Friday, July 20, 2012
So, where were we? Oh, right, travel. Well, we're still on the road, Mr. Muscato and me, albeit it now not entirely of our own design.
Before we dive in, behold our haul for the trip. Joining the aforementioned Solar Queen and accompanying corgi (who it appears are on offer not only in chic PTown gifteries, but also, if our dear Jason is to be believed, in at least one Gulf Coast emporium) are a fetching Cunard bear (we couldn't resist the sweater, and bears are Mr. M.'s weakness. In more ways than one.). Joining them is as our latest 11-1/2 inch temptress, who looks like a striking combo of Lynda Carter, Rita Hayworth, and a chopstick (she's from Mattel's new especially body-dysmorphic "Fashionista" line). We call her Desirée. We always get travel toys, but this strikes me as an especially fine haul. Yes, they're posed against a tee-shirt. It was the best I could think of at the time, and I firmly deny that any Boatslip planter's punch was involved. Firmly.
So Provincetown continued to be a great joy. We saw shows (Randy Roberts says hi, Bill and Ed!) and can confirm that Miss Coco Peru is, hard as this may be to believe, even better, by a longshot, in person than she is in Trick. Her show, There Comes a Time, is more a Lily Tomlin-style monologue than a scattershot drag or standup act, and its funny, affecting, and, wherever needed, sharp as glass. Miss Coco even sports a daring new look, which replaces her signature flip with a worldly little bob that's half punk, half executive secretary. It works, and so does she.
We met up with friends, we went out, we stayed in, enjoying long afternoons on the deck and lovely lazy mornings. And sadly, all too soon, it was time to go. We bundled the bags and the Queen and the corgi and Desirée into the rented motor and headed for Boston and a couple of restful days chez ma soeur, who lives in lesbo-Brahmin splendor therein.
And I got sick.
And I ignored it.
Which, it seems, was a mistake.
We were scheduled to spend the final week of this year's voyage in glamorous Wasington, DC, at the home office of Golden Handcuffs Consulting Amalgamated, which pays the bills, meeting people and generally trying to act official and convince the Powers What Am that we do strategically imperative and dynamically innovative and generally buzzword-worthy things out there in the Sandlands.
Which I did, for a couple of days, after a mildly fraught trip south in which I did my best not to admit that I was Increasingly Unwell. Mr. Muscato is smarter than me, so he knew it, so it all got rather difficult ("I'm fine, dammit. Really I am..." [gasp, collapse] "....just fine!").
In brief: trip to the hospital (my first-ever on my own behalf to an American ER. Fascinating.), multiple late-night tests, stern warning not to travel for the moment.
And now the fun begins, because apparently the follow-ups I need aren't immediately available ("It's July," office after office explains, as if people were either foolish or actively selfish to consider taking up invalidism after Memorial Day). Fortunately, the good people at Golden Handcuffs have wasta (as we say out East - meaning influence), and so rather than sitting very still and hoping for the best until, say, the last week of August, a good doctor has agreed to look in greater detail at my heart early next week. We shall see.
Mr. Muscato can't help but contrast this with the system back in Egypt, where, if you have the wherewithal, you can see any doctor in the country within something like 18 hours, unless you want to pony up a little, in which case they'll come to your house right now. Previously, he thought I was making it up when I described how American health care works. Now he knows better.
To add insult to injury, today we have to move hotels, going from impractical office-sponsored semi-luxe to one of those free-breakfast/kitchenetted business-traveler suite places. Me, who came over on the Queen! Well, it's sensible, and it actually will be nice to have a fridge. We may be here for a few days - or we may be here a lot longer.
As I lay on the gurney two nights ago, overhearing an older lady being talked into a semi-voluntary commitment ("No, Mrs. Cooney, it's for your own good. And besides, the gamma rays can't get you in here. You remember that Dr. Sinclair told you that, don't you? You'll be safer here, really..."), I thought about a lot of things. How lucky I was to have Mr. Muscato waiting outside, how much I miss the dogs, and how very much I dislike needles (one of which was currently firmly in place in one arm), mostly, but also how quickly things change.
One minute you're dancing on an ocean liner racing across the dark Atlantic; the next you're eating lobster, staring out at Cape Cod Bay; but the next you're sitting in a backless gown (and not the fun kind) having people address you in the first person plural ("let's just lie down for moment, okay?") and leave you in a hallway. There's a lesson there, although probably a trite one, but right now I'm too mad to learn it.
So wish us well, in this new and unexpected phase of our adventure. We're off this morning to check into the Olde Gardene Courte Suitotel, after which we sit around until the next time Big Health Care deigns to look our way. In the meantime, Mr. Muscato keeps trying to stop me from standing up, I'm plotting how to get to at least one museum, and back out there in the Sandlands, Mrs. Galapatty-da Silva is girding herself for a little while longer on her own with the hounds from hell.
AA Milne said it best: Bother.