Orientation came and went and I have some bad news.
I’m not going to have time for this. NN.C, that is.
At least not in this form, I fear. No long entries in the empty hours of long evenings; there won’t be many more of those. John, get that Movable Type thing loaded on the server, because we’re going to have to go bloggier sooner rather than later. Dinners, lunches, seminars, classes, assorted fabulousness — it’s going to be a busy year, even busier than I realized.
Not that this is a bad thing. It’s all good, as those crazy kids say. There’s just a lot of it. A few paragraphs here, a few more there — this is the only way it’s going to work.
On the other hand, I’m picking Mimi Sheraton up at the Detroit airport in a couple weeks. Driver to the stars. Beats workin’. Even interviewing Willie Nelson.
The airport duty is connected to the year’s first Kellogg seminar, next month, "The Food Page: the Press and Public Policy." It’s a big panel thing to discuss "the impact of journalism on how Americans eat." Food and food writing is one subject I have no shortage of thoughts about, so I’m really looking forward to it. Too bad they couldn’t drag Jim Harrison to town, too; I carry around his observation that "only in the Midwest is overeating seen as somehow heroic" in the front of my mental quote file and see its truth almost daily.
I may also have to get a really good writing doctor, as they say in "Dog Soldiers." Anyone get e-mail from me last night? Anyone notice a time stamp in the 4 to 5 a.m. range? Yeah, it was another one of those nights. I dreamed I was trying to load horses on a trailer, and one broke free, bolted across a field, got tangled in some cable and went down. When I ran up to assess the damage, the horse was standing with one foot dangling by skin only, the bone poking through the leg. Now there’s an image to jolt you awake, and I remember when I first saw it — in a Sports Illustrated picture story on a match race where that very thing happened. When it does, the track brings out a privacy screen behind which the vet works, because of course there’s nothing you can do for that sort of injury. There’s an equine ambulance, but at that point, it’s a meat wagon.
I remember the last thing I said, in my dream: "Call Robin." Robin was my old trainer, a lifelong horsewoman who was never rattled by anything — colic at 2 a.m., rearers, buckers, nothing. At horse shows, I told her she should charge her riders by the Robin; every time you spoke her name, it would cost you $5. After five shows, she could retire. She learned to ride by having a succession of cheap pet horses that she shared with her siblings. They played a game called Knock ’em Off, where one kid sat on the horse bareback, with no other tack, and the others would do everything they could to make the rider fall, short of touching him or her directly. You could spook the horse, drive it into a river, make it lie down, chase it this way and that until the rider slipped off. I’d imagine both horse and rider would be pretty bombproof after a few months of that.
Anyway, after this cinematic dream of equine gore, I was awake for the duration of the night. I went back to bed at 6:10 and got maybe an hour more of rest before the day officially began. Ugh. If only they made a Xanax inhaler for nightmares. You could keep it at bedside for just this sort of emergency.
Actually, they do make that. It’s called a martini.
Speaking of pharmaceuticals, I was amazed how many notes I got from people on the subject of pain medication — we’re a nation of closet pill gourmets, it would seem — so I thought I might share Deb’s take on the rest of the story:
the doctor who gave me vicodin was the guy at urgent care. I couldnt believe he offered me this shit. he said, "It’s obvious you’re in a lot of pain, so I’ll give you a prescription, but I can also give you something right now, before you go home." he paused and looked at me with the same sort of grave tenderness you give a child who’s badly hurt and on the verge of tears, then asked, "would you like some vicodin?"
my jaw dropped, I’m sure. I just nodded mutely, numb and grateful and afraid to utter another word lest he decide tylenol 3 might be more in order.
it worked, though, I’m telling you. ice, elevation, rest and advil did NOTHING, but one vicodin and the pain just vanished.
Keep that in mind, the next time you throw your back out.
As for me, I’m going to turn to my Calendar program and start imputting dates. A month’s worth.