Internets, I have about five minutes in here before two small children figure out I’m awake and available to play another round of Baby T-Rex vs the Power Cord (or whatever the hell superhero name the kid is calling himself), so this post is going to be a slapdash mess of bullet points.
I’m in New Mexico with Victoria, Dan, and their two lovable children. I’m playing part nanny, part friend, and part punching bag on this trip. Victoria invited me along because her mom, at the age of 53, is graduating college (Go, Mom!) and the whole family is convening to celebrate. I get to spend the next few days taking in the beautiful scenery of the desert, soaking up the sun, and avoiding “shark bites” (Oh, you don’t know what a shark bite is? Ask a nine year old). The youngest of Victoria’s kids has one of those classic kid laughs, the kind a sound effects guy would pay millions for. Anyone who hears it laughs too, it’s that contagious. The air sickness, the turbulence through Tuscon, the whining and the constant demands for stories? It’s all worth it to hear that laugh.
The little guy LOVES to be told a good story. He regularly asks me to tell him stories. And since I am a master at weaving together hyperbole and moral values, I oblige. We started the day yesterday with the tale of Bozo The Pickle who gets lost in the desert and mistakes a saguaro cactus for his mother. Somehow, via the magic that is a small child’s imagination, “Bozo” morphed into “Bonzo“, which morphed into “B-Bonzo-Bean”. So this morning, I woke to the sound of small children thumping around in the next room and “B-BONZO-BEAN!!!” You’re welcome, Victoria.
I went through another round of blood tests and a two hour medical interrogation from a new doctor a few days before I left for this trip. We are no closer to figuring out why my ear and neck feel like they are stuffed with fiberglass insulation, but we did find out that my iron and cholesterol levels are dangerously low. Did you hear that America? MY CHOLESTEROL IS TOO LOW! I’m pretty sure this gives me license to eat an unlimited amount of cheeze puffs and onion rings. I’m on an iron supplement right now, but I also (drum roll please) have agreed to eat small amounts of meat here and there. Did you hear that, mom? Mother of mine who thankfully doesn’t read this blog because I would be able to hear the I TOLD YOU SO from across the country? I am going to have a tiny bit of bacon for breakfast. Because my cholesterol is too low! Because I haven’t eaten meat, except for the tiniest bits here and there, in FIFTEEN YEARS. And because I lay in bed at night and think about the end of the world and whether or not burglars might take all my shit while I’m at work and whether or not that stain is going to come out of my shirt. It wasn’t just that I’ve eaten a mostly organic, high fiber low fat vegetarian diet for the past fifteen years. I WORRIED the cholesterol out of my system, Internet. I fucking dissolved the stuff right out of my veins because that’s what chronic stress will do to your body. It will eat up the very building blocks of your body until you a trembling mass of overworked nerves. I suddenly doesn’t feel so bad having that second helping of nachos yesterday.
CLH is more than halfway home! I miss the hell out of him. I was given the okay by the captain’s wife about a week ago to send daily text messages to the satellite phone on the boat, so I have been sending a haiku every day for the past week. The update from the boat is that the crew is apparently craving hot showers. They encountered FOURTEEN FOOT swells earlier this week (I had to fight back the urge to pass out, puke, and convulse all at once typing that), and they are having a BLAST talking to the Flying Pigs ham radio operators. Thank goodness they have more than each other to talk to. I’ve heard that the waves, the sea-sickness, the hard work, the lack of fresh fruit, the sunburn, the constant movement…. it’s all manageable after a while. It’s the monotony that eventually does you in as a sailor. So, thank goodness for people who understand how to work a radio. I’m sure it’s the altitude change, the fact that my neck is a compacted mess, and the fact that we really haven’t stopped moving since we landed in Arizona 48 hours ago, but I think I’m feeling sympathy sea-sickness pains. Can that be? Burdy? I miss you too, but quit rockin‘ the boat, would ya?