Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It’s the Little Things…

By Christine Girard, ND
2010 AANP Physician of the Year

A typical Airstream. Photo by Jacob Davies via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.
It’s the little things…

William had a rough day yesterday. No, a seriously rough day. As he put it in one of his texts, “Bad karma morning. Way overheated. Had to walk away from it.”

As I understand it, it all started after he dropped me off at work. There was a huge crash on the 202 that left traffic at a standstill, so bad that the cops re-routed traffic through downtown Tempe. Getting home took three times longer than usual. Now William is a not-so-patient guy with a plan. He had things to do at home. Let me re-phrase that, he had a list of things to do at home. So, this put him “behind.”

As he arrived home, he noticed that Lotus (now nicknamed Killer Kitty for her hunting prowess) did not greet him outside as she usually does. This made William suspicious. As he entered the house he found a trail of feathers leading from the kitty door through the living room and down the hall into the guest bedroom. In the guest bedroom he found said Killer Kitty playing with one partially denuded pigeon, which happened to be alive as William discovered upon wresting it from Lotus’s mouth. The pigeon, much relieved and a bit disoriented flew across the hall into the shutters above Sage’s favorite sunspot where Sage was napping. Awakened by the flapping of wings, Sage leapt up and promptly began chasing the pigeon as it flew down the hall into the living room. By this time, Lotus had caught up and William was in hot pursuit. The pigeon perched and pooped on top of the entertainment center as the cats sat staring, plotting their plan of kill. William stood plotting his plan to get the pigeon outside where, in his humble opinion, the bird belonged. The bird, having its own opinion, flew into the laundry room and hid behind the dryer. I’m not sure which it was, feline or human, but someone flushed it from hiding and it flew onto the bookshelves where William finally was able to cover it with a towel and take it outside – after he locked the kitty door. His next text: “Kittys on house arrest.”

William, not to be taken off plan, began to get things set up so he could move the 31’ Airstream travel trailer from its current parking spot to another that would offer him more opportunity for shade as he worked on it and offer more space to park the truck. As he later explained, it took him “hours” to hitch the Airstream in the 112° heat of Phoenix in a truck that has no (zero, zilch, nada) air conditioning (yeah, really). Once hitched, William needed to pull the Airstream forward and back it up, negotiating around the orange tree into the new, highly sought-after parking spot. His next text, “Tried moving the A/S and creased the passenger front quarter. I am so pissed.” I phoned William to check in. He was not in a good place. There were many words I cannot put in print. He expressed his desire to use C4 (explosives for those of you unfamiliar) to blow up the Airstream.

Later William picked me up from work and during the tense ride to do a couple of errands (he was still not in a good place), I learned that not only did he dent the Airstream; he backed the truck into the accursed orange tree and shattered his passenger side taillight. Errands complete and driving home, William stated that he needed my help to get the Airstream parked because after his drama of the afternoon, he left the @&!^%#$ Airstream on the lawn. He needed to get this done that evening so he could let it go. I asked if he needed to do this before or after dinner. He said, “Before.” As I said, he’s a guy on a mission.

Home, in the now 108° heat, I found myself in the precarious position of offering a severely pissed off and hypoglycemic man directions not only on how to drive, but also on how to back up a 31’ trailer. Do you see my precarious position?

The first order of business was to extract the truck and Airstream from the accursed orange tree. Seriously, it only happened because God is good and the tree, fearful for its life, sucked its branches in a couple of inches to let the Airstream pass unscathed. Then onto the business of backing the Airstream into the glorified parking spot, which would allow for the very high priced commodity of shade in Phoenix. Around the orange tree (no longer accursed as it had cooperated with the extraction process) and next to the carport (which has a very pointy front corner of the roof that seemed to leap out in an effort to strike the Airstream – maybe it was a mirage from the desert heat), across the driveway, over the lawn, into the flower bed. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth… Yeah, it took awhile. "A while" here is measured by the number of trips the Teach for America guys took to the dump as a result of moving in across the street: seven.

I went inside and began dinner while William cleaned up outside. By the time he came in and showered, dinner and a gigantic vodka tonic were waiting for him. We ate and he began to come around to himself. He apologized for being tense and harrumph-aly. He talked about how nothing seemed to go right during the day and how pissed he was about denting the Airstream. And how he was going to miss me because I was to fly out the next morning to attend a conference. We talked about my day and just hung out. A little later, while he watched a movie, I went into the kitchen and began to make brownies, his favorite. Done, so crispy on the outside and fudgey-gooey on the inside, I brought him a plate of brownies and gave him a hug. “Wow! “ He said, “Thanks. Chocolate is good!”

“Yup, you’re welcome Sweetie. It’s all about the little things. I love you.” He smiled and hugged me, “Love you too, Sweetheart. Thank you.”

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