Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Drinking Jet Fuel

I woke up from a dream about my recently deceased dear friend. It was about the 5th time I had woke up in a few short hours. So I decided to heck with it, I would get up, make coffee, sit down, write.


Never make coffee half asleep. 
This mug has traveled thousands of miles with me on boats, islands, different countries and now my motorhome.
Note to self:  Do not wash mug while half asleep, you miss stuff.


I highly recommend you measure  out your coffee the night before so all you have to do it turn it on, or set the clock if you have one of those newfangled coffee pots with a clock and self-starter.  I guess I wasn't awake at all when I made the coffee. My pot is very fast. So in minutes I had poured a cup into my favorite ceramic mug. It has traveled with me for 20+ years. It had a mate that had a chip in it, so I let it go, someone else snatched it up at the yard sale,  keeping just the one, moving overseas and thousands of miles away into my new old used motorhome.  


With my old coffee mug. 


It reminds me of days at sea, mornings on islands, a quiet sunrise in the cockpit of my old sailboat. I was dreamily thinking of all the times my departed friend and I had shared a cup of coffee over my dining table in the islands. 
My dear departed friend and I spent many happy hours, 
eating, drinking, laughing, talking, at my dining table in the islands.  


At dark-thirty, this morning,  I sat down at my desk, took a big hearty sip of the heavily milk laced coffee. My eyes popped out, my hair stood up, my toes swelled up, seeming to suddenly be fighting for space in the fleece lined house slippers I wear on cold mornings. 


After I peeled myself off the ceiling, I poured more water into the coffee maker. Let's bring that jet fuel down a notch. High test will be just fine, thank you very much. 



I'm a serial recycler, no use throwing out a good cup of coffee. 


That java was so strong, I used it to remove the perished Florida bugs off my engine hood. The caffeine livened up the dead bugs so fast, they scrambled to get off my vehicle.  


If you've ever driven to Florida, you know about the dastardly bugs that implant themselves on your hood, seemingly attaching themselves for the next millennium. (Incredibly, ten years later, oops eleven year later,  I still need my spell heckler to glaringly  remind me how to spell millennium correctly.)  

My recently deceased friend and I lived at opposite ends of the island. 
She often spent the night on my guest bed, rather than drive home. 
That way we could visit all over again in the morning. 
She loved for me to cook for her. I must have made her hundreds of meals. 
I had a favorite silk caftan, she loved to borrow,  to sleep in on those nights.
When I left the islands, I gave her the treasured caftan. 


I've been sorting pictures on my external hard drive, trying to organize ones I need for articles I am writing for publication. I keep coming across pictures of my smiling friend, happy days we spent on her boat, or at my house or her house.  


Beautiful memories, captured in pixels, that bring tears to my eyes. 

Last time my friend and I went out playing on her boat,
we stopped at this beach on a remote island.
We spent hours sunning, tanning, swimming, drinking, eating, playing, talking,
and best of all we laughed endlessly. 



Looking at these pictures, reminds me when life was good.  Really good.   It's still OK now. 


I woke up alive. 


My medical bills have piled up high on my credit cards,  threatening to sink me. I think that's why I have so much trouble sleeping at night. I keep trying to find creative ways to increase my income, keep the greedy bankers at bay. They sure have made a bloody fortune off me since I wobbled out of that awful hospital. 


I look at pictures of my former home, thinking how everything was sold, to make a dent in my hospital and subsequent medical mess. I'm one of those weirdos that has always paid my bills, no matter what. Somehow, I will get through this grief of losing my dear friend, somehow I will write enough, sell enough, persevere enough, to pull my life back together. 


I think about the homeless, the children living in cars. I take my puppy for a cold morning walk, grateful as can be, for the tortuous times I spent in therapy years back, learning to walk without canes, cranes and crutches. I throw my shoulders back, I walk faster to warm up my cold legs. I remember when all I dreamed about was walking again. Now here I am walking a silly puppy on a string, who looks at the world with a fresh view each morning. 


Last night, I guess puppy decided I had ignored him long enough, the writing at my desk taking too much time away from him. He began bringing me his toys, dropping them nearby, in hopes I would take the hint. Finally I came to a stopping place, so we could do some serious play.  He wagged his tail, perked up his ears, giving me a goofy grin. He was clearly delighted. 


I often ponder why my life has been spared so many times, how I ended up on the brink, only to bounce back alive when I should have died. How did my friend manage to work one day, then die the next?


Her family has informed me of her autopsy. It's mind boggling. I called  my old boyfriend, three thousand miles away, a famed pathologist. He answered many questions, did his best to comfort me. 


Somehow, before the call was over, he made me laugh, instead of cry. 


I am so very lucky. 



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