December 7th, 2006


Clots and Clogs and ...

You ready to see my ass on the ice? So help me God, I think I'm actually going to PAY to go ice skating tonight.

So, I haven't really been taking or making any phone calls this week. Call it a backlash of answering the phone here at work all day. Besides, I've had other fish to flambé. It's not so odd for my phone to RECEIVE calls during the week, but I usually don't respond unless someone leaves a message. As it just so happens, after I got off the subway and regained cell phone service, I found I had a message from my mom. This came at around 2:30pm Pacific Time, which I found was odd, considering she knows I work until fairly late here and I'm not home until 6:30 or so.

As is the case whenever I receive a message from someone at an hour when it's unexpected, I fear for the worst. That goes away after about two seconds - because the worst almost never arrives - and I think, "Oh well, she's probably just calling to say hi." So, I let the message sit in my voicemail inbox until I was up to the task of speaking on the phone again.

A couple hours pass, I make chitchat with my roommates, do some dishes, make my lunch for the next day, take out the garbage. Now, it's 8:30 and I finally get around to checking that message. You never want to hear your mom say, "Your grandmother's had a full-blown heart attack, she's in the hospital right now," but the good news was, it wasn't followed by, "and she died."

So, I get on the phone, and my heart's doing its best Ringo Starr impression against my chest - you know, hard, awkward, unrhythmic beats - and I get the full story. At first, I thought I heard my mom crying, because she had that sound to her voice she gets, but I later found that she was simply knocking back a few dozen margaritas. Apparently, my grandma called my mom when she was at the dentist, complaining about not feeling well. Mom was getting her teeth cleaned or whatever, so grandma decided to call someone else. Mom asked her if she thought she should call 911, but she said no. Her dentist told her to call back, so she did, and now grandma was short of breath. So, mom called 911 and found out they'd already been dispatched thanks to my grandma's husband being on the ball.

That led to a lot of people speeding around Tacoma, eventually ending up at one of the downtown hospitals. Apparently, this is the exact same spot in the exact same vein where she had the LAST heart attack. Don't ask me when that was, but I thought it was a year ago. She's still kicking though, but apparently needs to go back in a month because the doctors found two more blockages that need to be dealt with. So, that's just fucking great.

Of course, after hearing about all that, I could've used a few margaritas myself. So, that puts a little extra wrinkle into the Christmas trip home next week. But, really, there's no killing my grandma. She'll see us all well into our graves before she kicks off.

Funny, my mom asked the doctor why my grandma's blood pressure was so off-the-charts, and he replied that stress has a lot to do with it. He asked the family if my grandma had any stress in her life. My mom looked at her younger brother, then at my grandma's husband, and they were all thinking the same thing: my mom's older brother, the oft-imprisoned, drug-addicted major fuck up of the family. You know, the one who gets out of prison, healthier than ever, off the smack, off gambling, gonna straighten his life up, get and keep a job, raise his children, be a model citizen. Then, man, he's like one of those grizzly loggers on ESPN's Great Outdoor Games, chopping away as fast as he can at each and every one of those vices and probably a lot more until he's gotten caught stealing from the wrong fucker and thrown back in the clink again. For some reason, I thought he was on the "3 Strikes, You're Out" short-list, but that chickenfucker's been in and out of prison AT LEAST twice since I was told he'd already swung and missed for the second time. Talk about your fucking drains on society; how many more chances is he gonna get before he's shown the way into his own private ass-rape suite in Walla Walla?

More importantly, how many more heart attacks is he going to be the direct cause of before we end up with a fatal result?