Saturday, September 3, 2011

God Is a Big Talker

I had a horrible day yesterday.

--While jogging, I got a call from my doctor.  The x-ray taken of my hand showed a break.  Please get a cast at 3 this afternoon, she said.  (I broke my hand when I tripped while jogging last Saturday.  I kept thinking it was just a really bad bruise.)  Then she yelled at me for waiting so long to get an x-ray.

--When I went into the garage, I saw a huge mass of wet sheetrock sitting on the roof of my car.  Further inspection of the garage ceiling revealed an enormous hole, directly under the shower in the master bath.  I called Robert, who was in the middle of a 40-mile bike ride, to tell him that the house was collapsing and also to please call our insurance agent before 5, because it was a three-day weekend and I would do it except I was late and my hand was hurting, and also, the house was collapsing.  Robert didn’t pick up his phone.

--I drove about a hundred miles to get to my bank.  (Don’t ask; it’s complicated.)  I tried to deposit a check made out to me. This check was from an investment account that I had liquidated.  I set up the account years ago with the intention of giving the money to my son.  But because I was named in the check as the custodian of the account for my son, the teller wouldn’t let me deposit it.  Can my son deposit it? I asked.  No, she said.  Can we deposit it together?  No.  Plus, the “bank” is in the baked-goods section of a Lunardi’s.  And the teller looked as though she was dressed to go gay-clubbing after work.  And it was 99 degrees.

--Got back in my car.  Called my son to say I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to pay for the first semester of graduate school, and could he stall?   He didn’t pick up his phone.  Called Robert to ask if he’d gotten my message about the house collapsing.  He didn’t pick up his phone.  Called the “fracture clinic” to tell them I would be late.  Woman at the fracture clinic yelled at me for not being a better judge of traffic conditions.

--Got to the fracture clinic a half an hour late.  Read a back issue of Modern Maturity.  Felt nauseous.

Finally, I was ushered into the casting room.  I sat there feeling sorry for myself while the casting guy told me the cast would extend from the top of my fingers midway down my forearm.  Four weeks.  Don’t get it wet.  Don’t stick forks down there.  I wanted to cry.

And then I realized someone was crying.  A young woman in a beautiful almond-colored sari sat on a nearby bed holding an infant who was shrieking.  The baby couldn’t have been more than six months old.   Another casting guy was putting his entire tiny leg in a cast.

A doctor walked through the room and saw the woman.  Another break? he asked kindly.  She nodded yes, exhausted.  When’s his surgery? the doctor asked, yelling a little to be heard over the screams.  Two weeks, she answered.

You think you already know things, but sometimes, God sends you a message just to be sure you really get it.

This morning, I sat down in front of the TV to begin the herculean task of straightening my hair with only my left hand.  I was grumpy.

I turned on TV to a show about an albino woman from Tanzania.  She is armless, because in Tanzania, people believe the limbs of albinos contain magic properties, and barbarians traverse the country, cutting off arms and legs of albino people and selling them to witch doctors.

Another message, even when I say I get it, even when I really think I do.  And I’ll bet He’s laughing about my hair, which looks ridiculous.