With You I Share, Experiences Experienced

November 13th, 2021

Stopping Just Short

Not much is happening here. Or if things are actually happening, I'm missing out because ...I am most often fully outdoors, basking in the peacefulness. Today I stayed in the shade from 915am all the way until … until Michaela showed. She hadn't specifically come outside to retrieve me, but that's the way things worked out today as dusk conspired against me.

Bugged - Gnats, a host of persistent gnats swarming and swirling defied my direct orders to cease and desist. Some I swallowed whole, others I inhaled accidentally. But I swear to you, I just simply had to breathe. My nature versus theirs. I win, for now.

So resident Colleen is watching with a bemused expression splashed across her face as Michaela jostles me about in attempts to secure me (immediately prior to my room return). Meanwhile, I continue to make a spectacle of myself by half-heartedly waving off the damn gnats.

Colleen is the last one sitting in the courtyard, at the smoker's table. Usually there are ten of them to start off, arriving in all fashions, mostly on wheels (at a designated 4-hour interval). But Colleen doesn't roll like the rest of them, she instead walks, and thinks, and says things. Her IQ is 155, she claims, and she's pleased to have met me (and I her).

So occasionally she hangs back after all of the other smoker's disperse. And sometimes there's another fella that hangs back with her. He doesn't say all that much (no one does), but he walks, too. The residents smoke quietly, two cigarettes per gathering, lighter lit by the designated C.N.A. Also, each resident must adorn a flame retardant bib, prior to being lit up.

And it's both interesting and sad to watch their initial agitation (upon arrival) turn into a calm mellow nothingness, similar to my first hand witnessing of the heroin junkies taking their medicine in a shooting gallery. Yes, I've seen some ugly things in my time (note: I was a disinterested observer, not a participant).

Anyway, speaking with Colleen makes for good conversation. She's happy that there's someone there to understand her. And she says she has to hurry up and talk to me as much as she can, because she's certain I'll be walking out of there (here) soon.

Meanwhile, Michaela and I are going back and forth with fast words flying every which way, and occasionally she's smiling. Yes. I am desperately trying to break down her barriers, but she's doing her best to maintain her composure. She's strong willed.

Then at last, we start moving forward.

Colleen watches us and joyfully waves goodbye, seeming to know exactly what's going on. I'm playing my innocent game, and probably, Michaela is playing her own.

Then in my room, I dismount. A better landing than yesterday, as I get catapulted into bed (literally). The banter continues as my designated C.N.A. (clothed in purple pajamas) arrives to assist Michaela's effort. And it appears as though I'm about to lose this round. I've yet to break her down and time is running out. But then suddenly, Michaela totally blows it (as I knew eventually she would). And here's how:

A week prior, as I was getting wheeled outdoors and into the courtyard, I spied out of the corner of my eye a young lady stuffing a bagel into her mouth (at the nurses station). And you know what? It was she. And she was maskless!

"So you do have lips, and a mouth, and by the looks of things, a chin," I mention matter of factly, without conviction.

And Michaela doesn't know what to do with this. At all. I mean, who would? Her facial expression is priceless. What a "nothing" thing to say, right.

So she's probably wondering why I stopped short, right? Normally, I'm either encouraging her (re: finishing her higher education), or going on and on about this and that (which she encourages, by simply paying attention and listening to what I say). But in those moments, she's unsettled and distracted while assisting the other C.N.A. in bringing me outside.

And now (a week later) we're momentarily paired up again. And I just know she's going to bring it up, the thing about me seeing her maskless.

"By the way… the other day, when I had my mask off… and you saw my mouth..." she starts.

"Sorry, I forgot to mention that you have... nice lips, and a decent mouth. Your chin? I'm not sure about that yet."

Michaela becomes immediately and obviously flustered, exhales loudly, then signs off with a well placed "Oh, Howard" before exiting prematurely.

You see, I believe she wanted me to acknowledge her in that way (or in some way), above and beyond my initial matter of fact observation. Right? Who wouldn't?

The thing is, I'm really intuitively picking up on conversational subtleties and physical nuances these days. It's as though everyone is already telling me (even without words) what they want, and how they want it. And you and I and everybody else can know this (if you do not already).

Perhaps it's that I am simply lagging behind in these kinds of interpersonal actions. Just perhaps. And maybe I am disadvantaged that way, and I'm the one being played by those around me.

Yes, it seems I am naive when it comes to so many things, including the way all of this works. Then again, how can anybody truly know all of everything?

So you know, I want to live a million billion years and see this whole thing through. And once I have, I'll come back and explain everything simply, so each of you knows and understands… if that's what you truly want.

Take care,


Regarding Michaela....... you mentioned.........."I've yet to break her down and time is running out." Could you clarify what you are trying to break down?
I probably should have explained this better.... she works really hard and has a dedicated seriousness, but every once in a while she'll crack up or be amused by something somebody does or says (usually about my roommate), so it's nice to see when she reacts less seriously. :)

Then again, she's the one who let me yell/vent in the shower.
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Hi Howard.....All in all it sounds like life is better. Colleen with her high IQ, although I must say it would encourage me to quit smoking in a hurry if I had to wear a flame retardant bib!

I'm just so glad that you're getting outside again. Before we know it, you'll want an air rifle to scare away the grackles or something. Surely there has to be more to do than wave gnats out of your face. Anyway, it's good that you're overall happier and that you can leave the child (Jeff) behind for a few hrs. at a time.

Well, Michaela sounds like a pretty good old soul and yes, I'm sure she likes being teased.....but why do you want to make her serious? Keep her happy.

When do you have your MRI's? I think you've been missing the outside world and it's a delight to find it again....still the same thing, but an ever-changing cast of characters. Yes, I always like to find out about people when I'm in the hospital. I also encourage them to go on in their profession and it's surprising how many already are. Of course we have favorites among them....the night nurses usually leave a lot to be desired, but well......! Too few people and too many patients. Some come into my room for a bit of peace, quiet & rest. And a cookie or something.

You're probably outside now...enjoy it! Yours, Lenora.
There have been a few random insects wafting thru the place here lately- the other night, I noticed something fast and light, streaking across the carpet and normally I might let that go but I detected something Special was Up.

Grabbed a jar, and here we have: many legs. Very charming. Two tiny eyes.

This is not Class Insecta (requires six legs)

This is not an Arachnid (eight legs).

I've got myself a genuine House Centipede. About half an inch long.

My Life List Grows and it was inside my own living room! No field trip required!

@Howard -Upon entering the courtyard or patio or what have you- do you first check the ambient wind direction? That might help in positioning yourself upwind of second hand smoke clouds.

I suppose everyone approaches life and other beings in their own unique ways.

Personally, I think that much is going on in the Dept of Non Verbal. The Dept of Gut Instincts. This includes categories such as Met Already.

The masks of course are a serious barrier to some of this Information we Gather.

Its concerning for the children, who are VERY busy picking up on unspoken cues.
Some I swallowed whole, others I inhaled accidentally. But I swear to you, I just simply had to breathe.
Maybe too hot for a covid mask outside but can you at least keep it handy for gnat time?

I know we try a lot of unusual things around here to try to get well but I don't think I've seen gnat inhalation or supplementation as a treatment yet. :depressed:
When do you have your MRI's? I think you've been missing the outside world and it's a delight to find it again....
My MRI's and other tests are scheduled out through December. Basically, at least one travel event per week. I'm looking forward to having more experiences.

probably wasn't even necessary to ask the question. I didn't get a negative connotation from it.......
It's okay. When I read what you wrote I kind of did a panicked double take.. LOL… "break down unseen barriers" or similar probably would have worked better. :)

do you first check the ambient wind direction? That might help in positioning yourself upwind of second hand smoke clouds.
There's no hiding from the smoke. And really, there's not much wind at all (being surrounded on all sides, as we are). I'm getting used to it. And the area is smoke-free for 4 hours at a time.

I'm not sure on the mask rule, but everyone wears them besides me. Hmmm… right. I wonder why that is. Is it because they just deposit me outdoors, while others roam around?


Yeah, I hadn't considered that. I do have a mask with me tucked into my lunch bag. Again, the obvious often escapes me.
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