I'm pleased as punch. Some lovely soul nominated me to join Girlfriends' Cybercircuit in which 25 (count 'em) novelists host one another to chat up their books. Kind of like The View, except no big hair. This week, Megan Crane is touring for her new book, Everyone Else's Girl, which you can purchase through her website. The book was written after the author moved home and lived in her parents' attic for six months, which, as most of you will appreciate, revealed the inner adolescent just waiting to be released yet again, as if the first time wasn't bad enough.
I cannot help but notice that Ms. Crane lived in England and actually went to grad school in York, so I'm assuming we have a great deal in common. I've ordered her English as A Second Language because being anal, I must begin at the beginning.
Speaking of anal, I must share my tumultuous, exceptional and truly unbelievable accomplishment. I kept an appointment for a medical procedure I'd been scheduling and cancelling, scheduling and cancelling for at least four years. What I feared wasn't the colonoscopy itself, but the day before, otherwise referred to as "prep." Curtis Sittenfield's book's got nothing on me now, I'll tell you that. Believe it or not, the very horrid truth is that you are NOT ALLOWED TO EAT FOR AN ENTIRE DAY. Anyone who knows me, knows this is something on the order of climbing Mt. Everest pulling a Hummer tied to my teeth.
I was so upset about Monday's day of abstinence that I went into a terrific funk on Sunday. I was so depressed about not eating that I couldn't eat. The only thing that got me through any of it was the thought that even George Bush couldn't get out of his own colonoscopy. Even the commander in chief had to cleanse his colon, drinking perhaps the very same vile flavor of GoLightly, a gallon-sized container that looks suspiciously like something used to store urine, and tastes even worse (not that I've tasted urine, assurances notwithstanding that it's sterile, but if I'm ever stranded at sea with nothing to drink, I hear you can survive several days by doing so. Feel free to remember that in case of emergency.) So, back to me and my overblown trauma. Being exceptionally superstitious and even grandiose in my solipcism (like Ann Lamott's famously self-deprecating aphorism, "I'm a piece of shit the whole universe revolves around," such an apt metaphor for the subject at hand) I was awestruck to read the New York Times on line, that very terrible horrible Monday, to find that most famous reviewer (first name Michiko, last name beginning with Kat...you know who) chose to parody Truman Capote's famous character Holly GoLightly.
It's a sign, I told myself. Time to be a big girl and cleanse. Did I ever.
Two tips. As soon as things are "clear" you can stop drinking the vile stuff, celebrate with two beers (clear liquids, clear liquids) and go to sleep.
Plus, if you want a particular drug the next day, for your "procedure" DON'T enthusiastically tell the nurse, OH MY GOD I LOVE FENTANYL! Sister-in-arms that she was, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Better to tell the doctor that Demerol makes you nauseous." I am a quick study, I'll tell you that. And, like my last terrifically upsetting surgery with the same drug (a breast lumpectomy in 1992 after my brother had died of cancer and my two sisters were yet to be diagnosed) this was right up there as one of the best days of my life. Last time I remember saying, "I don't care if I have cancer, just let me have this drug for the rest of my days and I'll be happy." This go-round I have a feeling I may have revealed more about myself than I intended. (After all, when someone's pressing a camera up your butt, what's not to share?) I remember saying something like "I'm a writer. And one of my characters is into anal sex. Is it bad for you?" This is not true, of course, my characters are too freakin' chaste to even consider it, but (especially after just having read SURRENDER) I was curious. It isn't something i felt free to ask, not until my out-of-body experience with anesthesia and inner body fantastic-voyage-via-digital-technology. The surgeon had a very southern accent and he replied, "Well, I don't think that's its intended use." ("It" being left deliberately vague.) I have a feeling I may have made some of the operating room's staff gasp.
See, it's true, drugs will make you do things you shouldn't and wouldn't if you had a lick of sense. However, I'm willing to try to be circumspect next time I'm offered Fentenyl. It's a good thing I'm a complete coward about breaking the law or I might just become a junkie.