged out my ample paint collection and got to work. Whether the stereo WORKS or not will be determined in a few minutes, probably in proportion to how loudly the neighbor yells when I crank it up. I’m just kidding; I’m a quiet neighbor. I mainly use the stereo to play 10-hour loops of ambient noise I made myself with Audacity. My favorite is a combination of a box fan, rain, thunder, and a few specialized sounds that are more subliminal than perceptible audio.

Because I already had the paints and platforms laid out, I also painted a large stone I brought back home with me. I love painted rocks. It’s fortuitous that I like painted fingers because I also serendipitously painted my neck, forehead, and even my shirt. Looking closely, I noted that several of the paints cans proclaimed this warning emblazoned along the spine: “Use With Caution. Especially you, X.”

I lived a lifetime in the last few days.

Love, X.

P.S. I forgot to mention how special it is to be able to speak Spanish. It pays dividends in ways that still surprise me. .

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