Yesterday was the Ides of March. In 44 B.C., a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar to “beware the Ides of March,” and not go to the Senate. More important, SO DID HIS WIFE! Actually, not much has changed in the two millennia since that day. It doesn’t take Deepak Chopak to espouse the wisdom of avoiding politics…and listening to one’s wife. However, Caesar disregarded the warnings and did not beware. Big Mistake! Bad Caesar. The consequences of that little decision really made a mess for housekeeping.
Yesterday was also our anniversary. As avid archivists, we have learned a lot from history, and, unlike Caesar, we bewared (bewore? Whatev!) We decided not to tempt fate by doing anything fun. Instead, just to be safe, we went straight to the University Hospital for another paracentesis! It is better to suck out three more liters of fluid from Dennis’ midsection, than to risk being eviscerated by guys wearing white togas and carrying concealed daggers.
Actually, the more I think about it, there were some striking similarities. Of course, there was no blind man on the steps leading up to the hospital predicting the future by reading the entrails of a chicken. But there were a bunch of guys wearing white lab coats interpreting the growth patterns of a Petri dish and carrying concealed scalpels whose sole intention was to carve portals in Dennis’ lower hemisphere in order to drain his abscess pockets. Thankfully, in this case, nothing soaked the floor, and Mark Antony didn’t take the podium with his “Dr. Brutus is an honorable man” speech. That was reassuring.
And as if being down a quart of precious bodily fluids isn’t enough to generate paroxysms of jubilation, the “Technicians at Delphi” informed us that the ultrasound showed the abscess is significantly diminished. In unrestrained delight, we did a victory lap around the lobby of the hospital. We had to check our velocity, however, because Dennis was in hospital attire, whose construction is anything but modest and can at an unguarded moment reveal the lay of the land. It is wise to temper one’s speed with prudence lest things are revealed to an unsuspecting public which are best left concealed. But Dennis really rocks those hospital gowns!
Good news is the new prozac. Dennis has been on a powerful antibiotic, rocephin, which is specifically designed to target strep anginosis, an evil bug akin to Ellen Ripley’s alien nemesis. As innocuous as this drug’s name seems, (it sounds like something one would plant in a garden) it has done some serious damage to the abscess. Unfortunately, it is harsh on Dennis’ already compromised system, and challenges both of us to constantly re-invent appropriate obscenities for talk bubbles over our heads. We’ve tried channeling our inner Julius Caesar for his inspirational final words, but neither of us speaks Latin, and “Etu Brute!” just doesn’t cut it. We’re big-time into words consisting of four letters.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we chose to postpone our elaborate anniversary celebration pageantry until today. This works for me. “Sympathetic diarrhea syndrome” has caused me to temporarily relinquish the title of “Our Lady of Perpetual Perkiness.” Daylight Savings Time seems to extract an hour out of EVERY day, and settling our weary carcasses into matching recliners in a synchronized collapse is a major part of our afternoon protocol. Dennis is particularly angular, and we are constantly shielding him from paleontologists who might be tempted to excavate and carbon-date his bones.
This afternoon, however, we are going to see a live theatrical production of “Zorro,” the musical. We can’t wait to be swashbuckled by Don Diego de la Vega, who rights wrongs and brings justice to the tyranny in his town. (Yeah, yeah, but can he tolerate massive doses of rocephin for six straight weeks without the runs? Now that’s something to sing about!)
We had considered going to see “Hunger Games,” but after a steady diet of rainwater and rice gruel, we much prefer Bacchanalian Excess Games.
And we are preparing for the production big time, donning masks and practicing our thrust and parry like we learned in our correspondence course, En Garde for Dummies. In the absence of rapiers or daggers, we opted for some dull steak knives I resurrected from a kitchen drawer.
It was rather an amusing exercise in foolishness to slash imaginary Z’s in each other’s underwear while singing “Out of the night/ When the full moon is bright/ Comes a horseman known as Zorro!” with decibels that exceeded city ordinances. (Too much leisure time creates all kind of mischief on weak minds.) But then in an errant and misguided parry, my new Spanx got snagged. SNAGGED!!! AAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHH! Dang. Those suckers are expensive. They’re greater inventions than even the ShamWOW! And, they’re architecturally correct. I grieved. But, although it felt like death by a thousand paper cuts, I decided to release my angst into the universe and tried not to mourn the loss of the garment that allows me to go into polite society without too much body dismorphia. We put the knives away, along with our dreams of being adopted by a tribe of Massai warriors.
I know, I know, running with knives is never a good idea.
Every anniversary I ponder the longevity of our marriage. How has it endured? Why do two people decide each year to remain together? There must be many reasons. I’m sure a contributing factor must have been my “pre-nup/post partum” vow to give Dennis sole custody of the kids in the event of divorce. That always gave him pause. The only other plausible explanation is Dennis’ incredible gift of patience, and our strict avoidance of soothsayers, disgruntled senators, and sharp objects.