It is nearly 3 a.m. and I woke a while back with an excruciating pain in my left calf.
"Charlie horse," I told Lucy the dog, who was laying right on my pillow (I was without one). "It will go away itself."
It didn't. I flexed the leg -- no no no no -- then I pointed the toe, much to my dismay. I realized I needed to leap up from bed and walk on it. Leaping in the middle of the day is not a forte, but I cut an impressive scene dashing into the bathroom to throw cold water on my face and put weight on the leg.
"It's just a Charlie horse," I reassured Lucy, who was dancing on her hind legs every time I whimpered. "A drink of water, a moment, a little walking around and it will be fine."
I tripped over Big Bear (world's biggest Teddy) on the floor near the foot of my bed. Curses on you, Big Teddy, I said in a whisper. A moment later I was laying on the cool kitchen linoleum saying "Charlie horse, just a Charlie horse."
It did pass in an unknown amount of time and I went back to bed. I was trying to get back into the dream I'd been passing time in and just about as I did I realized I'd been trying to take out my contact lens, which had been out for hours.
I dreamed I was taking out the other one when my right leg cramped. Up out of bed, trip over Big Bear and find my computer. I'll google the damn thing and see if I can find out how to fix it.
Eat a banana, the advice says. Potassium deficiency can cause this.
I ate a banana at lunch. So much for that theory. I haven't been running miles at a stretch (I'm GOING to start walking when Daylight Savings Time starts. No, really.)
I'm going back to sleep. I have no inane sense I need to take out a contact lens, I ate my banana hours ago, the Internet has let me down except to tell me "It happens."
Usually about this time of year I'm frantically packing boxes, tying up loose ribbons and sweating out the details of collecting, wrapping, packaging and sending off Christmas gifts to my distant family.
By "this time of year," I mean December 20 to 23, the last days it's possible to send a package and hope for delivery before The Day. Giving gifts to my parents, brothers, sister and their kids is one of the best parts of my Christmas -- it makes me feel connected to them although they are all a couple of states to the right.
I'm happy to report I went to the post office with my boxes yesterday, the earliest I've ever shipped. And I feel a major sense of accomplishment. Consider:
I didn't have to pay FedEx a dime to get something somewhere overnight.
I didn't even have to pay second-day air charges to UPS or Uncle Sam.
I was able to ship with regular priority mail, the one that takes two to three days and is reasonably priced.
Two or three days? Go ahead and take four, U.S. Postal Service. Don't rush on account of me, I beat the clock. I mailed my packages in the TEENS of December. Yes, it was December 19, but that's in the TEENS.
Now I have time to bake more cookies, watch a new NetFlix movie or add a few more lights to the outdoor holiday extravaganza that will peak right around Christmas Eve. (Whereupon the lights will re main displayed until the following weekend, only to be boxed back up for another year.)
When I flew back from NYC recently, I arrived at SFO parched. The flight was over six hours, and while I had a couple of little cups of Diet Coke, that wasn't nearly enough. Near the baggage pickup I saw the familiar red glow of a Coke machine. As I swished through the bottom of my purse for change, I came up with very few coins. I slipped my finger into my wallet looking for a single, but had only a twenty and I knew that was useless.
But when I got to the machine, was I in for a surprise. This Coke machine takes CREDIT CARDS. A quick dip, no PIN required, ker-klunk, there she was in her 34 degree glory: My Diet Coke.
So there you'll find it on my Visa statement: One Coke, 20 ounce, $1.75. It's a wonderful world.
This is a lonely sight -- my gmail inbox with no messages.
I've been out of touch since I went back to work at Claria in June -- it seems like I run from the moment I get up until the minute I get to stop. Gone are the days of glorious afternoon naps. And I'm learning amazing discipline at work -- what I need to do to get in, get done, get out. Alas, I have failed tonight because it's nearly 9 and here I am, procrastinating a project that won't take me long once I get started ...
Drop me a line if you want to eradicate the scourge of my empty mailbox.