Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winding Up

Would you believe I’m still not feeling well? (As in having occasional attacks where I seem to be trying to cough my lungs up.) I finally went to the doctor and she said bronchitis and gave me prescriptions for an antibiotic and some cough syrup with codeine in it. Ahhhhh, codeine! But it makes me sleep, and that's why this post is getting up later than usual. Plus, I'm not going to water aerobics until this runs its course.

I am on the final scene of Thai Die. If the climatic scene reads like a fever dream, that’s because I wrote it while under the influence of several cold medications. Actually, it may have improved the writing. I was once in the presence of a bad man wielding a handgun, and perceptions alter when danger is that proximate. Images sharpen, but it’s in a kind of tunnel vision. Time slows down but it’s hard to make a decision: run or stay? Talk or scream or sit silent? I conclude that these decisions should be made ahead of time. I have been much intrigued by the new instructions for what to do when accosted by a man with a gun: run! Most people are terrible shots at distances greater than a few yards, especially when the target is moving; and by the time he reacts to your running, you’re farther away than that. And chances are, even if he shoots and hits you, it won’t be fatal. Whereas if you go with him, you almost certainly will end up dead. Same with carjacking. Keep your doors locked and if someone comes up and shows you a gun, drive off. He very likely won’t shoot – he’s after the car, not out to kill someone – and, if you do go along, he’ll make you empty your bank accounts for him. But remember, your doors have to be locked for this to work.

Tomorrow we close on the sale of our old townhouse. It took nearly six months to sell, an indication of the slump in the housing market in the Twin Cities. But sell it did, after we cut the price – twice – and now we can pay off the “bridge loan” we took out when we found ourselves obliged to pay for our new co-op apartment while still the owners of a very nice three-bedroom townhome with a tuck-under garage and functional fireplace. I like our new place very much, but it’s smaller than the old place. Which is good as far as house keeping goes – I can mop the smaller bathroom floor in half a minute. And it’s all on one level, for which my knees are very grateful. But when I set out my Fontanini Christmas pieces, I discovered that I have too many of them for the new place. I’m not sure what that means, whether I’ll set out some one year and others another. Or if I’ll have to sell some of them. We’ll see. Right now they’re all back in the cabinet allotted to them, so the problem doesn’t have to be addressed until December.

There’s one resolution I should have made for the New Year but didn’t – but there’s no reason I can’t make it now, is there? To become more organized. For me, that means getting rid of stuff. My office is already silting up, and I’ve decided I really don’t like that. It didn’t use to bother me, but now it does. I get impatient with the clutter, especially when I look at my spouse’s vast, clean space. So I resolve to do something about it.

Life will be better when that’s accomplished. And, already, life is good.


Anonymous said...

Interesting observation about running from a gun. We've been brainwashed by television and movies to think that the guy in the white hat can shoot the gun out of a baddie's hand a football field away. I've taken part in a couple of gun days and the instructors say that even trained professionals miss at any real distance.

And your tunnel-vision comment is great. But did you find yourself listening to a little voice in your head providing a running commentary? Like, "wow, I always wondered what this situation would be like. What was it I was supposed to do?"

Monica Ferris said...

It's interesting you asking about that "little voice" with the "running commentary," because very usually I do. When Al had an attack of tachychardia (sp?) part of me was in a panic but part of me was taking notes -- I can even remember what was showing on the tv set in the hospital waiting room! But in this case, my brain went on hiatus, I was just sort of floating. I think that's what happens to some people about to die, so they are relieved of stress. The fight is over, they have lost, they accept the end. It's not the same as being calm, it's beyond that. More like numb. I actually don't remember parts of it -- like how it ended. I think the man just went away. Unreal.

Camille Minichino said...

I think spouses match up according to clutter or clean space, with most couples having one of each.
I sometimes long for the open spaces and neat piles of my husband's office. I'll tackle mine and it will last for all of a half day, then there will be no clear horizontal surface again, as he likes to say.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I like the advice of running away from the gun--I've always thought that's what I'd be tempted to do--but you never know until you're confronted with the reality!

Monica Ferris said...

Camille, that's amazing! Exactly what my spouse says, that I cannot stand to have a bare horizontal surface. I guess that's what it looks like to the neat ones.