14 May 2014

the art of being broken.

Last night I woke up about 1 AM and the right side of my chest was extremely sore. 

Before you tell me to go the emergency room, let me remind you it's the right side, not the center-left—and it wasn't a pressure pain accompanied by a tingling sensation running down my arm. It was more like someone had been punching me repeatedly during the night. (If you were punching me repeatedly last night, please don't do that.) 

I wondered what might have caused this strange pain. It's not like I had recently been in an elevator with Solange Knowles. Or had ever been employed as Naomi Campbell's personal assistant or maid. Or had been in a long-term relationship with Jackson Browne (that I can recall). I simply awoke to this idiopathic pain while my cat Herbert lay nearby, staring smugly at me. (Incidentally, I don't think Herbert was involved in the injury. His default is staring smugly at me. Silently judging me. It's what cats do.)

This pain is mostly gone as I type this, and I have given up wondering about it. Most unexplained pains and uncategorizable ailments can be rebutted with the simple statement, 'I'm getting old.' That explains it all, doesn't it? We must resign ourselves to infirmity and general discomfort as time passes. 

Meanwhile, the on/off button on my iPhone no longer works reliably. I have to push (aggressively) on it an average of three to seven times (that's an average I pulled out of my ass, by the way) before the screen agrees to light up and the iPhone's many superfluous functions are ready to be used. 

My iPhone is approximately one year and eight months old. In human years, that's about ninety-two. I'm sure the phone's obsolescence function begins surreptitiously doing its work at about the one-year mark. Sometimes it simply decides not to ring—even though all the settings say RING! Although I'm not the recipient of a lot of important telephone calls, it's disappointing to realize that I missed a call from my pharmacist while I was just sitting there beside my phone as it silently rang. (My pharmacist 'knows' me by now. She's familiar with my prescriptions, and as such I think she's delicate with me. She worried of riling me or causing me undue stress. Her voice mail messages are calm, clear, and reassuring: 'Hi. This is XXX at XXX pharmacy. I just wanted to let you know that you don't have any refills left on your XXX prescription. I realize you just picked up your last month's worth, but I wanted to give you plenty time to call up your doctor's office and get a refill called in. If you have any questions or concerns, give me a call. Have a great day.')

What I am saying is that it is disappointing when (usually old) things don't work properly. It is even more disappointing when that old thing is me. Who would have ever imagined that I would have to deal with things like back pain and sore knees? (I know young people sometimes have these problems too, but I am disregarding them for the sake of rhetorical tidiness. Join me in disregarding them, won't you?)

The problem is that I think of myself as an iPhone 5 but I'm actually an iPhone 3G. Never mind the fact that young people don't even really care about the iPhone anymore. They've moved on to that graceless, gargantuan Samsung thing. I might as well be a dinosaur.

Don't get me wrong. I'm okay with my body's minor defects and obsolescent features. None of them is terribly debilitating. (In other words, I guess I am lucky, although that's not always easy to accept.) The really troubling thing is that this (right this very moment) is probably the best condition I will ever be in for the rest of my life on this planet. This is as good as it gets. So if I suffer from unexplained chest soreness in the middle of the night, I should consider it a pleasure cruise compared to what's likely in store for me.

I will always be the iPhone 3G. That's upsetting. Newer and newer models will continue to be released, and I will still be the iPhone 3G. 

It isn't as though I am standing on a ship that's moving out to sea and taking me along with it. No. I'm standing on the shore watching the ship get farther and farther away. I'll always be on the shore, waving to the ship's passengers. Or flipping them off (as the mood strikes me).


  1. You might be an iPhone 3G, but you're still worth a whole lot.

  2. Don't fret. Soon enough you'll be able to pay some Samsung S5 for a blood transfusion that will automatically upgrade your body to one that will run the latest OS. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20140504-700711.html

    1. Young mice blood. So I should just drink the stuff?

  3. I get cardiac arrhythmias and it hurts when I breathe sometimes and I'm in my twenties, but my main concern is that I'm an eejut and probably always will be. They're bioprinting human tissues already. Just try not to lose your mind.

    1. Sorry about the arrhythmia and pain. I would lose my mind if I had that... because I have cardiophobia, which sounds like I'm afraid of my heart but I am actually afraid of heart-related diseases and dysfunction. I used to be obsessed with feeling my pulse at all times of day.

    2. I never had a problem with the heart thing. Seems like it would just save me the trouble of having to kill myself. My grandmother, whenever she got sick, would joke that it might be terminal cancer and we'd laugh and laugh.

      Hi everybody.