bunt sign

Thursday, August 29, 2002

In the same spirit that I never drive without the radio on so that I won't hear anything in the car engine that I don't want to hear, I work all day with either the TV on or music playing. I don't pay all that much attention to either when I'm concentrating on a task, but it's good to have it there for when my concentration lapses and I might accidentally let a bad thought creep into my head.

The only time I allow complete silence (except for the birds and the traffic on Llano Road, over which I have no control) is when I'm reading, and that activity has its own ambient noise. No, not my lips moving, get out of here. Reading creates a sort of melody in my head, like the soundtrack to a movie.

So anyway, if the thoughts I've been expressing here lately seem a little superficial and disjointed, it's because I'm not letting myself wallow too deeply in anything that might be troubling or might wrench me in some disturbing direction. Until now, of course, which is where all this is coming from.

And I'm not about to let this go on long enough to let the darkness take over, or to bring any demons to light. I'm not even going to repair that mangled metaphor, because I kind of like the paradoxical nature of it.

In a totally unrelated matter, I took Mom to her doctor's appointment today. She was having a procedure, and they'd given her two sets of instructions. The first said that she should have someone drive her there, and the second one said she'd be fine to drive herself. We made the mutual decision to go with the first set, in part because I'd never been to this Mammoth Medical Facility and should know where to go in case of an emergency (which is never going to happen).

The lab where she was going is in one building of a massive complex of buildings, and I know exactly how to find it again. If I had to find any other part of the facility, I'd probably get lost in the parking lot. I think I'd just go back to the lab and ask for directions. We got there at 5:00. Her appointment was at 5:30, but they told her to be there at 5:00, so we were. There was no one around.

Even the receptionist had gone home for the day, so an actual nurse took Mom's name, and she went right into the room. Since I'd left my book in the car and forgot to drop bread crumbs along the way, I sat and watched the people. A few patients wandered by, but most of the people I saw wore badges and smocks and already had their car keys in their hands. The place was clearing out, and before long it was just me and the janitor.

I wandered around and checked out the art work, which seemed to follow no rules except the color scheme. There were abstracts and primitive realists and metal sculptures, all in blue, green and purple. Coincidentally or not, those were the same colors of the smocks I saw on the departing personnel. Most of the tropical fish in the aquarium that stands in the waiting room are color-coordinated as well.

The only excitement was a not-lost child. I don't know if it's possible to lose a child that close to the pediatric unit, which was at the other end of the hall. The mother walked by the room where I was sitting with a four-year-old boy in tow. They were going in the direction of the rest rooms. Five minutes later, the boy came tearing out by himself, bound for the kids' area. I suspect there were toys down at that end of the corridor.

The mom was out of the rest room like a shot herself. "Jared!" Now I knew the boy's name. They walked back and forth together twice more while I was waiting. No permanent trauma seems to have been inflicted on either of them. I'm not sure which one had the small bladder. She was very pregnant, so draw your own conclusions about so many bathroom trips.

Mom (mine, that is) walked out of the little room about 5:40. She wasn't wobbling or anything, and she said she didn't have any pain. (Of course, she was under a local anesthetic.) She thinks she'll drive herself to her next appointment. If that's what she wants, I'll let her, but I didn't mind the outing at all. People watching is worth a couple of hours out of my day.


Look! Up in the sky! It's the moon! In the daytime!

I hit the old Mailbox Jackpot today. National Geographic, with a cover article on meerkats. Sports Illustrated and TV Guide, both with their NFL previews (not that either one will do me any good in the family football pool, because preseason expectations are always way off). My college alumni magazine (although I didn't recognize a single name, and the section on my graduating class gets smaller every month).

And from Netflix, I got two movies that are both on my what?-you-never-saw-that? list: The Great Escape and Ransom. (And what do they have in common? Well, Mel Gibson was in Chicken Run.) Anyway, what a bonanza!

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