By any conventional definition of the term, I am not dead: bodily functions, when they function at all, conform generally to species norms, and occasionally I can hear myself breathe. Still, I am loath to describe my current existence as "life," since many of the things I took for granted while I was "living" are no longer, and may never again be, an option for me.

I had to give up the daily paper, because I can't make it the 75 feet from the front door to the curb and back, especially since much of that distance is on a decided slant. Switching to digital-only delivery is marginally cheaper — $10 a month versus $6.50 a week — but much of the experience is diluted. Besides which, you can't swat a fly with the Print Replica. And the chap who throws this route apparently has not figured out that he doesn't have to throw me a copy anymore.

My sleeping pattern, perennially erratic, is starting to resemble my old Weekend Mode: four AM to noon. More serious: the usual self-drugging routine to get myself properly drowsy by 11 pm or so does not seem to work at all anymore. Going back to work under these conditions is inadvisable, and may be impossible.

My appetite is diminished. This is probably due to internal adjustments — I weigh about 45 lb less now than I did at the beginning of May — and perhaps it will work out to be an improvement in the long run. Still, having to recalibrate every single recipe I use will be an annoyance at best.

Financial woes I expect to continue. (For the next few days, at least, you can help me out with a few bucks.) My budget, such as it is, presumes a 46-hour work week; of late, I'm falling short of that by, well, 46 hours.

But nothing disturbs me quite as much as being unable to walk properly. I have a walker, and I've mounted a rack on it so I can move stuff around, but having to drag it around with me everywhere, bathroom to bedroom, is decidedly unpleasant. It would likely be easier if I spent several thousands on making the palatial estate at Surlywood "accessible," but I can assure you that this is not happening. Just for openers: the passage into the bathroom, with the door open, is just under two inches too narrow to accommodate the walker.

This, for the moment, is what I'm supposed to call "life." It's not, at least not as I know it; it's just a stage between Something Terrible and Something Possibly Not So Terrible. And until I can get rid of this cheap Chinese pot-metal hobbyhorse, that's all it ever will be.

The Vent

  24 July 2016

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