Don’t Take My Joy

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I follow a very restrictive kidney diet–for about two days.  That’s about how long I have ever lasted on a diet.  When I get really hungry you might find me in line at Subway ordering double meat, double cheese on a foot long roll.  All the vegetables, mayo and red pepper relish.

I eat this heavy meal very quickly.  I enjoy this short time period.  Call me a pig–I don’t care.  Do not take the joy out of my life.  I will fight back.

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Enjoy Life

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Tales from Dialysis, part 3

I noticed his color was bad. White as a ghost. They lifted him out of his wheelchair. They placed him in the chair next to me. I stopped looking. I could hear him talking. They had trouble getting his needles in. Ten minutes later his machine alarmed. The technician yelled for the nurse. Looking at him, then looking at his machine numbers, she yelled for the head nurse. That’s when I looked again. He looked dead. They tried to revive him for fifteen minutes. Then the rescue crew tried for another fifteen minutes. You can die that fast. Enjoy life.

Good Old Days

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Matt flipped a switch on the portable Flintstone’s record player–the three forty fives dropped down, and Lean on Me played again.  He and his older brother Erick were teaching me, their eleven-year-old cousin, how to play poker, and Erick was dealing.  So far they had won most of the money.  I came with four quarters I had hoped to use for french fries at the pool.

Later they showed me how to smoke out of a pipe.  They asked me questions like, “did I see a purple rabbit?”  I told them, “My eyes feel funny. Could we go eat some of the donuts I saw in your kitchen?”  Everything was funny.  I laughed so hard my belly ached.  The third chocolate covered donut was so good.

Deep Sea Fishing

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The boat smelled like dead fish.  I had never been deep sea fishing before.  On our vacation in Ocean City, my father, a Navy man, decided we were going deep sea fishing.  He even took us to breakfast.

It’s 1965.  I’m seven, and Dad says get whatever you want.  I am Dad’s fat son and he knows this will please me.  Three pancakes, three strips of bacon, three eggs and four pieces of toast.  I eat my brother’s toast too.

When I step on the Captain Bunting I have an overfull feeling.  The boat smells and so does its crew.  My brother’s eyes meet mine when a crewman passes by us: we know he is not a regular bather.  He’s missing his front teeth and two fingers.  He smiles at me as if he could eat me for breakfast.  I smile back but not my heartwarming smile–it’s a fake smile.  My brother motions to follow him and we walk to the front of the boat.  There are benches with seat belts so we sit down.  As the boat heads out to sea it goes way up through a wave, then way down.  My brother looks at me and says I looked pale.  That’s when I throw up all over my blue bathing trunks.  I usually cry in these situations, but I can feel more coming so I run for the closest bathroom.  My brother and I occupy both bathrooms for the entire voyage.  My Dad never takes us fishing again.

Back in the Doghouse

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I’m in the doghouse again.

I have wounded my best friend.

I will have to be charming

to hold her hand again.

Maybe some flowers or money,

whatever it takes to get back my honey.

Life is too short, I fear:

come back to me, my dear.

Do You Love Yourself?

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The weight loss instructor looked straight at me in the group of about nine big fat women. “Stephen do you love yourself?”

They were all waiting for a goofy reply.  I looked up with sadness in my eyes and said I did love myself, sometimes late at night.  Then I rolled my eyes and looked guilty.  This got a good laugh. We lost no weight Easter week.

Surviving Life

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The needles are turning my once perfect arm into a freakish, deformed, bumpy scar.  The constant increased blood flow to that part of my body is hurting blood flow to my brain and other important organs.  After a treatment my thinking is fuzzy.  Then a puff of the medicinal and I don’t care anymore until morning.