Saturday, December 24, 2005

Escape From New York

Dateline: Waben Massachusetts, December 23

We got out of town early yesterday. We woke up early and decided to make a dash for the bus station in the morning cold and dark. The hotel sent someone out to snag a cab. Cab was snagged by a guy who said we’d pay ten bucks apiece for the ten block ride. What the hell, we were saving almost two hundred bucks by not staying in the hotel for another night so I figured we were money ahead.

The four hour bus ride back to the family hospice on the outskirts of Boston was spent in a feverish haze never soundly asleep, so that we were always conscious that the seats were too small, and didn’t lean back far enough. I can only conclude that fully half the people on the bus were in the same state. They seemed to be asleep, but it was a sleep punctuated by wracking coughs. We resembled nothing so much as a group of vectors for a biological warfare attack; suicide coughers sent across the country in the spirit of Holiday terrorism.

This trip has confirmed in me a crotchety determination never again to stay with relatives, no matter how generous, or long suffering, or eager to attend to my comfort. I regret that I have become an "old guy." But I am an old guy, a man whose ability to accommodate has been worn down like an Eskimo’s teeth from trying to chew down on inconveniences until they are soft enough to be comfortable.

An example, if I may. Phone jacks…there are only two in the house. One is servicing a fax machine which I dare unplug at my peril since at any moment of the day or night it is likely to produce medical charts and records. The remaining phone jack ( a different line) is located where there is literally no flat surface to put the computer down and where the power outlet is well buried behind a heavy antique clothes cabinet.
So if I manage to post this you’ll know I found a Starbucks.

Enough grumbling. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, so we’ll travel from Boston (Waben) to Amherst to attend Christmas Eve church services with Katherine’s father, and then return on Christmas day with the rest of the extended family.

Note: This would have been posted in a timely fashion had I been able to plug in at the local Starbucks. My Computer’s battery is as dead as last Thanksgiving’s turkey and three folks had laid down a permanent claim to the only electrical outlest so I couldn’t wifi.

It is now December 24th, Christmas Eve. Back in a moment for a short, timely post.

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