Woke with a groan that incited further discomfort from the source–my tonsils. Once again, they were swollen. I was immediately upset. I had promised my 2nd graders apples and a movie today. I couldn’t possibly work if I couldn’t even talk above a mutter. I went and told my dad, who had been up doing his morning exercises (and one and two and three and four,) he was out in the back, having a smoke break. His eyebrows went high. They felt like those volume levels you see on some of those fancy stereo interfaces–only his eyebrows displayed the level of my own dread, instead.
“Go to the urgent care today,” he said, cigarette smoke trailing from his nostrils. “Just to check.”
“You think it might be tonsilitis or something?” I sounded like I was gargling water. I had to repeat myself because I couldn’t bring myself to raise my voice.
“Go to the clinic, they’ll tell you.”
Two minutes and a google image search later, I go back to him. “My tonsils don’t look like that!” (of course, as I’m talking to him, I’m trying to resist the reflexive swallow that my tonsils cause as they get intimate with the back of my tongue)
My dad, exasperated, waves away my skepticism. “Don’t worry about it! It doesn’t hurt to check. You don’t want to go to work, do you?”
“Well yes, but not like this.”
“Then quit worrying about it.”
I go back to bed, but not before texting my site supervisor, just to let her know what’s what early on. Wake up again at 6:30. Get up out of bed and shuffle outside, with my hair upright and my eyes squinted to an Asian’s fraction. “Daddy, the swellings gone down.” I sounded less dorky. …Less dorky.
My dad rolled his eyes, but smiled a little bit. “I said don’t worry about it!” I was being a bit of an immature prat, I know, but I felt (feel) guilty. I’m certain I’ll be told by the clinic to just stay home. While I got why, I wished I didn’t have to.
Back to bed I go. When I wake up again, my dad’s gone and it’s 10 ‘o clock. The clinic opened at 8AM. “Crap!” Up out of bed. Check facebook, email, browser games, etc….then realized it’s 9/11. I knew that earlier this week, but this morning I forgot. Felt stupid. My mind flashed back to that day, the shock on my mother’s face, the fear that hit me, sitting in bed, watching the planes crash into the towers over and over. Decided I’d have to meditate on this.
I get going to the clinic. While I’m waiting there, one of the ladies calling names catches my attention. I recognize her immediately. She was a girl from my middle school years. She used to like humiliating me in front of others to make herself look like a bad ass. I didn’t feel like running away, on the contrary, I stare her straight in the eye. She was puzzled by my aggressive demeanor, but she didn’t remember who I was. After I was taken care of, I paused to get her attention.
“Hey,” I say, voice still sounding funny. I say her name a few times. It takes a few tries before she realizes I’m talking to her. She looks completely confused now. “Do you remember me?” I ask, voice mild. She said she didn’t, a bemused smile on her face.
The entire time I waited for my turn, I thought about telling her, flat out, “Hey, yeah, I went to school with you. You made me want to commit suicide. There were whole months that I’d wake up crying knowing I’d have to see you in class again.”
But I didn’t.
I just shrugged and said, “Yeah, I went to middle school with you.” Didn’t say my name, since she saw it on my clipboard. “How’re you doing?”
“Good.” A pause, the smile is a little fixed. “You?”
“Alright,” I smirk and point at my throat. “Except…y’know, tonsils.”
“Oh,” she laughs. A co-worker nearby, listening in, chuckles a little and smiles at me.
“Well, bye. Take care.”
I didn’t feel awkward or disappointed. In a way, the encounter was still cathartic. The moment she said she didn’t remember, it occured to me that there was no way to be angry at a person like that. In truth, I had already moved beyond those past moments, and had even played the role of bully myself sometimes. Who was I to judge? Maybe she’s a better person now? What use would there be in bringing up the past? It wouldn’t make her any closer to being a better human being, and most certainly wouldn’t do anything for me. I shrugged, got in my car and left.
After an hour waiting in the pharmacy (mostly my fault, I think I missed when they called my name) I came home.
…And that’s my 9/11 so far! Just thought I’d share.
Did everyone enjoy Chapter 9.3? After the update I went to Oakland with my best friend. (who’s got her own site on Eighth Circle Studios, she just hasn’t done anything yet…go bug her!) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert there was incredible! Perhaps one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to (right there with my first–seeing Mindless Self Indulgence before they got big). I was REALLY close to the stage. So close that I managed to take this with my phone when Karen O came to interact with concert-goers: http://twitgoo.com/38v4n It was a VERY good 9/9/9.
I wanted to maybe do a short update for today, but yesterday was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to even do a little bit of writing. Today, I’m mostly going to try and rest. Y’know, catch up with class reading and maybe start Eikasia Chapter 10.
…You guys will have noticed by now, but Eikasia has a new facebook page! For every 10 new fans, I’ll do a special update, just like I did Wednesday. So if you’re on facebook, show some love! Spread the news! Help Eikasia grow!
Till next time folks.