Sunday, April 10, 2011

When you owe

If you’re very lucky you will owe gratitude. I’m that person. I have been the beneficiary of things I can never repay and I don’t even want to repay those things, I want to owe.

Such a funny way to look at it. Here it is April, spring, rebirth, and I’m beginning the season with a deficit and I like that a lot. Our fire is done and we’re home.

We’re digesting all of the things that people told us and unless you’ve been pregnant in NY where complete strangers tell you the most astonishing things (particularly if you frequent deli counters) you’ll have to have your own fire to get this. Since I don’t want that to happen to you and because you might be interested, I’ll tell you what to expect.

First, you’re going to deal with the wonderful people. The fire guys who came to save you, the ambulance guy whose job it is to stick things into you so that you’re ready for the next step if the doctor guys want to do more things to you. Also, the doctor guys answer questions and tell you astounding things. Also neighbor people who give you cell phones, call your family and give you shoes and clothes and very good brands of personal toiletries which you realize are above what you buy and you get resolve about that. You resolve to buy better brands so that if you need to give them to someone they’re nice.

The fire guys are real professional. While the young guys run up the stairs, the older guys make you focus so that you can tell where the fire is, if there’s an open window, if you closed a door and things like that. The ambulance guys are good too although they’re busy with you and I have the idea that they’re trained not to answer any questions unless it’s about where you’re going. I think they’re not allowed to give you any water and if you ask for some they will tell you that and if you persist they’ll tell you they don’t have any.

When you meet the doctors and ask for water they will tell you that you can’t have any because your throat might swell up and then you’ll cough the water into your lungs and then you’ll drown. That’s what I mean about astounding things. You have to question a statement like this. You have to say, “how about I just swish it around in my mouth and promise to spit it out, then can I have some water?” And they tell you no. They say you might just swallow some.

Even when you say you wouldn’t swallow even a tiny bit and explain how you have gargling down and what they say really is astounding, especially the part about drowning, they have to think it over.

You have to let them know that you know that they’re really smart and it’s good that they’re in charge and you believe in them and everything and you don’t want to be a pain. Also, you happen to know that they’re not going to let you drown and then I think they realize that that’s true. After all of that, they’ll give you some water and you’re grateful.

I heard some other astounding things. One of the most amazing began with, “psssssst…your apartment burned up, right?” And when you nod agreement the next sentence is: “I got a Faberge Egg and a mink coat; it’s all documented. If you want to put in for it, something for you, something for me.” That cracked me up. I like to think that she is the lost princess Anastasia who wasn’t slaughtered in the Russian revolution.

I can’t recall all of the astounding things I’ve been told, but I’m going to start a list. I’ll need a list too about all the things I’m grateful for. Mostly it boils down to being alive, in a great place with good people and hopefully an ex-Princess. That would be best.

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