Thursday, November 5, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 11-04-20: Update on Everett, Debit Card Saga, Baboons/Tik Tok/Twins/"Drop the Pilot"

 1. Christy can't visit Everett at the Kootenai Health because he tested positive for Covid. But, one of Everett's nurses calls Christy to give her updates and Christy can write Everett letters and they can talk on the phone.

The nurse's report today was encouraging. Yes, he's tubed up -- a drainage tube is at work in his abdomen and a nasogastric (NG) tube, inserted through his nose, is connected to his stomach. His team hoped, on Wednesday, that they could remove the NG tube in the evening. Doing so would mean Everett might start eating food.

Everett is not experiencing Covid symptoms. 

The culture from Monday's procedure showed a yeast infection. The sepsis is gone. His once low potassium levels are back in range. 

The nurse who talked to Christy was surprised that Everett is ninety years old. If you know Everett at all, you know he loves jokes and he's been cracking jokes to the medical staff -- a good sign.

Christy plans to drive to CdA on Thursday, deliver a couple more letters to him, and bring him flowers. 

I don't think there's a timetable for Everett's release, but Christy's impression is that he won't be coming home in the next few days.

Later, after her visit with the nurse, Christy talked with Everett on the phone. Christy reports that he sounded like himself: he understands what's going on, but is confused why Christy can't visit him; he requested a 12-pack of beer; he told Christy to hug Riley for him; he laughed about his illness being on Facebook and told Christy he figured she'd be posting about it. As their call ended, Everett uttered one of his favorite statements: "The first hundred years are the hardest!" 

Hearing this, Christy knew he had to be improving! 

2. I continue to limit my visits to Yoke's. I made a trip today to pick up prescriptions for Christy and Everett, a couple of things for Christy, and to stock up for myself.

My shopping excursion was ho-hum. 

As the checker rang up my groceries, though, I took out my wallet and my debit card was missing.

I breathed deeply. I haven't been using my card much lately. The empty slot in my wallet perplexed me.

I shook my head, said, "Oh, man!" and asked the checker to put my groceries aside. I needed to go home and find my card. I promised to be back soon.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why I would have had my debit card out. I hadn't shopped since Saturday and hadn't used it for any purchases since then.

Still, I searched the top of the dining table, the chairs I use, the table beside my bed, the top of the bookcase, and no luck.

The last time I reached for my debit card in my wallet and it was missing was on October 30, 2016. Scott Shirk and I were roaming the East Village in Manhattan and had finished a bite to eat and some awesome beer at Jimmy's No. 43 at 43 E. 7th St (it permanently closed in 2017).  When I went to pay, my card slot in my wallet was empty.

That day, as it turned out, I had bought a cinnamon bagel with a thin smear of cream cheese at Zucker's, paid for it with my debit card, and, instead of putting my card in my wallet, put it in the pocket of the shirt I was wearing, underneath a sweatshirt. It took me about ten minutes or so to figure this out at Jimmy's No. 43.

I stopped searching surfaces at home.

I checked the left pocket of the pants I was wearing, the pocket with my phone in it.

There was my card.

Then I remembered. 

I had taken my card out to pay for Christy and Everett's pills, paid with cash instead, and, instead of doing the smart thing, instead of following my usual routine, instead of putting the card back in my wallet, I put it in my pocket.

I drove back to Yoke's, decided not to tell the checker my life story -- instead I told you! -- and made my purchase and returned home, relieved. 

I am dependent on routines, one of them being the return of my debit card to its assigned slot in my wallet whenever I use it. When I break these routines, I'm always at bay and it takes me a while to recover.

Such was the case today.

3. While I cleaned up the kitchen today, I listened to a fascinating Radiolab episode on power relations and decision making in baboon troops. I see that it's not the only episode Radiolab has done on baboons and I plan to investigate this.

Later, I got to clicking around on the World Wide Web. Reading a recent article about Stevie Nicks moved me to click on a link and watch the famous Tik Tok video of Nathan Apodaca's glide on a longboard to his job at an Idaho Falls potato factory after his rig broke down while drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice and mouthing lyrics from Fleetwood Mac's song "Dreams". 

The article I read about Stevie Nix also included a link to the famous video of twenty-two year old twins Tim and Fred Williams of Gary, Indiana listening to Phil Collins', "In the Air" for the first time and going nuts over Phil Collins' drum solo about halfway through the song. I watched all of it. 

I was hooked. I watched more of Tim and Fred Williams this evening and enjoyed them listening to "The Chain", "Layla", and "Gimme Shelter" for the first time. They loved them all. One of the twins, Tim, was on his own listening to "Gimme Shelter". It was fun to see his astonishment that The Rolling Stones were so good and hear him express his bewilderment that he'd never listened to them before.

My musical wanderings also led me to a video of Tracy Chapman singing, in 2020, "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", a song from her first album released thirty-two years ago. That year I saw Tracy Chapman open for Bob Dylan at the Keller Auditorium in Portland on August 19, 1988. She was a shy performer in her early twenties, and, despite seeming to hide behind her guitar, arrested the audience into awed silence with her set.

To my delight, when I listened to Tracy Chapman, a link popped up to a live performance by Joan Armatrading singing "Drop the Pilot", a song I hadn't thought about for years and that, for a time nearly forty years ago, was one of my favorites, a song I played repeatedly, danced to, and carried around in my head, uplifted by Joan Armatrading singing, "Animal, Mineral, Physical, Spiritual/I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need".

I never quite memorized the opening of the chorus, but I loved to listen again and again to Joan Armatrading sing:

Drop the pilot, try my balloon
Drop the monkey, smell my perfume
Drop the mahout, I'm the Easy Rider
Don't use your army to fight a losing battle. 

I can't think of a better song imploring someone, seducing someone, to drop their lover and come to the singer of this song. 

I don't know if the person addressed in this song ever dropped the pilot, but, if they did, a promise of ecstasy lay ahead:

You're kissing cousins, there's no smoke, no flame
If you lose that pilot, I can fly your plane
If you want solid ground, come on and try me
Oh, I can take you so high that you're never gonna want to come down

Listening to this song reminded me of a regret. Joan Armatrading and Richard Thompson shared a bill at the Cuthbert Amphitheater on July 12, 1996 and I didn't go. 

I also pondered and pondered who introduced me to Joan Armatrading back in about 1983. 

I'm going to say it was Colette Marie -- but, I might be wrong -- it might have been one of the women who hung out together a lot at Whitworth -- was it Maureen Sweeney? Maia Blom? Jody Drew? Sue Ann Higgens? Susan-Louise Johnson? -- and, who knows, it might have been someone I've forgotten.

Whoever introduced me to Joan Armatrading, thank you! 

I am really happy to have her music back in my life again. 

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