“Comfort Cart.” John said that would be a good name for a band. I don’t know about that, but it does sound… a little like the padded carriage that might carry you in cushioned bliss to the afterlife. While X was at her riding lesson I wandered around Kroger in a daze, idly picking things up that hit some sweet nerve in my heart which felt both detached and dedicated. I wondered irritably why it was so crowded, thinking the inch of predicted snow was hardly enough to bring out storm shoppers. I didn’t realize until later, seeing a comment on FB from someone (who obviously doesn’t know me very well) that they hoped I’d “be able to watch the game” that it was Super Bowl Sunday. Or maybe it was in an email, I don’t know. So much is a blur right now.
A text came from John asking how I was doing. “Walking around Kroger with my cart full of comfort items,” I finger tapped my response as I continued shopping, my eye out for my friend Gerald who works there usually stocking dairy whenever I see him, thinking I might try to say something like “Excuse me, do you know if your pharmacy stocks that aneurysm stabilization supplement?” It wasn’t funny. It needed a better name. Aneurysm Anti-Rupture Chewables? Making things humorous is coming naturally to me and I think it puts people at ease a little. In any case, the black almost inappropriate Carrie Fisher style humor feels better than the 3 a.m. creeping terrors. Gerald wasn’t working. My small cart contained a fruit tray with cream cheese dip, a donut, Sunny D, 2 sweaters, a green notebook with a pocket to keep track of new medical info, a set of dry erase markers in primary colors, peanut butter M&Ms, strawberries & cream truffles, a metal basket to keep near my bed, and a big soft Valentine’s Day teddy bear wearing a sweater. I promptly named him Aneurysm Bear, Ani for short. At home John said “You can’t call him ‘Possible’ Anneurysm Bear?”
Many people think I’m jumping the gun, is my impression. They are either trying to reassure me by discussing various false positives they or their mom/friend/cousin had experienced, or think I’m engaging in some kind of backward counting my aneurysms before they’ve hatched (?) type behavior and are trying to reel me back to the reality of the fact that mistakes are made.
Those people, ones I keep hearing about whose aneurysms were found during autopsy, the death being for some other reason… did they have symptoms? Bilateral numbness and tingling, lack of balance, drooping eyelid, stroke-like migraine attacks with trigeminal nerve involvement? Did the people with false positives have MRI reports with vague concerns like “possible vein abnormalities”? or the very confident “Tip of basilar artery somewhat bulbous”?
The thing is I feel like I know.
Then tonight, after finally getting all the ad invoices for BGIN sent out and watching last week’s weird X-Files episode with John who fell asleep in front of the TV, I came upstairs and started engaging in some kind of weird bizarro like anti-nesting behavior. You know, like when you’re pregnant, “nesting” is when you feel a biological urgency to shop and prepare and most of all, clean. For the imminent arrival of a new baby human. That’s what it felt like I was doing as I lined up and sorted every item on top of my dresser, sprinkled bits of our Christmas tree that I’d gathered for their scent before it was taken out of the house and made a couple baskets of them, like potpourri, also filled with little stones and tiny photos and buttons and fortunes from Chinese take out. I got down on my hands and knees and swept all the tiny pieces of trash on the floor into a little pile. I fixed the sand dollar dream catcher sort of ornament John made for me years ago as well as my spoon necklace and hung them from the opaque blown glass vase thing I have had hanging in the bedroom window since 2001 when we received it as a wedding gift.
Not preparing for an arrival, nor for an exit, as I in no way feel there is any scenario here that ends in my death. Though it is hard not to feel the possibility, creeping dread brought on by the very word aneurysm.
It’s more that I feel… woken up. Like every one of my senses is heightened. And I want to surround myself with people and things I care about and why continue existing in dusty disorganization, piles of paper and books and tissues and wrappers and empty medicine bubble packs and old safety pins pill bottles and various tubes of topical pain relieving gel and lip balm and stink bug husks and balled up socks? On a grander scale, why haven’t I taken my inherited platinum ring and insurance papers and had the stone replaced (again)? Why have we never sat down with a lawyer to hammer out directives and wills?
Hey, Leonard Cohen. My life has cracked. The light is getting in.