Gregoire Tillery gave up his job in corporate America and spent all his money on buying a food truck (which broke down on him immediately).
Luckily, due to perseverance, a friend with a lot of followers and some incredibly delicious chicken and shrimp recipes, he has made it onto the prestigious Canal Street. Playing old school tunes and advertising demos by local talent, We Dat’s Chicken and Shrimp is a hub for the community, where Gregoire has given free food to kids in the neighbourhood.
While driving through Norway, my boyfriend and I listened to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Here’s a quick sketch of Fenrir Wolf who is tricked into letting the God’s tie him with ribbon that traps him.
Fly was an odd kid, even by odd kid standards. I met her in sixth grade, when our alphabetically ordered last names landed us in adjacent seats, and she turned to look at me with a cheerful, gap toothed smile.
“Hi!” She said.
“Hi.” I replied quietly.
I was shy and intimidated by my first day in middle school, but she wasn’t the least bit nervous.
The night starts with a big, spicy Philly cheese steak. It’s about 6pm. I’ve been wanting to try the cheese steak from this corny, 50’s retro place for a long time. I gobble down the big greasy bowl of meat, hot sauce, and cheese, then head to the coffee shop for my weekly draw group. A little after I get home, about 10pm, a stomach ache comes on. “Damn, guess spicy foods are out.” I’ve been getting stomach aches every time I have spicy Thai or hot wings. I google search about spice pain- possible stomach ulcer? “I guess I have been stressed lately, but no more than usual I don’t think…” File under “Will investigate further later.“ According to the comments on this health website, a glass of milk will help. Gulp one down, go to bed.
Wrestle to sleep for about an hour. Realize the ache is just over the required pain threshold to keep you from sleeping. Do some work on my comic, more tired, but stomach worse. Will play batman until I fall asleep. I feel like I’m just running in circles… How many times have I failed this mission? Batman, batman, stomach now hurts too bad to enjoy an active task like video games. Deliriously tired. Would be great to sleep through the rest of this abdominal temper tantrum. Try the old “hot shower will make you sleep” trick. Take some Pepto-Bismol, and some generic acetaminophen. Out of the shower, hurts to walk around now, and to lie down. Guess I’ll have to wait it out with my eyes open. Call and leave my Doc a message, maybe will get a spot in there tomorrow. Need to get that ulcer discovered… Time to enjoy a passive task like watching TV. Breaking Bad feels like the right mixture of funny and painful, just like me and my burning spice belly. Damn, I can’t even enjoy that part where during Hank’s interrogation of that meth head, Wendy, she accuses Hank of trying to buy sexual services from her on behalf of an underage “football player” (a misunderstanding involving Walter Jr. from a few episodes before). Oh hell. Time to look up what time emergency medical clinics open. Guess I’ll have to pay out of pocket since I can’t wait for my Doc tomorrow. It’s about 4am now. Earliest clinic opens at 8. Now hungry again, but can’t eat what with all the pain. One hour down. Man, this is really starting to hurt. Can I really wait 3 more hours? Sitting is starting to hurt as much as lying and standing. And I’m still not enjoying TV. Okay, I’ve come to a decision….
“Hey, Kayla, my stomach still hurts, I’m thinking about driving to the ER, do you wanna come?” “Oh! Ya, sure. What time is it?” “It’s 5:30”. I call the hospital “Hey, I’ve had a pretty bad stomach ache all night, I’m thinking of coming by.” Operator: *long pause* “Haha, well, okay! We’re open all night, so just come on in.”
Driving with a stomach ache is not so bad, because you’re already hunched over. Wish Kayla could drive, but she doesn’t really know how, probably would have a panic attack and would definitely crash. Interesting that they have ER parking, I wonder how many ER patients drive themselves here… All bodily positions hurt my insides now, signing in to this place sucks. Give Kayla half the paperwork to fill out, glad she’s here, or this would be really boring. Man, they sure take a long time for someone trying to get into an empty emergency room… Signing in with a nurse, she ask me my height and I say “ ‘5’’8”, but I notice she puts down “ ‘5’’7”… They want to look at my pee, they always want to see my pee. I pee, no blood, so whatever that tells them means I’m getting an ultrasound first. Then a young nurse named Ken, a cool Asian dude with screws through both ears, squirts so much morphine into my IV that I lean back and audibly say “oh my god.” I feel it ripple like a shock wave from my arm down to the ends of my body. My belly is feeling alright now.
The ultrasound technician tells me that babies are the least common thing she uses ultrasounds for. My joke has fallen flat. Back in the room, the doctor and his manila folder tell me “Good news! No gallstones, there are kidney stones inside your kidneys, but since they are inside, you shouldn’t be feeling the pain from those.” “Wait, does that mean I have to pee those stones out at some poin–” It is not discussed again. Seeing that neither organ has the appropriate stones, Doc would “rather not expose me to more radiation than necessary” and is working on discharging me. But, “I won’t leave here without a diagnosis.”
In I go to the CT scan tube. That hot squish of contrast dye spreading through my veins. “Okay, we’re moving you into a room upstairs.” Says a hippy technician. Upstairs in my sweet and swanky single with couch, a person I’m pretty sure is just a businessman disguised in medical scrubs types on a computer. He takes down my answers to what seem like pre-surgery questions. “Do you have anybody specific on file in the event you are medically unable to yield consent for yourself?” This, combined fact that they won’t feed me, makes me wonder what it is I’m going into surgery for. I saw this same thing about a year and a half ago with the whole brain debacle, but that’s a story for another time. Several medical people dip in, sprinkle breadcrumbs of information; it’s like a game show challenge that combines a scavenger hunt with a jigsaw puzzle. You have to gather the pieces of information from their hiding places, then assemble them in the correct order to reveal an answer. A tech comes in and spoils the game, “You seem to have a lot of questions, so I just want to make sure, you know you have appendicitis right? We’re about to take it out.” “Thank god,” I think. “It’s not the spicy foods. Spicy foods are still in.” Downstairs, in pre-op, I complain to my plain-clothes surgeon about how analog tests like pressing on my stomach are remarkably inaccurate, since a doctor’s subjective interpretation of my poor description of say, “the pain is slightly higher” can rule out appendicitis, the same appendicitis that a machine might spot an hour later. I tell him that I almost got sent home. My surgeon tells me he’s been doing analogue tests for 30 years, and not to worry about it. I start to tell him how “my deadpan reaction to pain also causes a lot of people to misdiagnose me, that a lot of people laugh when I describe how I’m in pai–”, but he walks away in the middle to get dressed for surgery. The operating room has big TVs and lights, it looks like a set, and I consider the possibility of fake hospitals as the anesthesia takes the wheel.
In the recovery area, the nurse tells me how big, inflamed appendixes can be agitated by spicy foods, foods high in fat, and dense foods like heavy cheese. I see an image of a spotlit cheese steak appear in a black void. Nurse feeds me ice chips and tells me she craves ice chips when she’s dehydrated. I suggest that she only craves ice chips because she works in a hospital, that ice chips are too unsatisfying a thing to crave at random, and that most people would just crave water. She agrees. Back upstairs in my room, it is now 8pm, and it has been 26 hours since I’ve eaten. I’ve been hydrated only through IV’s. The driest mouth and the clearest pee. Because the lingering anesthetic can cause nausea and vomiting, they will only give me jello. I go nuts on the jello. They continue to give me every jello I ask for, one at a time, like a test. Way past where I though the cutoff point would be, the nurse tells me “That’s it! There’s no more jello! You ate all the jello on this floor.” You’re damn right I did, you’re damn right….
I love all these humans are weird posts so I’m trying my hand at one. I’ve been thinking, humans are like, ridiculous specialists. Our brains is so big we’re born prematurely so as not to tear our mothers apart. And we’re born crazy weak and we have super long childhoods to compensate. We pack bond and bond with bigger creatures to deal with this (this is why we think babies of all species are cute, it’s basically a drive to take care of this weak little thing because our own children are so weak). So what if alien species evolved so there was one, super weak but really brilliant species, has fine motor skills, huge language skills etc, and one that evolved as a symbiote that was basically huge protective dog/ox type to do the heavy lifting. And it’s really bizarre that we don’t have this symbiosis. Like the fact that humans are a stand alone species is weird. We seem huge and bulky to the tiny intelligent species (in my head it’s basically an otter/raven hybrid) and small and delicate to the other. And they don’t get how we function alone, until they see us spilling our pack bonding instincts all over everything, hostile predators, teddy bears, roombas, even cups with little chips in them. And then it’s like, oh I see, you don’t bond really strongly to one thing you bond just a little bit to everything and wait to see what sticks.
You’re looking through your feed trying to find posts to relate to. So you don’t feel alone. And that good feeling you get when you read one that describes exactly how much you’re hurting, a lot of people feel it too. You’re not alone. We’re in this together. It might seem tough, it might seem hard, and maybe it is. But you’ll get through the storm. You’ll come out stronger, don’t you worry.
It hurts that I still don’t have that person who loves me and all of me. I don’t entirely mean romantically, I mean platonically as well. No one is willing to wake up at midnight to answer my silly questions because they know how much of a smile it puts on my face and warmth it spreads throughout my heart. No one is willing to ask why I always fall asleep in class but yet they always gawk and stare. No one is willing to be there for me when I cry and cry yet they always cock their heads and whisper to their friends asking them what’s wrong with me. No one is there when I need them most. No one is willing to put up with the true me. The me that’s too curious and always worries and cries like a baby and that rambles about stupid stuff like how long on average does it take sunflowers to grow. I always have to change myself somehow to fit into their mold but not my own. No one ever wonders about me or asks how I’m doing. No one questions why I get nervous sometimes in the middle of class or why I walk funny. They never ask why I always cry during the beginning of April. It’s like they all assume. They make up their own story that makes sense to them but god forbid they listened to the truth. People constantly assume they know your body and your soul and your desires but the second you tell them that they’re wrong, they get defensive as if they know better. People always try to convince me I’m something I’m not like that I’m not sick or I’m not sad or I’m not imperfect. But I am sick, and I am allowed to be sad, and I am most definitely imperfect. But they don’t take the time to realize all of that. They don’t bother getting to know me or making sure I’m okay. Making sure I eat enough or making sure that I am not feeling sick. Making sure that I feel validated and worthful and loved. I do that to everyone but not a single person does that to me. I hate it.
I hope she falls in love with who you really are, and not what you pretend to be. I hope you really see who she is inside rather than how her makeup makes her look. I hope you feel complete when you lay next to each other at nights. I hope she understands how long you had to wait before you found her. I hope you know you weren’t her love at first sight or her first kiss or her first dance. You had different path, she had another. Give her the space to understand you and love you for who you are, because she isn’t used to such good guys who promise her galaxies, she isn’t used to love so deep and pain so rare, she isn’t used to slow kisses and infinite care. She is different, she is afraid of you but she is holding it on. She sees something greater than you do, all you need to do is be there.
It isn’t about finding the right one, it is about holding on to the first person you think when you wake up, it is about the person you want to make coffee for, it is about the first person you want to cry your heart out too. Love is rare, but connections are strong. Build a connection, build a force. It takes time, she will take time, you will learn with time. She is beautiful and so will be your story.