Wednesday, November 13, 2013

They Gather Their Courage and They Give It a Try

You can’t buy a simple pad of paper in the New Orleans airport. Paper as it exists here is either the kind of list pad that has “hot & spicy!” or “Jazz!” written at the top, or comes in the form of a lined journal with biblical quotes at the bottom of every page. So I’m destined to write this post with my thumbs. Maybe God is telling me I should have gone with the journal.

Another door closes today as my treatment in New Orleans comes to a end with the embellishment done by a guy named Vinnie from Baltimore who has a penchant for beautifully made hats. We talked about home tattooing and PCP trips and stories about his youth as he tattooed my tits. Tittats. Tittats™ could be a great marketing schtick except that Vinnie is known as the Michelangelo of areola tattoos and needs no marketing help. Vinnie, who is incredibly cool and lovely to talk to, is flying to Memphis to check out a hat store tomorrow. Tittat™ business is good when you are talented. Thank God for the likes of Vinnie. Maybe there is a bible verse for that in one of those little lined journals.

I’m feeling all sorts of sassy and consternated here in New Orleans, gathering all of my memories to tally them up and close them out in a last-chapter roll finale my experience here. It’s humorous that I went from flashing my tits in this fair city to getting flash-worthy tits in this fair city. That’s something I’ll put in the thank-you note to Vinnie who tells PCP stories but not likely to my drs who might find my tit-talk a little off-putting, a tidbit I gleaned not only from their demeanor but also from the Romans 5:1-5 quote in my parting gift. And so it rolls.

There are things that wrap with this trip. Now the next four years stretches out before me as I am done fiddling with things. I have to put all of this fiddling aside and live in the present because being in the space of still having medical things to distract me is over. I have to dig in and realign where I am. I have to settle into the reality of now. On the way back to the airport today, I listened to my cab driver speak about his life. He poured out his story, this man, about his daughter who had cancer, about his wife who was depressed for losing her mother a year ago, about the spot they found on his lung that he’s not sure what it is. And all the while he holds out hope, this man who had lost his restaurant to the hurricane and who was driving a cab even though he was proud to mention that he had a college education. This man who came from Iran and was delighted to tell me that the Persians prefer butter to olive oil in their cooking. He told me about Jesus and hope and his confidence that I would be fine. “Eat oregano and garlic and onions!” he said. “I believe you will be well!” he shouted as he craned his neck out the window. “And Jesus! Don’t forget Jesus!”

I’m eating blueberry granola on the plane and wondering if there is really gin in my G&T. I’m winging my way back to Michigan, leaving all of this behind. I’m flying without net. I’m flying onto what is next. I’m flying.

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