During my two week no reading insomnia spell I spent a lot of time on the back deck staring at the trees and listening to my inano really loud - checking my pager every so often to make sure I wasn't missing a call from the hospital. I found myself delving into the vault - lots of Alice In Chains, Hole, and Siouxsie & The Banshees. When you are depressed, there is no one better than Layne Staley to take you where you need to go. "Down In A Hole," "Hate To Feel," "Am I Inside," "Nutshell," - that guy knows depression, as my friend Katie said. He did lots of drugs, and I hate how he ended up, but I'm very thankful for his music.
I remember once in college he appeared in my dream. A bona fide rock star - hasn't happened since. We made out on a dirty Goodwill college couch - I can still see the brown carpet. Even though he was a little scrawny for my taste, it was a wonderfully sweaty, passionate dream that I enjoyed revisiting over and over in my head, despite the fact that we remained fully clothed and didn't get too far. All the angst of unfulfilled passion. I guess that is why Twilight is so popular - even though I had to skim a lot of it to get through the series and didn't really develop the full scale obsession that many of my friends did.
This week, I'm ready to shed that poor girl who I like to think of as "the other." The one from the Spring/Summer 2006. Maybe someday I will write about her - she deserves to have her story told - but if I do, it will be fictional and anonymous. I even managed to cry for her twice - for a couple of minutes. Once on the floor of a bathroom at a hotel in Chicago. And again, last week. Much easier to drown her out with music than actually be her, and get sad.
Part of the metamorphosis will be putting Layne Staley aside, for a while. I've got a great reason - my friend Laurie and I are going to see the one and only Les Claypool at The Village on April 24 (swoon!). Of course I know Primus, and have heard a smattering of stuff from his spin-off projects - but I've been doing lots of research, and so has Laurie. She made me a copy of Purple Onion, and I'm going to buy Of Whales and Woe, that has that great song "One Better" on it, and make a copy for her. Only three weeks!
During my research, I found out Claypool wrote a book. It has a really cool title - South of the Pumphouse. I got it at Barnes & Noble the other day. Now that I've laid the trucker book to rest, I'm anxious to get started so I can pass it on to Laurie. It has been likened to a Hunter S. Thompson novel, which is intriguing. Brothers, drugs, misconception, fishing - I don't see how I can be disappointed.
Music, soccer games, brunch with the kids and my friend Ramona Bates (the medical blogging superstar) and her wonder dog Rusty, egg hunt with Katie, Easter with family - there is a lot to look forward to, right now. And did I mention how much I can eat, these days? Despite the fact that the divorce process is rough, I am taking advantage of the fact that I can eat my weight in guacamole daily and still stay five pounds under my target. I guess stress heightens the old metabolism.
The other day, I was invited into the dialysis nurses' inner sanctum. It was such an amazing privilege. There was a birthday party, and I shoveled back homemade strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and strawberry banana whipped cream pie while I really got to know them, for the first time in three years. Listened to stories about church, bar-b-que, and kids. Introduced myself to some of the ones I didn't interact with by my first name, shedding the mantle of professionalism. On my way out, one of the nurses I just met walked up to me. Maybeth. I smiled at her, and wished her a Happy Birthday. Thanked her for letting me be a part of it. She asked, as if I was an alien from another planet, "Where do you come from?" I said, "What do you mean? The place or the training?"
"Here in Arkansas. Born in the same hospital I trained at. Was the only sibling, oldest of four, who couldn't leave home."
"Oh. Well, I really enjoyed meeting you."
"You, too. Hope to see you around soon."