My Strange Week

It’s been kind of a strange week. I don’t tend to live in a world of immediate personal chaos, thank goodness, so my weirdnesses are little weirdness, all adding up to make a week I am glad is over, even if nothing about it was particularly bad.

So, first of all, I went to bellydance for the first time in three weeks, and I was feeling a little sore because of that, and then I started this new exercise class called Nia. Nia is, seriously, the most hippie woo-woo of all hippie woo-woo practices you can do, and I am including yoga in this assessment. I’ve only had two classes so far, both of which I enjoyed though they were quite different from one another, but yeah. Hippie woo-woo, with visualization and “There’s no wrong way to do Nia!” and music that sounds like it was recorded on the road halfway between Burning Man and a Holistic Wellness and Spirituality Center retreat, or something, what with the weird mix of techno and waterfall sounds.

But hippie woo-woo as Nia may be, it’s some hippie woo-woo that has me very sore a couple of days later. This may be because we did about eight hundred kicking moves in Tuesday’s class and about eight hundred squats and lunges in Thursday’s. I much prefer kicking to lunging, I have to say. I especially like it when you kick out to the side and you make badass martial arts hands and you yell “Ho!” One nice thing about the class so far is that people seem to smile a lot during it, which I couldn’t have said about horrible < a href="http://allchiara.com/2005/02/02/i-hate-latin-dance-aerobics/" mce_href="http://allchiara.com/2005/02/02/i-hate-latin-dance-aerobics/">Latin Dance Aerobics. When we were kicking, though, all eight or nine hundred times, everyone’s face got very stern and serious. “Ho!” we yelled in unison, making our displeasure at the world known with a flick of our calves. I pretended I was the leader of an all-girl kicking squad, dispensing justice on the dangerous streets of the mean city to all those who dared to be mean to people on the bus or to make other people cry for no reason or to raise their eyebrows at people who forgot to match their clothes this morning through no fault of their own. “Ho!” Woo-woo!

So even though I’m pretty sore from all that kicking, I was feeling pretty good. I guess this was Tuesday. Wednesday was promising to be pretty cool too because I had a massage scheduled and there are few sweeter phrases to utter, in my mind, than “I have a massage scheduled.” I was going to get this massage from a reader of this very journal, if you can believe that, who just opened a practice near my house, and I was crushed when last week I had to reschedule for the sake of an evening patient. I had a late patient this past Wednesday too but I thought I could still make it. It was going to be a hot stone massage, too, my very first. I was looking forward to it as 4:30 came and went, and my late patient wasn’t ready for me, and as 5:00 came and went, and I began to wonder if I’d be able to have both dinner and a massage that evening, and as 5:30 came and went and I was leaving hysterical messages on the massage therapist’s voice mail, like “I’M SO SORRY BUT MY PATIENT IS LATE AND I CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT SEEING THIS PATIENT AND I WILL BE THERE AS SOON AS I CAN AND PLEASE DO NOT PUNISH ME BY REFUSING TO RUB ME WITH ROCKS AND WITH OIL.”

I finally saw the patient and sprinted for the bus, which was, of course, late, and managed to make it home in time to shove down a Pria bar and jaywalk across Aurora to the massage place, twenty minutes late and full of apologies “OH I’M SO SORRY I DIDN’T MEAN TO I TOTALLY RESPECT YOUR TIME WHERE DO I UNDRESS?” I was so flustered that I didn’t really remember that this person reads my journal and it wasn’t until I was under the sheet that I said, stupidly, because when I get nervous I babble, “Hey, you’re the first person I’ve ever met through my journal that’s seen me naked within fifteen minutes of meeting me!” She just smiled calmly and said “I’m not going to see you naked,” and proceeded to rub with me with rocks and with oil. It was a necessarily short but definitely lovely massage, and I’m happy to say that she didn’t use lavender-scented oil, which I absolutely hate. She used olive oil with a little citrus mixed in, which was excellent because it made me smell like a delicious pizza but difficult because it made me hungry. Some of the olive oil got in my hair but I figured it was okay because surely my Italian ancestors have been using olive oil as product for centuries, right?

I had to do some other stuff afterwards and when I got home, still smelling of delicious pizza, I noticed that our front door was open. We never do that, not even in the middle of the day on an August Saturday, so I was a little concerned. I would have been even more concerned had I rolled up fifteen minutes earlier, which is is when all the cop cars and fire trucks had been there. Apparently we ran out of heating oil (awesome, right?) and sort of broke our furnace and there was an oil leak and it was very scary and poor C. and J. had to call 911 and then 911 was all “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE” and they did but then C. remembered she’d left Zeke the cat in the house and so she ran back inside to save him and fortunately the house didn’t blow up and by the time I arrived everything was more or less under control, even though the house smelled like it was located directly on top of an oil rig and my eyes started tearing up the minute I walked in. The breaker for the lights in my room was off until the furnace guy could come over to check everything out, and of course we had all the doors and windows open to air everything out, so there I was, wrapped up in our sweaters and coats, waiting to be able to turn the lights back on so I could take a shower and go to bed. I had to put on an extra couple of blankets because of the windows, which is the only explanation I can find as to why it’s been so hard to get out of bed this week.

And then yesterday, my old roommate Airy sent me this article about “The Long Emergency,” and I freaked right out. I spent a couple of hours yesterday imagining a very slow apocalypse and feeling guilty because I didn’t jump out of my office chair and start acquiring some actual practical skills. I was on the phone with patients or eating my lunch or putting on hand lotion but in my head it was like, “Learn how to make food come out of the ground. Herbal medicine? Learn how to sew clothes without a pattern and without needles or thread. Learn how to change the tires on my bike and get a pump. Learn how to salvage metal from burnt-out skyscrapers.” I’m still a little squicked just thinking about the whole thing, thinking about the collapse of empire and the ways that society has changed so drastically within the past hundred and fifty years and how the minutest details of our daily lives depend on cheap fuel, and how that cheap fuel is probably going to end sooner rather than later (been to the gas pump lately?) and how that means that the minutest details of our lives will soon change. It’s so hard for me to decide whether it’s all right to have personal, internal concerns in the face of external/global stuff like that. And it totally didn’t help that I just happened to be re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale, too, yesterday, because my sister sent me a signed copy for my birthday. Didn’t help at all.

I’m still considering starting a container garden when I move to John and Treasa’s, just in case, but in the meantime my immediate future, like, my weekend, will involve getting a much-overdo haircut from the lovely Ruth, some improv theater, and a trip to the Environmental Home Center with Treasa so we can pick out some sustainably harvested bamboo flooring for my soon-to-be-room in their house. I am very much looking forward to laying down that floor, if we find something good. That just sounds incredibly satisfying to me for some reason. In fact, anything this weekend that doesn’t involve rushing around, being late for things, worrying about the end of the world, or wondering if I’ll ever get my hair to behave itself ever in my life sounds great.

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