Valentine’s Day in the Pain Clinic

First off, I’m not here for me, so don’t worry.  A friend has bad pain issues, and I’m her driver.

The only problem is, I had to pick her up at noon, or as I call it, “the middle of my night.” Soooo…


A pit stop at the 7-Eleven later, and I’m good to go.


The Pain Clinic has a great waiting room. There’s good money in pain, apparently.  I’m sitting on a lovely leather sofa. There’s a fountain to my left, an aquarium filled with exotic tropical fish. Best of all, there’s a 42″ LED 1080p 120Hz TV playing a BBC documentary about Tibet.

I am not currently on any narcotics. In this room, I’m likely the only one who isn’t.

A Tibetan fox just nabbed a cute little groundhogesque creature.  My fellow waiting room denizens went, “whooaaah!”

To be clear, by “Tibetan fox,” I’m talking about a long-haired vulpine animal, not the hot Tibetan girl who was playing the Tibetan horn.

By “playing the Tibetan horn,” I’m speaking literally, not euphemistically. (Even though it’s Valentine’s Day, and “playing the Tibetan horn” would be a most excellent euphemism for Valentine’s Day activities 😉 ).

The Tibetan horn is ginormous, like 10 feet long. It’s sound is reminiscent only of flatulence.

Cute girl, though.

The documentary showed a market where colorfully dressed people were selling worms. Yes, worms. Worms which they showed being harvested and individually scrubbed to vermicious perfection.

My narcotically assisted brethren and sistren were awed by the worms.

In Tibet, there are some awesome religious practices. Compared to the rather beige Presbyterian building in which I was churched as a lad, I’m amazed by the colorful prayer flags, percussion-playing monks, fun prayer wheels, and the tradition of writing prayers on colorful bits of paper and throwing them up in the air, rather like spiritual lottery tickets.

The best, though, is the wonderful synergy between exotic creatures, brightly costumed exotic Chinese people, red-crested herons eating frogs, people in chronic pain, and powerful narcotics.

Pain sucks.

(Pass six hours)
My friend got her meds. She feels human again. It was a long day of driving and traffic, of me having to be waaaay more grown-up and stronger than is comfortable for me.

Maybe it’s good that I’m not married, that I never had kids. There’s some part of me that’s still sick, even after nearly six years. A big part of me would love to stay in my zipcode forever, maybe drive to my parents’ house once or twice a year, but otherwise, stay right the hell home. If it’s further away than The Infernal Store™, the diner, the Mexican place, or JoJo the 7-Elesbian’s 24/7 soda and snack emporium, I can live without it. 

I’m punkinless tonight, but that’s okay. I’m home safely. I’m lying on my bed, reading a book, Ana-Sofia Vargas and Wind curled up beside me.  My stabby-feet meds have eased my own pain, and at the moment, I’m alone, but I’m not lonely.

Later tonight, I’ll probably zap some lasagna, crack open a bottle of Diet Sun Drop (the love-child of Fresca and Diet Mountain Dew), and celebrate Valentine’s Day watching “Love, Actually” and “Casablanca.” Through them, I can see love exist, blossom, and thrive.

And I can see, too, that at the end of “Casablanca,” Bogie is as punkinless as I am.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kids.  Happy Valentine’s Day.


11 Responses to “Valentine’s Day in the Pain Clinic”

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day! And I will be honest, if I could work from home, I’d be like Sandra Bullock in The Net and NO ONE WOULD EVER SEE MY FACE. Ever ever ever.

    • There was a period after I was laid-off by CBS–and living large on my cashed-in 401k–where I didn’t leave my house for a week. I ordered in every night, even ordered a case of microwave popcorn for snacks and cereal for breakfast. If doesn’t sell it, and no local restaurant will deliver it, then I’m sure I can live without it.

      Yay, hermits! 😀

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Kelly my Maven.

  2. I’m a hermit too. I’ve left the county once in 6 months. Only b/c of where they drew the lines. I leave my zip code all the time though… b/c we’re 2 blocks from the edge of it.

    So that’s what Hagrid looks like all hopped up on wizard uppers.

    “7-Elesbian” is another great coinage.

    Good for you for helping your friend. Since NardStock ’07, you realize the need for good drugs, I’m sure.

    If you have a bed, a book, and kitties, you aren’t alone.

    • Lol. Yeah. That’s my Saturnian head. I especially like the niacin flush that turned my nose bright red.

      Those little capsules are pretty hip. I slept maybe 90 minutes before I had to awaken and go out into the world. One of those and a liter of the Dew, and I was alert and awake. (Driving into Tampa Bay at 80 mph would be a bad thing)

      I stay in my county, too. The Job is just south of my zipcode, but I still claim it.

      You’re right, LT. Nardstock ’07 gave me a little perspective. No matter where I go, I’m no longer dealing with that, thank God.

      Home is good. I hope you and Mr LT have a lovely Valentine’s Day.

  3. Now I’ll recognize you when I see you in a couple of weeks! Is Clearwater still in your county or will you be making an exception?

    I daren’t watch a romantic movie tonight. I’d be in pieces, because I have no male version of a punkin in my life.

    • Clearwater is actually the County Seat of tom County. You’re good to go. It’s also the world headquarters of The Church of Scientology, as well as home of the very first Hooters! (The wing restaurant, not the first breasts ever 😉 )

      Sorry. Hopefully, the little pastel Wünderschnellenkapsul will have worn off by then, and I won’t be quite so obnoxious.

      Thanks for the postcard, btw. My dad loved it! It got up to 74 today. I’m trying for 80 by the time you arrive.

  4. Ha! The first time I went to a Catholic church, I was in awe. The music! The incense! (Which was a lot like Buddhist incense.) The wine and the little crackers that were supposed to represent the blood and body of this guy called Christ! It was freaky and exotic and I loved it. Unfortunately, the membership dues were kind of steep (no birth control? Really?), so I stuck to Buddhism.

    But I think I saw the same documentary as you. The fox reminded me of a dog, so when it grabbed the pika, I thought of when my little dog would run after moles in our garden. Except he always looked a little guilty after I screamed when he brought them inside of the house. He was just trying to show that he cared about us. Poor little guy.

    • I have always had a fascination with the Catholic Church, specifically the big rituals and sacraments. I disagree with enough of their dogma that I wouldn’t convert, but as I told my parents’ pastor, “No offense, but if I were ever possessed, i’d damn sure want the Catholics running the exorcism.

      That documentary was awesome. I can only imagine watching it on good pain meds.

  5. aaaw Happy Valentine’s Day Tom! On the bright side, you got to learn a bit of Tibet and it’s foxes and worms. Haha. Oh and seeing that big bottle of mountain dew made me crave it! Bad Tom!

  6. *big shout of laughter* I LOVE your pic! Such a goof! And I love being a hermit.
    I wish I could be more of one than I am. I have these family members (she said member) that expect me to be sociable.

    LOL at the Tibetan Horn. Whoa.

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