Early this afternoon I walked to Silverglen Liquors to buy a couple of 49-cent Opera mini-cigars. With bus fare for only one leg of the journey, I obviously chose to reserve that for the return home since we live at the top of a steep hill. Unfortunately, when I attempted to lay down and nap moments ago (3:45 PM PST) my arthritic knee began throbbing as if I had been kicked and I was unable to rest.
There has been no check in the mail from a way, way, way late-paying client and I still remain without the four other RX scrips, gauze and tape for my hands, bathroom tissue, not to mention milk and bread since my food benefits for the month were used up a few days ago. Thank God our bills are paid but, as usual, that leaves little to nothing for anything else.
This afternoon I’m ready to commence on another segment for “Figures of Fighting Men” (the last piece was submitted to a Flavorwire lit-fic contest) titled “Bullboxing in the Figueroa Street Tunnels”, a sort of dig at extreme sports. I cannot begin working, however, until, hopefully, someone responds to the last newsletter sent an hour or so ago, requesting help in purchasing medical supplies at CVS this afternoon in order to tape up my hands from the acute plaque psoriasis and psoriatic nail disease exfoliation I have going on, that’s the only way I can hold a pen. From the Mayo Clinic online:
- Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth. You may have just a few plaques or many, and in severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
- Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
My nails crumbled years ago.
When I ran out of gauze two days ago (I occlude my hands in gauze and elastic bandages after applying an RX steroid ointment) I used bathroom tissue. Now we’re out of bathroom tissue as well. But one particular irony: I now wrap my bandages better than ever before because I learned all about how a boxer’s hands are wrapped as research for “Fighting Men”.
After a two day session (spanning, all in all, about six hours) I just finished writing the most powerful and potent short fiction piece I’ve ever composed in my twenty-five-plus year career. The story, titled “No Style, No Grace, No Mercy”, was written for an online competition (a paying competition, of course) but also for a larger piece of interconnected vignettes titled “Figures of Fighting Men”.
I do not often speak highly of my own work, but this piece floored the hell out of me. I have no idea where it came from. At this moment I’d love nothing more than to hoist something more’n coffee to celebrate this evening but after a pricey doctor co-pay yesterday and the payment of our past due internet bill, not to mention yet another late book payment royalty, there ain’t nuthin’ but thirty-two cents to celebrate with.
Alas, the story is wonderful. Job well done, reward delayed. Or maybe the reward is the work itself.
Yesterday Lela was reading online reviews of air mattresses which revealed that our situation is far from unique. Apparently, in this shaky economy there are a lot of folks who cannot afford a new mattress and box springs so they opt for more affordable air mattresses and flip them for a new one roughly every three to four months, which appears to be the average life span of an inflatable bed when it is used on a daily basis.
Yesterday, thanks to help from friends, L took the Metro 603 out to Target at the Glendale Galleria and purchased a $35 double-tier air mattress. So we have a bed again. As long as it holds up.
Monday night I went to bed — I use that word loosely, since bed now is the hard concrete floor after our air mattress sprung a leak that is apparently immune to repair — and woke up at 2:00 AM coughing and wheezing from an allergy attack as a result of sleeping too close to the floor (a RAST blood allergy test taken by my physician late last year revealed that, essentially, I am “allergen specific” to just about everything known to mankind). Lela also awoke, made coffee at my request, and here I sit at 3:20 AM reading yesterday’s news and, a few moments ago, recalling that I neglected to thank our friend in Portugal for her assistance yesterday as well. Continue reading
… to K.D. of Tennessee, D’n'J Scott of SoCal, and our dear friend John of L.A.. I went out today and got my topical meds and bandages (elastic wrap) and gauze roll, plus petroleum jelly, diabetic socks (my feet are swollen from psoriatic arthritis), and a few tall cool ones and a bottle of (inexpensive) wine to accompany our salad and BBQ chicken dinner (on the Foreman Grill that was also a gift) tonight. We also paid the past due internet bill ($47.00) so our connection stays on!
We send our love and affection to all of you and hope you will always know that we never take you, or anyone else, for granted.
Still 94 degrees at 6:57 PM here in the Echo Park Hobbit House with no AC (only 88 in the kitchen, Lela just reported) but we will survive. Sleeping on the hard concrete floor is another matter entirely, as well as meeting my doctor co-pay on Wednesday (may have to reschedule that appointment) but for now we’re rejoicing that a major bill has been paid, my immediate medical needs have been met, and we are enjoying our evening. As stated in the header, a million thanks, friends.
Thank you, thank you all