Friday, January 12, 2007

Another street in Thun, Switzerland

I started this out with the lightest of watercolor washes:

And then, layer by layer, it gradually got heavier and deeper until I reached this effect:

watercolor on Arches watercolor paper, 18" x 24".

Why is it that I do this? I push the image too far and then it loses its translucence and delicacy. I liked it better, in a way, when the washes were still trembly and somewhat unrealized. Now all the mystery is lost.

I have two bottles of barium sitting in the refrigerator this weekend: I've succumbed to that old tormentor, the abdominal cramp, and am going in for a CT scan Tuesday morning. I've had this pain in my side for a while. I just don't like talking about it. Because I treat my gastroenterologist like the undertaker.

And also because I believe in the power of positive thinking. Though at this point I don't think even Gandhi could help me.

I'm supposed to be on the BRAT diet right now: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Only I can't stand bananas, ever since I broke my leg in the first grade and someone gave me sliced bananas before we went to the ER. I threw up the bananas on the X-ray table.

Therefore, bananas remind me of broken legs.

So, it's the RAT diet.


Ordinarily I'd want to write about someone I saw in the lobby, or something I noticed while waiting for the doctor this afternoon, but found that, in the dismal gray rain of Friday and the sharp nagging pain in my right side, I'm all out of perception. I just sat there pushing my right hand into my side and holding it there with my left (because that helps) thinking doggedly that patience is a virtue. And so is silence. No one likes a whiner.

Some guy was ahead of me in the queue filling out forms and talking in a voice I found much too loud about how he broke both legs and still got in his bulldozer a month later, to work. He just got comfortable and kept his feet up, he said proudly. Didn't have to use his feet to drive the dozer. And it was good for him, too, because he was up and moving around that much faster.

Good for you, I wanted to say wearily. You're the American work ethic. We're all grateful. Now shut up and sign your forms so I can be next.

He needed a shower, too. His jeans looked smoky-saggy and his flannel shirt gave off this sort of harsh dirt smell when he shifted from foot to foot. Guess showering requires the use of both feet. Maybe that explains it.

Snarky. (I know. I'm sorry. I hurt.) But he kept interrupting my progress toward the cessation of all pain. It was difficult not to harbor a resentment against him. Even when he showed up again, later, and started pestering the nurse outside in the hall as she was making her way back to my room to give me my lab orders.

He kept pulling on her hair and saying in a jokey way, "Working hard or hardly working? Huh?" (They must know each other outside the office).

I just glared at him coldly as I lay curled up in a C shape on the exam table, still holding my side and watching them, thinking dark thoughts.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics and made me promise I'd go to the ER if my fever got higher or the pain got worse.

I'm looking forward to sleep. It's easy to sleep when it rains like this. It might be just a weekend of rest and relaxation -- and drawing streets in Switzerland.