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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

death and the maiden

yesterday, we saw jesus christ standing outside the beverly centre.

with his gaze rivaled only by charles manson, we stared, then collapsed into stitches; and i bossed my husband to encircle the mall in an attempt to digitalize this vision.

as we circled, i speculated as to why jesus would be hanging out, across from cedars-sinai hospital of all places.

of course, it was some passive aggressive posturing against anti-consumerism; but if his presence was meant to inspire "loving the lepers", it only succeeding in actually making me want to run away from him, and into the beverly centre.

[by, this point, he was walking away from his chosen corner and all i got was a great photo of a blurry honda civic.]

"well, maybe we'll see him at the soup plantation". cue: wife in a puddle of giggles.

[file it in the "only in l.a." folder.]


"why does brandon flowers always sound like he's crying?"

"he's just full of angst..."

"what the hell does he have to be anxious about?"

"well, his mother just died"

"well, at least he can roll around in all his money..."

"he said, if he wasn't a singer, he'd like to be a bus boy again. he really enjoys helping people..."

"hmmmm...rock star, bus boy, rock star, bus boy..."

o.k. donny osmond. brandon flowers. i guess i have a thing for mormon rock stars.

go figure.

but i have a bigger thing for my husband who never fails to make me laugh...

and then it was bono, with his recent back surgery.

"he probably broke his back carrying all his money around"...

and i fall for it every time.

but, i love our heated discourses; our winding, cerebral paths of adventure. but, bono and U2 have done much. is it their responsibility? they are self-made rock gods; and if a twinge of guilt tickled their souls occasionally, who would notice if they never acted?

if i had ever found a measure of fame in this jungle town, my goal had always been to raise awareness for organ donation.

who remembers bob barker reminding all of us at the end of "the price is right", to spay and neuter your pets?

and the countless "golden girls" episodes knowing betty white had forced her hand and rescue dogs bounded throughout frame.


george lopez. unfortunately, the butt of horrific jokes regarding his recent divorce. "does she want her kidney back?"...everyone's a comedian...

[someone. please. once and for all. explain to me WHY this is funny...!]

but, why doesn't he take ONE MINUTE at the end of every show to remind his audience to sign their donor cards? what a coveted position in which he stands. and he wastes it. utterly.

and as we leisurely drove home along sunset blvd., it struck me how many celebrities had crossed our paths in this area:

-saying hello to james coburn and quentin tarantino in the elevator at cedars-sinai.

-running into richard dreyfuss at a bookstore in the beverly centre.

-getting cut off by christina applegate in a white BMW outside the formosa.

-realizing renee zellweger was staring at me in kinko's while making a calender.

-"how ya doing" with jeff bridges in the parking lot at blockbuster on sunset.

and just a little further into hollywood, the wilshire ebell, where ms. henriette pulled out all the stops for one jim carrey.
[yeah, he totally flirted with me, dudes...]

THEY'RE JUST HERE. [and, why do we care?]

the famous, the rich, the healthy.

the untouchables. 2010.

searing hot, my heart ached to the realization it was exactly 23 years ago that i was being evaluated for my mother's kidney.


christmas has always been frought with melancholy memories and utter confusion for me. fine. call me a grinch. lord, knows my husband does.

not only did i lose my dad, smack dab in the middle on december 13th, but in 1987, i was told i had 8% kidney function on december 3rd. official meeting in cardella's office. travel to denmark denied. dialysis to begin on the 11th.

there's an perennial avalanche blocking my path to juletide enjoyment. it's there every year, and there's never a detour. can't go around and can't go through. so every year, i hack away with my proverbial pick, and surmount the insurmountable. but, by the time i do, the season is usually over.

"joy to the world?" sigh. don't quite know how to respond...

monday, i was determined to bulldoze through some semblance of a day. (see: http://hennybird.blogspot.com/2010/12/scenes-from-normal-life-enchanted.html ). but after 6 errands, i found myself internally screaming at the USPS employee.

["hurry up, hurry up, hurry up..."]

maybe, if your nails weren't so crazy long, you could move a little faster...

but, they were festive (and tacky);  and i was grumpy and in pain. a stomach fisted into acrimonious cramping. i slumped down in front of our post office box. and took a breath. and then another. and then another.

i don't care who looks at me. please. i'm so past that.

[you did it, h. 6 errands. almost home. almost home. almost home...]

but this level of exhaustion and nausea was unfamiliar; uncharted.

the day had exhilarated. i was independently driving. window down. warm california air caressing. my sense memory kicked in at warp speed, and i had the vaguest recollection of being...happy?

cut to: yesterday.
the neumovax shot primary on the agenda.
blood work, neumovax and ultimately, epogin...
with a hemoglobin of 7.9, i am well below low normal of 10/11.
[the new normal]
epogin is like a knife in your shoulder that they just keep twisting, and twisting and twisting...and this was a LONG one...

[f. me]

but here's the good news: i passed the 5 hour stress test of my heart. and then dr. dauer (I LUV U, 4 EVER) looked up the analysis of my psych evaluation. apparently, i am cleared. my overdose was not an attempt at suicide, and i have my addiction under control.

ah, to live down a brush with 51-50...

another notch in my belt, kids...and i wear it with pride...
creatinine 3.9

"have you been throwing up?"


the highest creatinine i've had in 23 years. the maiden who feels like death warmed over, is validated.

and so it all makes sense. but makes no sense at all...

i wish i was famous.

red carpets churn my stomach. designer gowns leave me unimpressed. and gift bags deserve to be tossed out with the trash.


i feel so helpless. if you were in that conference room with me on november 19th, you would have seen why. faces drawn; tired, scared, etched in pain. desperate for life.

if i was famous, all the stops would be pulled out, and no stone would be left unturned...

but for now, all i can do is blog, and yell, and mouth off.

[of which i am quite good, btw]

sign your donor cards. have conversations. get informed. make donations. i hate sounding like a PSA, but i would hate myself more if i never said anything at all...

and wouldn't saving a life be better than another shirt?

[f. yeah.]

merry christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Henriette I will love you forever!
    P.S Donor card is signed. ;)