I haven’t been feeling well. Wednesday I had a migraine all day, and for the past few days I’ve been waking up with a sore throat. This morning my stomach was bothering me. I’ve been tired too. I’ve been taking Cold-eze and today I got some vitamin c and Nyquil. I haven’t come down with anything, but it’s festering.
So Wednesday night was the writing class reunion. There were two other people there from my class, and the rest were people from previous classes. The average age was probably 70. To my left was a woman who is 84. She recently took a bad fall and was in ICU and rehab and a nursing home for a few weeks, but now is back at home. Very nice, very frail. Her story was handwritten and she doesn’t have an email address. She wrote about her parent’s reaction to her sudden wedding (which took place around 1945). She later told me that her husband died in 1979, he was about 50 years old. She has seven children. I drove her home (no one else volunteered, even though most everyone there knew her). I’m not too keen on old people, I’m a children person myself. I think most people, if they had to pick the young ones or the old ones, would choose one over the other. My sister loves old people, I love young people. This woman was making me a little nervous getting into and out of my car, but she was pretty good at it. She learned the techniques in occupational therapy.
Next was a woman a little older than me who wrote about a humanitarian trip she took to Burma, or Bangladesh, or someplace like that. But the story wasn’t really about her trip (which I wanted to hear more about) it was about how she accidently sent an email to a whole group of her contacts instead of just one person.
Beside her was a woman about my mother’s age, married to the man sitting to my right. This was the second marriage for both of them. She wrote about the camping trips she took with her kids in the 1970’s.
On the couch were the two people from my class. One wrote about her mother, who if she was alive today would be in her late 90’s. She was ahead of her time, she lived in Denmark and went to college to become a chemical engineer. It was a fascinating story, about how she juggled her roles as a professional with her role as a traditional mother. The other woman from my class, who is married to a minister and who spent time in Africa doing missionary work with her husband and children, wrote about trying to find her purpose now that her children are a little bit older and she has more freedom. I related to her story quite a bit.
Then there was Kyle. As soon as he walked in I was intrigued by him. He has white hair, but it is long and shaggy. A pierced ear with a dangly turquoise earring. His style of dress reminded me of a writer like Kurt Vonnegut or John Irving (not that I really know how they dress, but I imagine them dressing like this). He was older than he looks, he said early 70’s. He looked so progressive, but then he said he is an Episcopalian minister. Episcopalians mean business, don’t they? When he arrived people were asking about his friend. His friend, a pediatrician, was riding his bike and got hit by a truck. He is now in the shock trauma unit at the hospital. Kyle said he is doing well because he can breathe and talk. I said, “That is good?” Apparently that is better than he was a few weeks ago, when he couldn’t breathe or talk. He has substantial injuries.
Kyle wrote a story that I thought would be about first love. He was 16 in the story and taking a girl out. They were driving and he looked away from the wheel to kiss the girl. He got into an accident which left another man paralyzed from the waist down permanently. It was a powerful story.
Next was a woman who wrote about trying to get something fixed, I can’t even remember what it was, and the frustration she had talking to the “robot” at the customer service department. Then the man married to the camping woman, who wrote about how during his first marriage to an Irish woman (he is Jewish) he would bring in green bagels to work every St. Patrick’s Day.
I read my story about running in the Army 10 Miler. I thought it went well. After each person reads, we discuss their story a bit. I talked about the race a little more in the discussion and how patriotic it was. Mr. Green Bagels said, “I didn’t get that impression from your story. You didn’t write about that at all.” Yes, Mr. Green Bagels, you are correct, I did not write about that. The story was actually about my struggle with the race and myself, I just happened to elaborate a bit more on the race in the discussion. Other people talked about people they knew, relatives, children, friends, who have run marathons, and the intensity they have experienced. Kyle commented that he liked my coach’s advice, “Run the mile you’re in.” He agreed with me that is good advice for life.
I was anxious before class, so I stopped at a restaurant at the mall and had two glasses of wine. Then there was wine at class – since it was in the teacher’s apartment rather than the writing center wine is allowed, which was fine with me. I don’t think I realized how much I drank though. I didn’t feel too well Thursday morning. I woke up craving soda. That hasn’t happened in a long time, since New Year’s Day I think. I had a whole can of Dr. Pepper.
I had sent my flying story to my flying therapist and she emailed me yesterday telling me that she loved the story and wants to put it on her website. Wow! She says she also thinks it will be helpful for her new clients to read it. That made me feel good. She was taking a trial flight with two clients yesterday and was anxious to see how security was since I had told her about the bodyscanners and pat downs. My daughter flew home Friday night and at her concourse there were just the regular metal detectors and no pat downs that she saw. That was a relief! She goes back in a week, and I know there are bodyscanners at our airport, because I had to go through one in August. I’m trying not to dwell on that right now though. It’s going to be such a busy travel day next Sunday that I’m sure the security people will have so much to do, there won’t be time to send too many people through the bodyscanners. Metal detectors are much quicker.