Thursday, December 22, 2005

Poems for the Maudlin

I don't mean maudlin poetry. I mean a poem that stops you cold in your tracks and pares away the excess fat and self-pity from your mood.

Gift Horses
Jack Gilbert

He lives in the barrens, in dying neighborhoods
and negligible countries. None with an address.
But still the Devil finds him. Kills the wife
or spoils the marriage. Publishes each place
and makes it popular, makes it better, makes it
unusable. Brings news of friends, all defeated,
most sick or sad without reasons. Shows him
photographs of the beautiful women in old movies
whose luminous faces sixteen feet tall looked out
at the boy in the dark where he grew his heart.
Brings pictures of what they look like now.
Says how lively they are, and brave despite their age.
Taking away everything. For the Devil is commissioned
to harm, to keelhaul us with loss, with knowledge
of how all things splendid are disfugured by small
and small. Yet he allows us to eat roast goat
on the mountain above Parakia. Lets us stumble
for the first time, unprepared, onto the buildings
of Palladio in moonlight. Maybe because he is not
good at his job. I believe he loves us against
his will. Because of the women and how the men
struggle to hear inside them. Because we construe
something important from trees and locomotives,
smell weeds on a hot July afternoon and are augmented.


I'm having another fit of the blue megrims. While this in itself is a bit miserable, I love the phrase "the blue megrims." I tried to google the origin of the phrase but the results were lackluster at best. However, if you are wondering what the phrase means, here you go. Megrims when defined gives you several meanings, with the first one a dull beast best avoided (and relegated to a parenthesis, HA. I choose to not use megrim to mean some form of migraine). But it can mean a caprice, a whim, a fancy. This is a bit too lighthearted for my taste tonight, though a slightly delicious term to stick in your pocket for later use. The last definition is the one I'm on about: depression or unhappiness. It's only to be expected by most rational people, I mean, look at the facts:

1. I have to be up before the sun every day. Every day. Maybe some of you like it, but I don't.

2. I have to be at the hospital every day. This does get old.

3. I never see my boyfriend on a weekday for more than 15 minutes. Don't forget: we do supposedly live together.

4. I hate being on call. And, though I wish I was evenhanded and egalitarian and didn't mind, I'm not, and I hate doing treatment shifts at the hospital after a long day or on a weekend (for those not in the know, this consists of walking dogs and occcasionally mucking about with IV medications). And this rotation requires both. Frequently.

5. I hate snow. I hate ice. I'm in Massachussets in December.

6. I hate orthopedic surgery (I have to qualify this. I hate it NOW, because my job is to stand there and occasionally offer my services as the human retractor. It might be less boring if I ever actually perform an orthopedic surgery). Guess what tomorrow holds? Five surgeries: two knees, two hips and a tibial fracture.

7. I am not good or graceful when making mistakes. I tend to berate myself which then leads to awkwardness and cringing. Which I also hate in myself, and on towards more recrimination. This past week and a half has been a good fun lesson in one small mistake after another. Nothing big and disastrous. Just a little lemon juice of incompetence dripping on the small paper cuts in my ego. (And that metaphor is enough to make me wonder if I deserve to use a keyboard.)

All this and it's no wonder I get home and freeze. I have projects multiple to finish: some creative, some practical. The lists pass through my mind as distantly as if they were someone else's shopping list. I can't even summon up the gusto to play video games, much less keep from making excuses not to go buy bread. (Joel, if you're reading this: we need bread.) I think maybe what the internet needs is a maudlin police. They could come and get me after tonight.

What I want to do is sit by a window in the dark and look out over an untouched expanse of snowy night with a bright moon, and listen to some suitable atmospheric music, and wallow in my blue megrims a little.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

After the cooling off period

Here I am, shamefaced over my outburst (well, maybe not shamefaced--it was a very satisfying post) or at least here to soften it a bit round the edges. Mellowing, I am mellowing about the experience. First, there was the next morning. Where I retell my woeful tale to my sleeping boyfriend, who reasonably says, why don't you drop the tire off across the street? (There really is a tire place almost directly across the street. Actually, come to think of it, there are two places.) To which I reply, they're not open yet. And then he says, well, leave a note. At which point, feeling badgered, I snap, I don't have time (which was true) I'm going to be late (true also). Of course, these are standard answers probably heard out of every veterinary student's mouth every morning when life throws them unexpected glitches. I'm beginning to seriously wonder what I'll be like once this whole experience is behind me. Because (to veer off track for a moment) you really have NO time. Your parents say, we're coming to visit. Can you go out to dinner? Your reply is: I don't know. And you don't; it's not some half assed excuse. You might get out at 5:00 (today) or 7:30 (Tuesday). You certainly won't be leaving the hospital except for time off in the cafeteria for good behavior. Meet someone for lunch? Nope, you only get lunch on the edges, the hyena of the veterinary savannah. It's unlike most other daily routines I can ever think of experiencing. But, as usual, I digress. Where were we? Oh yes, snapping and being late. So, feeling slightly annoyed at the lack of time, my snappishness and my (unintentionally?) implied tire fixing scheduling inadequacy, I stomp off to school.

Now: I'm coming home that night, feeling responsible. I stop by the tire place to find out when they open in the morning. Driving home, I meet my boyfriend in the driveway (more common these days than other normal places, like the house. He's working two jobs and if we thought we never saw each other when I was studying for exams, boy we were silly) who suggests, with a twinkle, that I visit a specific tire place (remember, there are two). Can you guess? Who looks in their way back when getting in a station wagon? That's right. My boyfriend had actually found my car in the parking lot at school (he works at the school, so this isn't as wacky as it could be), took my tire out and took it to one of the places across the street. I think if you subtract that from the original equation, you end up reducing the amount of true suckiness by a bunch. You might even get negative true suckiness.

And as for this tire thing, I give up. I just want to say that today, I watched them put that tire back on my car with an air compressor wrench. Ouch.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Arithmetic for an evening

Well, alas, it has come down to this. When all is said and done, a blog is there too receive your ranting. It's not the first time, and I'm sure it's not the last time this page will become a vessel for pettiness and reactionary ill-humor. But oooooooohhhhh I can't help myself because I can't imagine a worse evening! GRRRRRRRR...

It goes like this: (1 cold with yellow snot * vertigo from aforementioned snot) + last one of my rotation out of the hospital + (frigid cold)^3 (one big fat flat tire + somebody's stupid idea to put the lug nuts on with a friggin air compressor wrench) = TRUE SUCKINESS.

I'm sure there's some variables I could include like yes I let my AAA membership expire and the bright idea some pinhead over at Subaru came up with that went something like: "Hey, guys, great idea, here! Let's use some cheap ass metal like, like ummm...aluminum, yeah aluminum, for the tire rims so that not only will we save money but we'll screw our customers since our aluminum rims will oxidize their tires causing them to have to put air in them (sometimes at 75 cents a pop because, yup, air doesn't just well, come out of thin air you know) every two weeks." And then factor in the tiredness thing plus the truly pissed off feminist inside me that says, why do tire stores insist on screwing the damn lug nuts down with an air compressor so that us girls have to call some guy just to get the damn things off? I KNOW HOW TO CHANGE A FRIGGIN TIRE, DAMMIT. I resent the whole damsel in distress role. It's as if the universe is saying "not only are you exhausted and ill and your choice in vehicles could use some work, but you're also the wrong sex. Sorry, babe. Oh, and by the way, be sure to catch up on that total intravenous nutrition in alpacas article you're supposed to have ready for rounds tomorrow." I'm sure there's some patron saint of lug nuts and upper body strength just giving me the finger right now. Well, buster, come a little closer. I'm sure I'm still nice and contagious.