Friday, July 02, 2004

This Is How It Happens

This is how it happens. It's a Friday night, the end to your work week. You're eager to hang with friends, have some fun, blow off some steam.

Your stomach feels a little full. You wonder if you should take some time to do number two. You’re supposed to be at the restaurant in twenty minutes and your boyfriend argues that you’ll sit in there too long like you always do, doing god knows what, like maybe trying to read your fortune in the shit floating in the toilet bowl.

This, from your normally even-tempered, patient, sweet boyfriend, now sour, now in a kung power trip.

Suddenly, you’re in a fight. It’s stupid, but the annoyance doesn’t dissipate even as you give in. It just hangs there as you hurry to the restaurant where you’ll probably end up waiting for all your friends who are late. The silence is palpable you could cut it with Mary-Kate Olsen.

So you’re avoiding each other’s eyes because you’ve never mastered how to transition from anger to normalcy, much like many, many women going from day to evening wear.

The night wears on, your stomach still a little bloated, but you’re both finally relaxed and in your friends’ amiable company, throwing about jokes, light barbs, like crabs jumping about in silky, pubic hairs. Good times, good times.

This is how it happens. Your boyfriend’s ex, the one whose guts you hate, whose face you want to bash in—yeah, the one with the winsome smile and the goddamn Ph.d.—shows up and starts talking to you both, but mostly to him, probably because your smile is frozen insincerely on your face.

Though your boyfriend’s being friendly, he’s also within the boundaries, respectful of you. It doesn’t help your jealousy because you know they broke up amicably. You’d rather that there had been drah-mah, lots of it, preferably with the police and a tranny hooker involved.

Suddenly, the evening’s not so much fun anymore, and you just want to go home, maybe get some Pepto-Bismol for your aching stomach. You wish there was one for your jealous heart.

You get home, there’s no Pepto-Bismol. You decide to tough it out. After all, what’s a little stomach-ache compared to excruciating pain you endured when you wore 9" stiletto heels a couple of Halloweens ago. Just think of the Laura Bush and what she has to endure in bed. It’ll pass, it’ll pass.

It’s 2am, the pain is worse. Your boyfriend is asleep, you leave him be. You decide to go to the drugstore to get some medicine.

At the checkout counter, you clutch your stomach under your sweatshirt, trying not to double over in pain as you wait for the three idiots who decide to pay for their separate gum purchases with loose change. You want to scream "fuuuuuuuUUUUCK!!!" in the middle of the store, but you grit your teeth instead. You’re almost there, almost there.

An hour later, a double dose downed and no relief. The pain is like a stabbing knife, unbearable, like Hilary Duff covering "Our Lips Are Sealed."

You start thinking that you probably need to see a doctor. You rouse your groaning boyfriend from his slumber. It’s probably your useless appendix. Why is it the useless body parts that always cause trouble? Tonsils, foreskin, Jessica Simpson’s brain, the earlier you get them taken out, the better.

You worry about your crappy medical insurance; what’s covered, what’s not, how much it will cost. You think, shit, if you can only stand the pain, you can still buy that Helmut Lang jacket. Pain is temporary—a classic designer jacket is forever.

Suddenly, the pain is just excruciating.

This is how it happens. Your evening starts with a little light-hearted romp and ends in a trip to an emergency room...

Next: Emergency Room

This happened a week ago, I was admitted to the hospital for a small bowel obstruction. I was there for four days while they suctioned off the blockage with a tube that went through my nose and down to my stomach. I am fine now. Hopefully, I will be writing about my experiences in the hospital...

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

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