When I first woke up from surgery, the room was dark and empty, except for a tiny little woman in a white sweater checking tubes and dials on the IV stand next to me. She gave me a blank look, uttered something totally unintelligible, and walked out the door. I screamed, "What??" and passed out.
Next thing I remember, the surgeon, one Dr. Irving Grabscheit, is standing beside my bed. A pale, fat nurse dressed in what had to be size XXXL Sponge-Bob scrubs stood beside him, looking slightly bored. The doctor is leaning over and peering intently at me, tapping me on the arm
"Hello? Hello? Can you heah me? Sally, can you heah me??? You just came out of SURgery, Sally. We thought we were just going to remove your apPENdix, but NO, it turned out it was a TUmah. In your inTEStines. NOT benign! Size of a GRAPEFRUIT."
First time I spied Jake was on a hot Saturday morning in June, out in the waiting room of a Long Island veterinarian. I'd contacted German Short-haired Pointer Rescue and they directed me to a woman who'd said, "Oh yes, we have a dog, a male who really needs to go home with someone." She spoke with a Russian accent, her voice soft and a little hesitant. I told her I knew a lot about the breed, having raised one from a little seven-week old puppy until she died a few months ago at the age of nineteen. "Nineteen?", she breathed, "well, my goodness, you must know what you're doing." I wasn't sure that was entirely accurate, but I laughed and told her I'd meet her and the prospective adoptee at 9 am the following Saturday. "His name is Jake," she said, "and he's had kind of a hard time, so far."
On the one hand, you could say I'm writing this first-time diary because of my war on terror. And you would be, up to a point, correct. I just lost my job, my SO is disabled, and I am in treatment for colon cancer. Yeehaw. Yeppers, unemployment will have to stretch pretty far, and the only thing I know that absorbs any of that panic is to write. So here I am, fingers to the keyboard. I am a playwright/actor type, so my experience with tapping out my thoughts is neither new nor fatally intimidating. Certainly not as intimidating as having this freaking disease, no job, and having to cough up 700 bucks a month for health insurance.