n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, April 24, 2010

So I'm sitting

in the hotel room on a chair that is too low for the table with my computer, which means the best option is to kick off my sandals and put my smelly feet up on the table I don't have to share with anyone. Someone's van outside my window has on its hazard lights, and off and on they go. I like this hotel... I think it's the first hotel I've ever had by myself with nobody to share with. It makes me think of how, whenever I was in a hotel when I was younger, I had to share a bed with my sister, and so I revenged myself by tying knots in her hair as soon as she fell asleep. It would make me feel semi-diabolical, only semi- because I knew her hair was so fine the knots would fall out by the morning. Wicked me, but now I have the whole place to myself.

I must finally be grown up now because I have a hotel room by myself, and a rental car. It's the combination. It kind of does something for me.

I was very much panicking about the rental car until I reminded myself that I had rented an SUV in Ecuador. Ecuador, man, Ecuador! That place was friggin crazy, with soldiers at roadside stops, people flashing their brights at you when they pass (it's the custom, not the law), and two months of "gunpoint" stories filling my mind. Not to mention their tendency to make Italians look like 5th-grade safety patrollers behind the wheel. And yes, I also drove in New York City, Chicago (in a Uhaul too), San Francisco (regularly), and Sedro-Wooley. But Ecuador is finally what I used to shame my mind into ceasing its panic over renting a car and driving in Phoenix. Truthfully, it was the whole "by myself" thing that had me worked up, along with the "to visit N in the hospital."

I've done only semi-well with the rental car. First off, I got into the wrong car, and was busy adjusting the seat and admiring the smooth power-adjustable lumbar support when I looked up and noticed somebody else's name on a card hanging off the rear-view mirror. Right beside "Gold Member," which I temporarily misread as "God's Member" and had a jolt of confusion over. So, I collected my items, jumped out of the car, and was just about to get my bag from the back seat when God's Member herself ambulated up with her roller-suitcase and peach skirt that matched her peach jacket and peach hat. Actually, no hat, but it was there in spirit.

Although I was already embarrassed at having mistook one blue car for another, and having a dyslexic moment sufficient enough to get me into the wrong car even though I had looked straight up at the parking slip numbers (on a sign overhead) as I was walking up, and although I was hustling out of there as politely as possible, God's Member thought she needed to instruct me on colors (deep blue vs. blue), the clear sign (right up there), how to gather items (are you sure...?), how to leave the key (are you planning on...?), and perhaps just to irritate me as I left, whether I might need the extra map I had left on the passenger's seat (I had already taken the map I so clearly needed and marked up previously). Damn God's Member, how much of a prick do you need to be?!!

Finally, blushing and irritated, I rushed out of the lot, and suddenly felt pleased at the spanky blueness of my car (no deep blue for me, thank you very much) and how it zipped quite nicely, and so I zipped myself right out onto the freeway that, within 5 minutes, came to a grinding halt.

Thirty minutes later, I decided the 2-mile per hour speed wasn't going to get me where I needed to go, so I hobbled poor Zipster off the freeway and right into a protest against Arizona's new bill criminalizing illegal immigrants. Truckfulls of kids, mostly Hispanic, with signs about racism and hate. No, all Hispanic actually.

Ari-fucking-zona. The place that one is supposed to boycott as a tourist if you think targeting immigrants as criminals -- tossing them in jail, heck, if they even look like they might be an immigrant (Hispanic), targeting them and tossing them in jail -- is a vicious, back-handed way of dealing with your own economic and cultural frustrations. And there I am with the Zipster right in the middle of the mess. Can't really call myself a tourist though. I thought I might get a little in, but I'm just hanging out with N at the hospital.

Yep, I did indeed get through the protest and during 1.5 hours of driving found my way through an area of Mercados, to an area of Supermercados, past that to the storage companies, and just one step beyond to the corporations that lurk in the outskirts of not exactly Nowheresville, but more like, Notveryanyplaceville. My hotel was Priceline.com cheap (as was the car) because it was built right next to a freeway in Notveryanyplaceville, and ridiculously boring, corporaty, dufusy (TGIF is the only restaurant on the block). However, I quite like it. It is near N's hospital, has a heated swimming pool, and I get my own non-smoking room with a kitchenette and DVD player and shower with a very weird curvy shower-curtain rod. Bed is fine, it doesn't stink, and the lights outside have stopped blinking.

That said, what else? I almost backed into another car this morning and got very much beeped at, but I blamed it on the Zipster and successfully re-aligned my self-identity to match this rationalization. I have also gotten a bit lost here and there driving, but not much. Everything seems to have been divined simple, so that I can be with N and deal with that. Truthfully, it hurts that I am going to be leaving so soon. Being here with her makes me want to be nearer, to see her every day and make sure that she keeps on the path to getting better. She is very, very sick... that much is obvious. Now that I'm here it's also undeniably obvious that it is something psychologically serious, and there will not be any quick easy options. I kind of knew that before, but now I really know it. And it is also clear that she is suffering incredibly, and crystal fucking clear that her family is not here. Not at all here. Which makes me very, very angry.

But we had a good day today and a 1/2-good day yesterday. I think I have helped by being here. I am feel verrrry patient around her, although I've had to leave the room a couple of times thinking I was going to cry. She has good help around her, nurses who seem to care, or are at least very professional. I think N has partially come to terms with the situation; I'm just worried about that other partial. But it's been really good to be here with her, and I'm glad I did it, and I remember entirely why I love her so much and will always be there if she needs me. I've got one more day, so I guess that will have to do for now. Not much else I can do, which hurts in itself.

I am, however, reminding myself: I just got notified that I'm being given one of the three creative writing classes at the CC to teach next year. L just got a full-time job in Chicago and he is doing so very well it makes me happy... he seems to be better, which gives me confidence that N will someday too. And my friends have been very amazing in supporting me, and mom just told me the ER sent me a package of books that I have to wait to hear the titles of until when I get back. Thank-you. Very Much. All of You. It makes me happy to know we are all interconnected and out there for each other.

Alright. I'm off. Tomorrow, another swim in the heated pool, another walk, some grading, and the rest of the day is for N and me.
Glad that it's been good, being there. Coz you know, for a second there I thought I was witnessing the second coming of Hunter S. Thompson, kicking up dust on some random AZ roads, blurry-wavy sky, etc. (God's Member. Ha!) But no, actually, nothing like that, really. :)
There were a few beautiful moments of Hunter T woven in there! :)
Congrats on the Creative Writing class-- fun!
Thanks! It's not until winter quarter, but I'm excited... plus it gives me impetus to apply at the evil university... maybe they'd let me teach creative writing too!
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