I have many things to tell you, dear reader, but we’ll start with an anecdote from today and see if I can still do this writing thing.

Fall is finally here, and I am delighted. Temperatures in the 60s mean a more mobile, energetic Rebecca. I had lunch with a friend today, and, emboldened by the cool air, I walked 2/3 of a block to CVS afterward to retrieve five prescriptions. (Five! That’s not the point of this story, but jeezy creezy that’s a lot of drugs.) I don’t know if it was because I’d been sitting a long time beforehand or what, but my gait was the same step-draaaaaag-step-draaaaag that made me think “I feel you, man” when watching the Mummy move across the screen during Monster Squad.

See ya later, Band-Aid Breath!

I briefly considered buying a “President Evil: Four Years of Hell” t-shirt from the street vendor thirty feet from my destination in hopes of briefly sitting  in his folding chair, but I soldiered on, mummying my way into the store and to the prescription counter. When I got there, two people were in line and another, older woman was occupying the sole chair in the handicapped waiting area. As I swayed near the foot health supplies, I saw that the woman had summoned a pharmacist to our side of the counter to offer his thoughts on the very products I was on the verge of collapsing into. “Please. Vould you look at these toes?” she said, REMOVING HER BOOTS. I averted my eyes and focused on staying upright.

At last another pharmacist arrived at the register, and it was my turn at the counter. The podiatry consultation continued to my right as I collected my purchases in a collapsible bag, which is marvelously portable but its soft straps make getting them on my shoulder nigh impossible. Keeping them there? Ha. As I fumbled with the bag, the pharmacist asked if I’d like a flu shot. Why yes! Yes, I would. Go down to the other counter? Sure. Step-draaaag-step-draaaag, don’t drop the bag. (My new cheer!) Bend at the waist and fill out these forms? No problem. I’ll just lean on my elbows while I sign here. Oh, and here, too? Awesome.

“It will be twenty minutes. Is that okay?” “Absolutely. If I can sit.” Shoeless Joanna was still in the handi-chair, so the cashier gave up her stool for me. I was thrilled to have a seat, but hoisting myself onto it after an extended period of standing was tough. Once I got up there, my seated companion notice me and my cane. “Oh, vould you like this seat?”

Folks, it goes on. I had to get up AGAIN to fill out more flu shot paperwork during which time an able-bodied someone sat on the stool, so I returned to the newly-abandoned chair. Foot lady disappeared only to reappear with two pints of ice cream and a Metro Weekly she desperately wanted to give away.

I finally got my damned flu shot and cannot sufficiently thank the woman who came to where I was seated to administer it. Feeling victorious, I tried to stand, bracing myself on the arms of the chair and promptly being pulled back down.  Twice. Because my bag, which I had at last successfully pulled onto my shoulder, was resting on the arm of a chair. A lady in line offered help. I cheerly declined and slunk out of the store to climb into the awaiting Uber. (And I mean climb–it was an SUV.)

Even amid the colorful population at our local CVS, I felt like a complete mess. Some days my body does not feel like my own. Man, this is one of those days.

2 thoughts on “Devastatingly Awkward: In Which I Flail Around CVS

  1. If this is just an elaborate setup for an excuse that gets you out of holiday plans, seriously, just be direct.Oh, all right, FINE, I'll be serious: Being alienated from your own body is a terrible thing that I recently came up against myself: lying awake in a hospital bed, inquiring of my body (heart, mostly) whether or not it was about to abandon me, and realizing that, if it did so, I was not OK with that.And then realizing that, even though I was very much NOT OK with that, my body might very well give out anyway. Regardless of my very strong wishes in this matter, my body was going to do what it was going to do.And I understood, in that moment, that my body–which I'm so accustomed to think of as indissolubly ME–was not. That it was its own thing, and didn't care what I wanted. There was this terrible sense of being shackled to a strange animal, something with its own agenda, and that agenda would not be subject to my review, much less approval.I think of days like yours, and how it must be like being a parent attempting to go through a day's errands while attached to a shrieking toddler–yes, you've got to do all the stuff, and interact with all the folks involved therein (employees, fellow consumers, etc.), and you've got to maintain all these separate demands of attention and self-articulation (and BALANCE), and all the while there's this uncooperative thing just making it way harder than it HAS TO BE WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU KEVIN I GAVE YOU YOUR JUICE BOX TEN MINUTES AGO?!It's no fun, the dissociated body. It SHOULD be \”us.\” and it's not. Because WE are awesome and wonderful and cool and know exactly what we want to do, and if our bodies would just GET with the PROGRAM–SO much better, right? Right?


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