On the Upswing
Hurrah! My post-surgery friend has made it over the hump. She’s eating again, speaking in complete sentences, and has expressed desire to leave the house. So yay for me also. This means I might get to see more of the state of Alaska than these four walls, the mile of shoreline I saw on Saturday, and the route between here and the surgery center and pharmacy.
Ew. Speaking of surgery center, S is speaking on the phone to a nurse about getting her opioid prescription refilled and cheerfully announcing, “Yeah, I can feel the end of the bone that was sawed off.”
This is the Godzilla in S’s basement window that is expressing my horror at the thought of feeling the end of a bone that has been sawed off.
ARGH! And I just showed S that photo and explained and she said, “Well, yeah I can feel that, but it doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much as when they amputated my toe.” She’s pretty sure that surgeon used giant nail clippers to chop that thing off. “I heard it, too! That’s exactly what it sounded like.”
You have to be careful what you wish for. Like complete sentences.
Anyway, I wanted to mention the most shocking thing about Alaska. It’s not the cold (it’s hovering around freezing, but, hey, it’s almost October, so that’s no so strange. And it’s not even that people here drive ginormous automobiles. Big hulking SUVs and pickup trucks with even more than four wheels. And it’s not even that the ginormous auto drivers are astoundingly polite to pedestrians, at least not when they’re not on the school run (they they’ll mow you down and not care).
No, the most shocking thing is the number of homeless people here. It’s cold here. And the middle of October is just the tip of the iceberg. And it’s not being in the lower 48. You can’t just decide to hitchhike to Florida or anything like that. And S tells me that there aren’t enough beds in the shelters at night, so a lot of them sleep outdoors even when it’s absolutely freezing outside.