Monday, May 5, 2014

Parched in the Sahara


Sam Brown,

My camel did not make it.   It had been days since he'd died.  I found myself trudging through the desert, my skin burning, sand in my throat...   Hot wind blowing around me, almost through me.  I could feel sand on my face.  Pricks of it picking at my cheeks - then harder and harder as the gusts increased.  Chunks of sand...


I open an eye.   Lola is there standing beside my head, punching my cheek with her paw.

"Off!!  OFF!!!"

6:02 a.m.  How did she get in?  We'd installed a door to our room just a couple of weeks ago so that this very thing would no longer happen on a Sunday morning - could Lola now walk through walls?  Had our cat actually created a worm hole into our room?  Were we going to become millionaires because of our Mensa cat?  I look over to the doorway and do a face palm.  David hadn't shut the door last night.  Awesome.  I roll out of bed.

I run the gauntlet of falsely affectionate cats and stagger downstairs.  One races me down, another wends its way through my legs and Steve?  He lies across the stairs in all his tomcat glory. This house has somehow transformed all three of our felines into the most languorous of stair lying beasts.  In the other house, they never once draped themselves across the width of a tread.  This house, you're running a fur-covered obstacle course to get downstairs, and with two black cats, you take your life in your hands if you're trying to do anything in half-light.

I feed the beasts and climb back upstairs.  God, I'm burning up.  Why am I so hot?? My mouth is so fricking dry.  HOT.  And then I remember.  The night before, I'd had two glasses of wine and a flute of champagne to celebrate family birthdays. Stupid peri-menopause.  One glass of alcohol.  ONLY ONE.  No matter how good it tastes.  ONLY ONE GLASS OF ALCOHOL HEATHER!  Or what?  You have blinding hot flashes.  I know this!  But it was a really great blended red - went down so smoothly.  Why does my mouth feel full of cotton?  I wasn't drunk - I'd had the booze over a several-hours-long period.

I've lost all my saliva!  I am SALIVALESS!  I scan my memory for what else I'd ingested to get me this parched.  Popcorn.  I'd had some popcorn.  And there'd been feta cheese in the salad... I smask my dry lips...  annnnnnd I am having my period.  Bingo.  Combine salt ingestion and bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig and you're going to get a little bit dry feel like Akhenaten post-embalming.  I down a glass of water and desperately try to source my saliva.  Nope.  I down another glass.  Not yet. My tongue is still sticking to the roof of my mouth.  Another glass.  There.  There now.  Some moisture. 

Fricking period.  Fricking peri-menopause.  I should have known the week before, when I'd wanted to carry around my own personal salt lick.   And now I've been emptying my Diva Cup every two hours or so.  It's astounding how blasé I have become about menstruation.  When I was younger, the notion of using an OB tampon completely squicked me out, but apparently now that I have a blood faucet installed down there, I could become a full-on general surgeon.  Seeing blood on my hands is common place.

My poor family.  Rissa'll be brushing her teeth and glance over at me - I'll be in some state of Diva Cup removal or re-insertion.


"Sorry.  Look away.  Look away."

She'll turn her back and walk to the door.  The toilets in this house aren't as close to the sinks as they were in the old house.  So there I am in my fluffy pink socks, with my stripey onesie around my ankles shuffling to the sink to rinse out the Diva Cup shouting, "AVERT YOUR EYES!  AVERT YOUR EYES!"

"Nobody else's mother does this stuff you know."

"Think of all the material you'll have for your memoirs."

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