Day 2 (okay, it’s day three, but I was busy on day two…)

So I previously posted about this new “getting healthy” plan from my insurance company and how I’m supposed to answer these stupid questions everyday for a week or so.  Today’s question:

Day 2:
My relationship to my body
“If my body could talk to me, what would it say?”

I think my body would say, “Damn stupid mother-fucker!  What the fuck have you been doing to us?  Is there some kind of reason you’ve been putting us through this horrible abuse for the past 20-something years?  You don’t eat right.  You smoke like a blown radiator on a cold day.  You don’t sleep nearly enough to keep me even slightly happy.  What gives?  What did I ever do to you?

“Oh, that’s right, I only make sure you’re lungs work (even though you treat them like shit…what kind of asthmatic smokes a pack or two EVERY FUCKING DAY?) and your heart beats and your food gets digested… Oh… Wait…  Are you pissed off because I refuse to be happy with eggs and milk products again?  Well too fucking bad you little shithead!  Daddy’s gotta get his revenge somehow, right?  You treat me like shit, I’m gonna make you feel like you’re gonna shit your pants every time you eat something that tastes even remotely good.  Don’t like it?  TREAT ME BETTER!

“Remember that ex you wish you’d treated better?  That one you wish had never gotten away?  I’m gonna be like that.  Now our spine’s fucked up.  You may or may not have had a myocardial infarction AT TWENTYFUCKINGTHREEYEARSOLD!  Haven’t you learned anything?  SLOW DOWN!  CALM DOWN!  Enjoy the ride we’re on.  Take care of us!  Eat better and exercise!  And for the love of all that is clean and fresh QUIT FUCKING SMOKING!”

At least, that’s what I think the world wants me to think my body would tell me.  I think it would simply say, “DUDE!  REALLY?  GET US FUCKING LAID ALREADY!”

On Finishing a Story

I follow #writingprompt on Twitter and found @toasted_cheese to be a good source of inspiration, even if it is mostly just making me want to write and never actually following the prompts.  Except for today.  If you head on over to the website you’ll discover there is a calendar of writing prompts.  I happened to skip ahead last month into the February prompts and read the one for today, and it didn’t really strike a chord in me.

This morning, however, when I went over to my TweetDeck window (which never seems to get closed anymore) and skimmed over the writing prompts, I discovered that I just couldn’t let it go.  Oh, I tried to let it go, reading my daily dose of comics and blogs, but it just kept nagging at me.  I started following even the most perfunctory of links in my friends feed to try and get my mind off of that prompt.

I failed miserable and wrote just shy of 450 words on it before getting so overly frustrated with it I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Someone said that meant I was doing it right.

Eventually I just closed that word processor window and continued to mill about online, still not having even touched my novel.  I couldn’t get this character I was writing about for some stupid prompt I wasn’t even interested in last week out of my head.

I sighed, exasperated, went outside, lit my cigarette, and paced.  It felt like I was obsessing over this new story that, in reality, meant nothing to me except for being a writing exercise to expand my skill as a writer.

Eventually I sat in my awesome smoking chair and closed my eyes, trying to get my mind off of the entire ordeal, ready to come inside and simply delete the entire file, when it happened.

There we were, both of us sitting at the bar, wallowing in whatever we were wallowing in: self-pity, shame, a lost job, an ended relationship.  I hadn’t been paying attention to anything around me, too busy trying to wash away my sorrow with the numbness brought on by my scotch, which was empty.  A disappointment.  I looked up hoping to catch the barkeeper’s attention, and saw her.  Whether it was merely the abruptness of my movement or she happened to be in need of a refill of the cure for the broken-hearted herself, I couldn’t be sure, but our eyes locked.

I raised the corner of my mouth in a half-hearted smile I knew couldn’t have possibly touched my eyes.  She returned my smile and even raised her hand in a half-hearted wave.  Suddenly everything was happening so quickly.

I grabbed my empty glass and went to her.  I said something.  She laughed.  And then suddenly, inexplicably we were kissing, her shirt on my living room floor, my pants around my ankles, and it was heaven…

Thankfully for the entire reading world that’s the end of that story.  And to save your imagination that didn’t actually happen (or did it?), but the point still stands: it was a sudden, gripping situation.  Suddenly, I had a completed story.  And entire work of flash fiction completed and saved, working title and all, on my hard drive.

How could this be?  How could I have gotten out of bed this morning, gone to my computer and not been able to think of anything to write for hours and then impetuously written an entire story?

I didn’t even have time to fully enjoy the afterglow of completing my work when a new itch, a new urge began to eat away at me…


So I ask, when is a story finished?  Is a story ever truly completed?

Certainly everyone knows when the story has been told, but at what point do you feel it has been polished, edited, revised enough that you can say, “That’s it, it’s done.  My work is complete.”

Doctor’s offices sometimes suck

So I hurt my back opening the dishwasher on January 7. Rather embarrassing, if I do say so myself. Earned me the wondrous nickname of “Powder Puff”.

I had to use my dad’s wheely walker (the kind with the basket attachment and the seat) because I couldn’t even stand up on my own, let alone walk. That was around 11:30 am. Mom got out of work around 4 so I had her take me to the urgent care place when she got out (Dad doesn’t do the best in these kinds of situations which, combined with how well I handle being on the receiving end of medical care, made me think this was for the best, which it was), at which point I was, thankfully, able to walk with just a cane.

I continued having to use the cane the next day (27 and using a cane…I really am an old man!) when I spent time with a friend, which was needed and I am eternally grateful for. Went back to the doc on the 22nd because they told me to come back in 10-14 days. In between all of that, I was walking because they told me to not be sedentary.

Walking rather sucked. My hip felt like it was going to go out from under me and the pain, at times, was almost unbearable (not from the level of pain, I should say, but from the type of pain). I told the doc this. He said, “Well, let’s x-ray your hip just to make sure you don’t have a fracture.”

Sure enough, no fracture. So now, not having any idea what’s wrong with my body, I’m completely freaking out. He calms me down by telling me it could just be from hurting my back, that a nerve may be pinched in there somewhere, sending faulty signals to my brain that something’s wrong with my hip, or cutting off signals FROM my hip, either way.

Okay, so I’m placated by that. They refer me to this clinic place that does pain management, physical therapy, MRIs…basically an all in one for what I need.  The only thing that stuck out to me was when he said, “We refer all of our worker’s comp there.”  Did they only take worker’s comp?  Hmmm…

So there was this mystery, and I was given the job of solving it.  I called on Monday, they said they’d call me back in about an hour or so.  That was around 10:30 or 11 am.  I called back at 4pm, not having heard back.  “I still haven’t heard anything, I’m hoping to hear back in the morning.”

I called them, again, on Wednesday or Thursday (this week as just jumbled itself all together) and was told I’d hear back after lunch from them, but they still hadn’t heard from their corporate office.  Cut to today when I finally get fed up with it and call the original doc’s office.

Thankfully they were completely awesome and within 30 minutes had referred me to a new doctor and are faxing over all of my information to them.  It’s only taken 3 weeks, but maybe I’ll find out just what’s wrong with me and can get it taken care of.

What’s happening on the work front, however, is a completely different post entirely.