How do you consider the wins and losses of this particular day? The body seems at the center. The main event, as it were, involved in the 20 meters of pathway between Jane’s car and the front door to the Triple 0 Café, Half Moon Bay. I have not walked for a week. There is method in this neuromuscular madness. See earlier reports on the tendon. Yes, it is still sore. And my agreement with at least one of my physical medicine team was not to walk at all. Still, something in me could not resist. So when Jane suggested the little eatery at the Half Moon Bay airport, I said yes.
And there we were, me holding onto Jane’s arm in the accustomed manner, limping toward lunch. A few tentative steps and there it was again, that familiar twinge in the left leg, just above the knee. It’s enough to make one’s leg sag, along with one’s spirit. I only have one leg, effectively. And no, it absolutely cannot wear out. I do not have time for tendinitis. So what to do but make the walk as one could. Which is to say, not the right way. Keeping the affected limb bent, hoisting the other, then another bent-legged step, then another. Not much progress this way, of course. Worse, not much to cheer about. Is this the beginning of the end? Yes, the question is a bit overblown. But not much. The sidewalk into the little airport café has been whimsically painted to look like a runway. The centerline clearly painted, taxi speed indicated, all sorts of in-jokes for the private pilots who frequent the place. My only response: is this the final approach?
Thing is, my left shoulder, the good one, has been bothering me since…well, I was in Gloucestershire in December. Why? In truth, I have had good physical medicine advice here. Certain stretches definitely help. Still, it’s that stretch ahead, the uncertain one with the certainty of decline, that I’m worrying about. One shoulder. One leg. My whole left side seems to be affected. And with what? Age would be the simplest, kindest, most evasive response. Built-in obsolescence. The consequences of which seem particularly dire in my case. Which led me to quizzing Jane over dinner regarding some minor symptoms of her own. Maybe they’re not so minor, I kept telling myself. Having a known propensity to worry and not naturally looking on the bright side of things…I may, or may not, have the right perspective.
And what is the right perspective? Does such a thing exist?
What does exist is my desk. It is strewn with evidence of my current preoccupation. Lorna, captain of Team Filipina, has made a “to do” file. Which, naturally, I rarely look at. The folder is full of things, you know, to do. Maybe I should open it. The thought seems particularly burdensome. There are even things I need to do that aren’t in the to-do folder. Like my bill for auto insurance. Routine enough, except that I do not have any autos to insure. Perhaps I should make a phone call. Dare to eat a peach. And so on.
And so I did. Call my auto insurer, that is. What transpired was enough to make me wonder if I wasn’t losing my mind, coming down with Alzheimer’s, or just plain forgetting overwhelmingly important things. Like whether or not I have a two-door 2006 Ford. Not that I recall. My old van was a 1995 Ford. Marlou’s PT Cruiser, the one I gave to my niece, wasn’t exactly a Ford. Leaving what other option? Nothing. This appears to be one giant mistake. A good reason to call one’s insurance company, isn’t it? This particular Ford turned out to be Tom’s old Mustang which, I forgot, is in fact a Ford.
And while at it, I called both contractors, the builders supposedly responsible for work on these, my apartments. My basic question: where are you? Any plans to do any more work around here? As we speak, the one apartment ready for occupancy cannot be locked. That’s right. The door is openable 24 hours per day. Why? Oh, there’s an electrical cable running through it. I am not certain why. Ask the builders. If you can find them, that is. One of them hasn’t been seen in days. The other has been absent for a week. So, yes, a phone call. In fact, two. Well, they are all present and accounted for now. A good thing, too. Also a good thing that I nudged the purveyor of my new, wildly expensive, disabled van. I hadn’t heard from him in two weeks. He has had a check for two thirds of the cost of this new vehicle, and it would seem that a progress report is in order.
The message: when things are happening, make them happen. When “it would seem that a progress report is in order,” that means you’re not going to get one. The counterpart to personal inaction is more inaction from the outside world. Which brings us to that most unpleasant part of the outside world, the software world. The company in question, Nuance, produces my voice recognition software and is so named for the utter absence of anything subtle or inflected. No, Nuance is a nuance-free zone. Among the current unsubtleties, the fact that their software does not work with Microsoft Word. We have exchanged endless emails, their support people and I. They have recommended going into parts of my PC that no other human as ever witnessed, then entering enough code to reprogram, say, your average home entertainment center. Never mind. I called them anyway, even them. Turns out, they had requested a couple of screenshots, plus a data file. Which I dutifully supplied. I had expected to be on the phone with them for hours. Fortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Did it work out at all? Stay tuned.