July 1, 2009

I don’t think I feel like writing here anymore. I simply have too much to say and not enough time write at the moment. It’s that I’d like to have time to really construct my words, to be able to communicate the real feeling behind them. I’m unable to that now, here. I am writing on paper though. Things are good, so very good. Life feels real and I feel more involved than I ever have.

4 hours of sleep last night.

Have learned more in my couple of weeks at work than I did in all of nursing school.

A serendipitous meeting if you will, exchanging words treading water surrounded by palm trees.

It finally rained, a morning thunderstorm.

I did chest compressions on an infant until my thumbs hurt and shortly after the baby was pronounced dead. His skin was still warm. His mother collapsed onto the floor sobbing. Once again, I’m reminded to not take life or people for granted.

Kissing near strangers in the heat of a sweaty Texas night.


9:30 in the morning, already 90 degrees.  Sitting on my new balcony drinking coffee in the sun.  Listening to birds and insects that make entirely different sounds than I’m used to.  I wanted to write while on my road trip, but I was too exhausted. 2,042 miles in 3 days left me bleary-eyed and shaking after a full day of driving.  Once I pulled into a sweet, sweet chain motel parking lot, all I could do was remove my clothes and lie on the enormous bed (on my belly because my ass was sore from sitting on it for 13 hours straight) and zone out to bad cable T.V. 

I spent the first night in a small town in Virginia, off of I-81.  Driving south early the next morning through the misty Blue Ridge Mountains while listening to Bluegrass Sunday on the radio made me very happy.  Sometimes trips just feel right.  I fell in love with Tennessee this time around.  Gentlemen opened doors for me, people smiled and struck up conversation while pumping gas.  While I was fueling up, a man next to me asked me if I was heading to or from college (I assumed he asked because my car was packed full of junk).  I told him neither, that I was relocating for a new job.  He asked if it was my first job.  I laughed and told him certainly not.  That I was 31 and this will probably be my 20th job or so.  On the radio I heard there was road construction up ahead in Knoxville and I-40 was being detoured.  When I asked him about it, he happily gave me some pointers to avoid the mess. 

Second night was spent in Forrest City Arkansas.  From what I gathered the ‘city’ was comprised entirely of fluorescent-lit chain motels and fast food joints.  I felt as if I stepped onto the set of a movie where McDonalds, Exxon, Motel 6, Best Western, Waffle House, and Taco Bell paid big bucks for advertising.  I did manage to find a grocery store within walking distance of my motel.  It was here that I really felt like I was in Arkansas (or another world).  People with thick southern accents and slow movements, that despite the heat didn’t sweat.  Unlike me, who was pink and very sweaty.  It was because of this feeling of being scorched by the sun through my windshield that I was craving a cold beer.  I wandered through the store grateful to look at things other than brake lights, road signs and mile markers.  Collards for 50 cents! Almost reason enough to move here.  When I approached the counter (which was confusing and seemed backwards) with my bag o’ salad, a stock pile of frozen nastiness to nuke for dinner and a tall cold Heineken I was informed that “we don’t sell beer on Sunday” and she looked at me like I was either a moron or trying to slide by with my illegal purchase.  Instead of cooling off with a beer, I swam in the pool.  It was a quick swim because it was tucked away in the back and no one else was there and suddenly it seemed very unsafe.  Like I could have been easily murdered by a strung- out trucker or bitten by poisonous snake.

Stopping for gas and to pee outside of Dallas, in the land of ranches and HUGE house,s a BIG Texan glared at my green license plate (poor little thing was sticking out like a sore thumb) and grunted “Summers here are nothing like you’ve ever seen”.  His statement sounded threatening and annoyed me because maybe I’ve lived in Africa where surely it was hotter than Texas.  I hate when people assume that they know where you’re from and what you’ve done all your life.  At this point I was so ready to be nestled in the oasis of Austin.  After a seemingly endless final 200 miles, I arrived at 4:00, just barely enough time to sign my lease, write a check and get handed my new keys!

comfort in transition

May 20, 2009

I’m sitting on my couch in my half-dismantled living room.  The metal poking through the cheap cushions, my body propped up by pillows from my bed.  Finished watching King of California and it left me smiling.  

I’m eager when it comes to moving, I tend to start packing even before I find another place.  Looking around right now, I’m finding comfort in my wine crates packed with books, the empty walls- void of artwork, piles of clothes (to take, to give away, to sell).  I’m obsessively scanning the apartment, trying to visualize if everything I want to take will actually fit into my car.  What will make the cut?  What do I deem as so important it must travel a few thousand miles from Vermont to Texas, tightly packed in my Subaru hatchback….  

  • My two beautiful, lush plants
  • Funky lamp collection (all salvaged from the depths of basements and thrift stores)
  • A huge backpack full of shoes!
  • Books (Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself set from the 1950’s, novels, textbooks, poems, and a spanish dictionary)
  • Only my favorite eating utensils, glasses, and brightly colored authentic Fiesta wear
  • Clothes of course (but only the warm weather ones)
  • …Still debating on bringing my trio of headless dolls
  • A chandelier I found buried in the dirt on my brothers land (to be adorned with candles on my balcony)

Yup, that’s probably all that will fit.  There is something so incredibly therapeutic about sorting through and throwing away belongings.  There is something so incredibly hopeful about moving somewhere new.  And also a tinge of sadness leaving a place you love.  But that’s how all meaningful things are; polar feelings and beautiful endeavors….


May 12, 2009

I’ve spent a lot of time on planes and in airports over the past 48 hours.  This is what I thought about en route…

I’m still fascinated by flight attendants, and I’ve finally made the connection; the very first flight attendants had to be RN’s back in the day.  It must have been sort of glamourous at first, then the nurse’s must have gotten bored because not much action ever really happens during a flight.  My favorite flight attendant this trip was Lance.  He was in his mid-forties with an incredible mustache, and a no-nonsense attitude about him.  He had an amazing voice; deep, smooth and calm.  I silently prayed that it would be him that would announce the emergency instructions if the plane were to crash.  His voice would be the one I would want to hear before I died in a fiery wreckage.  If this career with Delta doesn’t work out for Lance, he could easily switch to being a D.J. at a radio station or even host his own talk show.

A funny thing was announced while we were taxiing on the runway, “If you cannot hear the pilot speaking over the loud speaker or hear a flight attendant talking to you, remove your headphones or ear pieces”.  The woman sitting next to me, gave a nudge and said “Don’t forget to breathe”.  No kidding.  I could go off on that topic about how dumbed down our society has become, but I’d like to stay on track with the ever fascinating airlines.

Remember when you could smoke on planes?  I’d only been on one, and it wasn’t that long ago, 2001 maybe.  Bangkok to Delhi.  Good old, Air India.  While shoveling curry into my mouth that was served by a beautiful woman wearing a sari as her uniform and a bright bindi on her forehead, I squinted through the smokey haze.  The high-pitched Hindi music rattled my brain and quickened my pulse as I tried to make out the lights of the mysterious city below below.  In the air, I was only given a glimpse of the complex world I was about to enter on the sub-continent.

Now, they threaten that “Anyone tampering with, disabling or destroying the smoke detector will be fined”.  I love the idea of someone in the tiny bathroom, having a nicotine fit, frantically trying to ‘destroy’ the smoke detector so they can sneak a puff in.  Every time I take a pee, I stare up and wonder how exactly, I would go about destroying it.  Smashing would probably do the trick, with my first if I was feeling rugged or maybe I would bring a tool in with me.  Somehow submerging it in water seems like a viable option as well.  

I wonder if the fine one would incur, would be immediate or would it be mailed to you?  Would they allow you off the plane or make you pay the $2,200 right then and there….

ready, aim…..

April 28, 2009

Remember that bullet I wrote about a while back?

The shiny one in the chamber, locked and loaded, the safety off?  Well, the trigger has been pulled. That bullet is smoking, taking off at astonishing speeds.

I got offered a job just outside of Austin, Texas. It is my dream job, an internship in the E.D. of a level one trauma center.  An enormous hospital with a helicopter landing pad and 44 beds just in the E.D. alone!  I’m dreaming of gang fights, rodeo injuries and rattlesnake bites.

I was told this was nearly impossible to do.  To graduate as a new nurse and find a job in a decent E.D. right away.  I made it happen and I’m so goddamn happy about it!  Sure, I know it’ll be beyond stressful.  It will be as if I was thrown headfirst into a large body of water.  I will tread for some time.  I will come close to drowning, but I will be immersed in what really matters to me. I would rather struggle than daintily  dip my toe in the water from the safety of the shore.  It will take a long time, but I’ll be swimming some day.

The excitement of graduating, starting a new job, and moving to strange city have been consuming me.  I’m giddy with anticipation and I find it hard to sleep.  I’m ready to move again, I like the idea of going alone.  I’ve kicked this door wide open!

an offer?…

April 17, 2009

I’m waiting on a call today. A call that will change my course in life. It will either determine that I will stay in Vermont surrounded by familiar faces and people I love. That I will work a decent job (hopefully) and settle down and live with a man, be domestic and secure. Or…

It will send me far away to pursue my dream job. It will unearth my roots that have just started to dig in. It will challenge me on every level. I will be alone (at first). I will have to break some news.

suspended in air…

April 7, 2009

Whirlwind of a week. Haven’t had time to unpack my bags. Clothes, seashells, textbooks and plane ticket receipts strewn about my dirty apartment. I’ve decided that there is no need to clean because I just gave my landlord my notice. I’ll be moving out by the end of May. I have no place lined up, in fact I have no idea which town or city will be my next home. I’m hanging in limbo…. I’ve put so much time and energy into applying for jobs, into finishing school. I’ve given so much thought to all sorts of things. I’ve put all of this ‘out there’ so it has to return. It will return to me, in fact it has already started to.

Picture this, on a cold stormy day I threw bucketfuls of coins into the air. Against the wind, the sleet and gravity they moved upwards, out of sight. Once out of sight they remained suspended for some time. Suspended in air, perhaps until the conditions on earth were optimum, perhaps until all the other appropriate pieces were in place in my life. Now they’ve started to fall down, there’s no fighting gravity or fate, I suppose.