Part One - The same old thing but with Christmas on it
With each new month comes new hope. The hope that I’ll be able to walk again without the fear of shooting pains travelling from my buttocks to my leg, the hope that I’ll be able to go back to yoga and swimming and partial mental health. The hope that the old tricks will work on new times and that I have something to cling on, something that can help me help myself. I re-thought my priorities, changed the way I track what I eat and how it makes me feel, made a plan on how my getting back into shape would slowly but surely evolve. Oh, how I tried.
On the first weekend of March, the men of the house were going to Budapest to spend some quality, man on man Hungarian time. I know it sounds like the name of a very specific type of gay porn, but go with it. Imagine what you will. In the meantime, the gals remained at home, to bask in the sudden lack of testosterone. Our first thought was “Ok, what can we do that we can’t do when the guys are here?” First, walk around naked. Easy. Second, celebrate Christmas! Christmas in March, you say?! It’s outrageous, it’s never-heard-of, I looove it!
We didn’t do the whole tree thing, cause my tree died, BUUUUT we had twinkly lights and Christmas carols all day long! “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas / Everywhere you gooo” Plus, we watched “A Christmas Carol” with Patrick Stewart and baked heart-shaped frangipane tarts. T’was a grand Christmas, indeed! As it usually happens to me on Christmas, something comes along to fuck shit up. It’s like alongside Santa Claus, there’s this other Santa - a bitchy, evil lil’ non-fat fucker whose belly does not shake like a bowl full of jelly! He fills my stockings not with candy and joy but with sorrow and sadness and diseases, oh boy!
The first in a series of unfortunate events, the first of the plagues was a mushroom. No, not a portobello or a fancy chanterelle. Nope, it was her majesty, the Queen of Yeast Infections- Candida The Second. In other words (for some reasons, I feel compelled to use more) my lady cave was for a short time -that seemed endless- the host of this irritating little monster. That’s how I discovered that time is relative when your pussy itches.This right here, they should teach lil’ boys and girls in school! Page 15, chapter 2 of the “Undeniable truths of life”.
It’s valuable information, people! Really puts things into perspective. It should be spread around -like a disease- until it becomes common knowledge.
Imagine this: I’m in the future, and so are you! I’m successful, I’m rich, I’m in the best shape of my life (mainly ‘cause I’ve been in a shitty one so far). Women wanna be me, men want to be with me, dogs want to constantly sniff me - life is good! I’m travelling places, pain-free, doing what I love with people I like. One day, while sunbathing in California, I get a phone call. Tim Ferriss is asking me if I’d like to be a guest on his podcast. I’m ecstatic, I’m over the moon! I used to listen to those podcasts and hope and pray that one day I’d be one of those people! I immediately said yes and set up a date. Being there feels surreal. I greet Molly - she’s older now but still wagging her tail and welcoming me into Tim’s studio. He must be all grey-haired now, but how could I tell? He’s bald. Still bald. “It’s a choice” he says. Plus, he really looks like he cheated time with all his crazy body hacks. We have a cup of some crazy, disgusting tea that’s supposed to do some magical shit to my immune system and then we get down to business. After an hour of talking about morning rituals, strategies, personal struggles and the key to success, we’ve moved to wine instead of tea and shit has been increasingly funny. Then, we get to the last part of the interview ‘cause “he wants to be respectful of my time” and he asks the good ol’ billboard question: “What message would you put on a billboard for millions to see?” There, sitting in that chair, aware that my answer would be reaching thousands of people, I draw a short breath and I say, without a doubt in my mind or a pause in my speech, “Time is relative when your pussy itches”.
Snap back to reality, oh, there goes gravity! - Eminem, helping noob writers segway since 1972. This particular merry day began with the usual breakfast and tea, this time with a side of itch. I had made a list of simple, yet necessary tasks. First, I had to call my friend Maurice, ‘cause he hasn’t been in touch in forever and I was kinda worried. Second, I had to check the balance on my bank account, online. Third, I had to pick a place for dinner and make a reservation. Let’s see how that went, shall we?
First, Maurice didn’t answer. Ring, ring, itch, itch. Second, my online banking wasn’t responding. Buffering, buffering, itching, itching. Finally, it decided to lock me out of my account. I tried to call them, my phone was not able to make that type of call. I tried calling them from my friend’s phone, they did not answer. I looked for a way to contact them online. I sent them an e-mail. An automatic response let me know that it was Saturday and that they will contact me as soon as possible, starting Monday. Ughhh, ughhh, itch itch! Fine, fuck it! I’ll just start to look for a place. One where we could eat good, decently-priced food, that’s close to the cinema cause we were gonna see La La Land right after. That too, proved to be much harder than expected, or ever imagined. After finally, finding the perfect place that miraculously fulfilled all three of our needs, I picked up the phone feeling like I might actually accomplish something! Ring ring, itch itch! Ring ring RIIIING, itch, itch, IIIIITCH! No one answered. It was too early, they opened at 12 pm. It was 11:30. I waited, I itched, I called again. “Sowy, no tables available. Only before 5 or after 10”. Well, that’s definitely not gonna work! The sound of itching was now all I could hear.
And that, boys and girls is the story of how auntie Gog started drinking at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. Why? Because at the exact point of my blow-out, auntie Ala was there. Earlier that month she had moved in and she had brought with her from far far away, a magical, life changing object - a cocktail shaker. She said “Don’t worry, babe. Later, you can start drinking.” “Later?” I said. “ What’s wrong with now? I need it now.” “It’s 12 in the afternoon!” she replied with fake outrage and mild disbelief mixed with mischief. I only gave a look. It said “bitch, please”. We truly had a great non-verbal connection, cause she got up and started mixin’ and shakin’. We had our drinks out in the garden with the sun in our faces. I inhaled half of that drink. We then went inside and dozed off on the couch while watching Mike Birbiglia’s Netflix special. Nothing itched, nothing was tense anymore. I was soft like a pillow and oh, so comfy!
Later that day, we went to place called The Yarn Pizza and booze where, you guessed it, we had pizza and booze. I had a lovely roasted strawberry-tarragon-gin cocktail and the Giuseppe pizza. I can’t say that their pizza is my favorite pizza, but it’s good pizza and a nice atmosphere. It’s for those nights when life seems too complicated to handle and you need something “easy like pie” - pizza pie. If you’re having such a day and you happen to be somewhere on Lower Liffey Street, you might look up and see a red, flashing neon sign that spells “Pizza and booze” and suddenly you’ll think to yourself: “Hm, that’s all I need” - and for awhile that will be the truth.
After this truly magical time in my life - of fungi and chronic pain - I got a bit of a break. I could see the light at the end of the shitty tunnel! Now that sciatica wasn’t an everyday companion, I felt that I could live life again. I summoned the wise voice in my head and she advised me to take it easy, make a plan that would slowly but surely allow me to return to swimming, yoga, normal walking and even dancing. I put it all on my board. First week, I would just do my muscle strengthening exercises. Then, in the second I would re-introduce swimming lessons and some light yoga. Week 3 I would maintain this rhythm and finally, on week four I would join a pilates class to further help my core, which would help my back, which will fix my sciatica.
At about this time, when days were going by painlessly, I developed a new fear. The “return of the pain”- fear, closely followed by the “return of the fungus” fear and “return of stomach ache” fear. That, my friends, is a nasty way to live one’s life. Either in the midst of pain, struggling not only the physical agony but also the feelings of helplessness, bitterness and despair that naturally come along with it or in the expectation of it. When it finally decides to release its strong, torturous grip, you can’t escape its shadow constantly hovering over you, ready to settle in at anytime and turn your days into struggles.
After precisely 5 such days, I ventured on long walks and long cooking sessions, after which, I diligently/stubbornly did my exercises. Thus, on a glorious Saturday, the pain re-installed itself - as sadly foreseen. I, once more, stopped doing everything. My plan was now sitting there, staring me in the face - no way that was gonna happen anymore.
I called Dell (my physiotherapist), I obviously needed some of that crazy muscle manipulation that he does.
He didn’t answer and he didn’t call me back as he would usually do. I was growing desperate. I sent a massive cry of help via text message. He was alive but he was in Tallaght. Where do I begin to tell the story of how great a commute can be? Translation? It was far, it was outside-of-Dublin far. I would make it alive but I would lose a lot of myself on the way! It was an epic journey that demanded a brave heart, a taste for adventure and a loyal companion. With Ala as the Sam to my Frodo, we embarked on the long journey. Half-way, after the first part of walking and the train ride, we got off only to get on. On the Luas that is.
Yeah, it was nothing like that. Not that I expected it, but it would have been nice. Instead, I got to play a part in the unknown, irish-geriatric version of a Streetcar named desire. Wanting to make sure that we got on the right tram, I decided to ask the grey gentlemen sitting near us, if this train goes to Tallaght. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hello! Sorry, do you know if this tram goes to Tallaght?
Me: This tram, does it go to Tallaght?
At this point in the story, he gets up and comes closer to me. He slightly leans his ear into my direction, so I get the cue and ask again.
Me: Does this go to Tallaght?
Him: (as if reading my lips) Steeee-laaaa?
Me: (in disbelief): Taaaaaa-laaaaaaaaa.
Him:(stronger, as if he got it): Steeelaaa.
Me:(amused) No. T -A- L -L -A -G…
Him: Ooooooh. Tallaght! Yea, it does, it does.
Me: Thank you. No, really, thank you so much!
The End. Curtain close. (muffled laughter is heard)