August 15th, 2013
I had a number of tests to take on Sunday and Monday, one of which was a sonogram of my carotid arteries administered by an unpleasant Russian immigrant. “You will take seat here,” he said to me, “and you two,” he said to Max and Dean, “will please to be quiet.” The test was to take twenty to thirty minutes, he said. Not too horrible, I thought, given that I would have to lie absolutely still for the duration. He failed to say it would be twenty to thirty minutes per artery. And the forty to sixty minutes then stretched to an hour and twenty-two minutes. I left thinking he should go back to Russia in time to become a morals cop for the 2014 Olympics.
To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t leave the hospital with a raging drug problem. Family came and went for the next two or three days. I received plenty of phone calls, none from insurance companies, cruise directors, or friends from out of my past. The dilaudid painkilling program had ended and there was no good reason to stay any longer.
I hadn’t brought my Kindle along, so I spent a great deal of time watching the Oprah channel on TV. It was very good (no kidding). The food was great and the views were, naturally, San Francisco. The Sonogram Man excepted, the people were terrific. I grade the entire stay 97%. But for some reason, when I think back to the Emergency Room in those minutes when I came back to my senses, just beyond the curtain with the number 13 on it, there was a shiny maroon and creme ’53 Studebaker up on a garage lift. A doctor was performing an oil change.
What was that all about?