What is a thought? A present state of mind. Retrievable with the spark of a neuron in our brain and suddenly we remember; again. ~ Natalie
We do have those weeks that drain the life out of us. I burnt my right hand. Handicapped, even for being ambidextrous. Yes, I eat with my left, I stir with my left and paint with my left hand. I iron with my right, I clean with my right. I play baseball on my right side and tennis with my right hand. How did it happen?
I was boiling eggs to have with my fresh salad; always reminding me of the fresh salads I ate in Paris. Just before draining the hot water into the sink, I stupidly tried to remove the dish cloth out of the sink and poured scorching hot water on the left side of my right hand. What I should have done immediately, within seconds, was run it under cold water but I didn’t. It was a second degree burn but today it looks worse. It probably hurt worse than I realized but I was writing and my mind was on words, a story, an article, life!
It was a bad burn and it blistered with water accumulation inside the blisters. I was supposed to go to a very special birthday party today on March 8, 2015. Actually, I had to fly for this very celebrated event in my life but the burn looks worse than I anticipated. Then yesterday, I was cleaning and washed the area and put Neosporin and put a band-aid and used double plastic gloves not latex gloves to protect the hand. The band-aid pealed the skin and that hurt. Today it looks purple and gross and I hope that gangrene isn’t showing its first sign. I made an appointment to go see my doctor and cancelled all my plans. I did run three miles yesterday and then showered after bandaging and wearing plastic gloves using strong adhesive tape wrapped around my wrist.
I invited Eleanor for tea. I said,
“Of all things look what I did Eleanor?”
She asked with a very British accent,
“Well, how did you manage to do that Natalie?”
“You weren’t paying attention my dear. But who, are any of us to talk, when I spend most of my day outside of the present. It’s that Margory woman who is getting on my nerves. I have such a disdain for women who think they are holier than thou and religious.”
That evening Eleanor came to check on me. I was glad to see her face and concern.
I said to Eleanor, “It was a bad burn Eleanor. Dr. Z had never seen me looking quite that helpless. For that matter no one else has.”
“I asked Dr. Z several questions trying to make conversation and for the first time I think he realized what my circumstances are. No, I’m not happy and this time I wasn’t on center stage wearing the happy mask.”
“I wanted to go back to playing my piano and I can’t stand looking at my right hand bandaged up and it even looks worse without the bandages. My perfect hands are no more. Now I will have a scar to remind me of this difficult period among many.”
“I keep going back and thinking to myself, if I had only had a crystal ball and seen this moment among many, I would have never made the leap to complicate and compromise my life. Now it’s a matter of just survival.”
“Oh Eleanor, I don’t know what I am going to do. I can’t stop the tears. I really tried for so so long and nothing has changed. I blame him Eleanor for burning my hand. I was so drained from the lack of sleep and stress. The unnecessary stress and I wasn’t thinking pouring the boiling hot water onto my hand.”
“It has set me back. I must try and run today and do things I intended to do. I want to get rid of everything. Everything must go. I don’t want any of it.”
“I keep looking at the small scratch on left hand and how long that has taken to heal and you know why Eleanor I don’t have to tell you.”
“Have you spoken to her Natalie?”
“No I haven’t. What could she do for me, that she never did in all those years I was growing up. I really think if they had given me away I might have experienced something more meaningful, the real love a parent has for a child. It was clear from the beginning when they saved for his education and all the others things but not for me. That was the value of my life in this family that I wanted no part of them, just as they wanted no part of me. That was fine, I managed to get through college because I discovered that I was good with numbers and science and then I was determined to maintain a 3.8 GPA every semester and the scholarships kept coming. I only borrowed a few loans just to get through any of the rough times through the semester. I had bought a new small car for the commute back and forth. I made a small monthly payment and of course car insurance.
God, Katherine Hepburn planned it magnificently. She made all the movies she could make and then retired to the east coast by the water. On most mornings she would go swimming in the cold freezing water; invigorating. She lived alone and remained alone except for the help she paid for. She knew herself only too well and didn’t have the patience for another man after her long affair with Spencer Tracy and she was dedicated to his last years suffering with the illnesses that eventually ravage one’s body.
“I think the present is more complicated for people, Natalie.”
“And so it is…”
Seventeen days post my visit with Eleanor. I had to invite her over to share the good news.
“Look at it, Eleanor. It is truly a miracle and just fading like it never happened. That rich cream made of sulfa and silver was truly a miracle healing cream. We truly live in incredible times.”
“Well look at that, you can hardly tell and I am so happy for you.”
“How are you doing Eleanor?”
“Well, I try to live in the present and there are times that I am so concerned for this country and the world.”
“I know exactly what you are referring to. I decided to take step back from all the political polarization and the corruption. I couldn’t handle it any longer. I’m reprioritizing my life and working out is the key to good health and a peaceful mind. I was living like a cloistered nun trying to write about all this corruption and the very disturbing crimes that were committed and continue to create more havoc for this country. It’s really out of control but let’s not waste another thought on something that I can’t change or help. I’m going to immerse myself in another important project that will definitely demand all my attention and I have to be extremely disciplined to research all this technical material. It’s my education that will come in handy and I know I can make this happen for all my loved ones.”
“I admire your dedication Natalie. Well Spring is almost here and we can take our long walks and breath the fresh air.”
“Did I tell you that I am going to sell all my clothes. Yes, all the bins filled so many outfits I accumulated over the years. I have to work on flyers and then advertise. I look forward to it. The last time I sold all my clothes I did very well. This time should even be better. I’m done with all that fancy clothing. I enjoy my cotton and linen these days.”
“Well, my dear I must get going. Let me know if you need any help.”
“I will Eleanor thank you for stopping by. I do appreciate our friendship so much. Till next time dear. Have a wonderful day as I will try to do the same.”
As I looked at Eleanor leave for home I thought to myself, there is so much to be grateful for and we have to remind ourselves of that daily.