Monday, February 23, 2009


I think I have a sinus infection. That's what I've deduced because for two weeks I've been a total mouth breather, and can't access my nose for love or money. It makes sleeping hard, and I need to buy stock in Puffs (hope Puffs doesn't go out of business--I guess even in hard times, people need to blow their nose.)

Everyone in my life thinks (or has communicated through a Vulcan mind-meld) that I need to tough it out, but this morning I was done toughing it out. Just done. Luckily, I have a doctor who seems to have no other patients (I had to sell my soul to the devil to make him my primary care physician) so I called and they said come at 10:00.

I did. And it wasn't even one of those things where I suddenly felt miraculously better on the way over. I felt decidedly worse, or at least the same. I had to wait a lot longer than usual (usual is five minutes) so I had time to admire all the drugs I might be taking and visualize the furniture coated in puffy layers of invisible germs. Then I had to sit in the exam room even longer, swinging my legs while the paper crinkled. But, as usual, my visit was as satisfying as a massage. Doc nodded sympathetically, clucked over my tender sinuses, wrote me up a prescription. Before he left, he bellowed for Lorraine, otherwise known as Shot Lady, who comes in brandishing her weapon and saying "Show me your good side." By the time I reached the curb, I could swear I felt a glimmer of my old self returning.

Since I was already over there, and it was unseasonably warm, I headed for Balboa Park. David and I used to live walking distance from this turn-of-the-century Worlds Fair relic and wonder, and it's been a hard loss. It houses most of San Diego's museums, and lovely faux Spanish architecture, tinkling fountains, giant fish, strange succulents. Most of all, it's just a great place to walk around. I parked behind the Organ Pavillion, a behemoth outdoor stage with very grand arches and pillars. I passed the Prado, a chic restaurant that went up in 2000--we thought we'd get married there, but $22,000 said it wasn't gonna happen. I rounded the corner and headed up the central promenade, passing a gentleman playing the bagpipes and a mother and baby dancing to them. Over the footbridge, and into the famous rose garden, just starting to come back because it's February, and February in San Diego is spring.

I was practically alone admiring the tender green shoots, with only one or two blobs of pink above the signs reading "Honeylove" and "Julia Child." There was an older couple who might have been taking photos, or surveying the grade, or who knows. I thought of our rose bushes, which have also just busted their branches in the past week. It must be time to feed them again. I thought of a warm November day when I sat in this rose garden when they had just been shorn, just me on a blanket, dirt, and a bunch of sharp little sticks. That was many years ago, and my heart was hurting, and I really needed to find a new apartment because of that. I wrote in my journal about my hurt heart, and the very act told me I'd be okay eventually.

This time I found a shady bench, and took my Kindle out of my purse. My friend Monika from bookclub said something very funny this week; she said that many, many things in her life right now have been "Twilighted," and I laughed with recognition--my life is getting Twilighted, too. Several times I've been walking and realized my brow was deeply furrowed and my heart pounding, and then a wave of realization wafted through: "Oh! It's not me who's lost the undead love of my life. Book, world. World, book. Not the same."

But the blurring is delicious. I popped open the Kindle to find that I had only one more chapter of Book Two, and I marveled once again that an 18-year-old could know without hesitation that her stone-cold love was worth more than her very soul. Then again, I knew that at 18, too. You just sort of forget eventually.

I walked back towards the car through a gleeful crowd of school children, running races by the History museum. When I rounded the corner, I decided I'd have lunch at the Japanese Tea House, and that was the right decision. Everything was peaceful plunking notes and clean bamboo lines. I couldn't imagine what I would want to eat there, but then a woman in front of me turned around holding a bowl at nose level and it smelled divine. Turned out it was chicken teriyaki, which I've previously thought of as the Culinary World's Cruelest Food, served only to pathetic rubes like me when I've been unable to avoid accompanying my sophisticated friends out for sushi. It's like the sushi places are saying, "Here you go. You clearly don't appreciate truly tasty food, so here's a plate of chewy, gluey swill for you to gnaw on while your friends make charming bon mots between sips of wine and nibble on these pretty little things that look like party favors."

This place hadn't gotten the memo. Then again, they didn't have sushi, either. The chicken was sliced thin and arranged over some bright carrot shreds and green onions. The sauce was shiny and sweet, but not gluey. I carried my warm bowl to a glass table out on the porch, and was practically alone but for the peaceful music and a slight breeze coming up from the wild, green canyon. The food was hot and filling and perfect. I took a sip of water and realized how rarely I eat outside when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and everywhere around me is quiet and pretty. I sat there for a very long time, and to prolong it, ordered today's New York Times on the Kindle, a satisfying operation requiring about three seconds of my time and 75 cents. There was still plenty of time to shop for dinner and drop off my prescription before picking up Jarrah.

I need to get out and get shots more often.


Anonymous said...

What the hell was in that shot and where can I get some?? What a wonderful morning.

Sam said...

@S: I'll tell you one thing, lovey. It was not PIO. ;)

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness.
Is it wrong that I am hoping I get your sinus infection now, it would be WELL worth it to get to enjoy a day as perfect as that one (except for the shot, I still have a sort of fear of shots).
SD sounds like heaven the way you describe it! (I have only vacationed there twice, but loved it)

Caroline said...

That blur was crucial last summer when reading the series. I really, really, really needed to be in another place, and it took me there.

I don't think you ever feel *more* certain that your love is worth more than your soul than at age eighteen. I was sure. That's how I married my undead ex. ;)

I share your feelings on sushi, and I really, really want to eat that bowl of teriyaki chicken!

Myrnie said...

Beautiful post, beautiful day. Feel better soon!


erin said...

These babies of mine need to grow up faster so I can have a day on my own. ;)
And I wish I hadn't bought that Wii for the kids, cause instead I'd be reading my Kindle right now! ARGHHH!
My parents and my younger siblings (I'm the oldest of five and have three siblings still at home) are battling a killer cold up at their house. Makes me want to pack these kids up and hop on a plane. "Six tickets to...anywhere not here, please"

San Diego Momma said...

I want to go to there!

Wherever you were mentally and physically -- I WANT TO GO TO THERE!

Also battling a sinus infection. Can't sleep due to snot. Very miserable.

Need shot and chicken teriyaki.

(Glad you're better! Or at least, on the way...)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...


Lovely post, yada yada yada.

You have a Kindle? I have Kindle envy.

dena said...

Apparently, shots are good. How come no one has told us this before?

Teriyaki Chicken happens to be one of my favorites & is always best enjoyed on a beautiful day outdoors... shot or no shot. (Plus, I don't tend to enjoy sushi.)

Hope you are feeling completely better soon!

Laural Out Loud said...

I MUST have the name of your doctor! That shot sounds divine! As did the rest of your day. I love Balboa Park, but it's such a long drive from North County.