Babydolls: all apologies. Broke-Ass has been sicker than a goddamn dog. In fact, rawther much sicker. Come to think of it, the sickest Broke-Ass has ever seen her dog is after he sneaked up on the table and ate some spinach off of someone’s dinner plate. He yacked a few times and then took a nap. Broke-Ass was considerably sicker than this. Consequently, she learned a thing or two about urban farming, shitbag health insurance, and the amazing Dr. Li. But first, the details.
It all started the day after Christmas. The Rancho was snowed in, and within it: Broke-Ass, the schmushkies, her younger brother (Old Bird), his spectacular wife (Mama-Sister), and their two adorable babies. Broke-Ass’ mother and stepfather were snowed in at their hotel, which was lucky for them and, potentially, all concerned. Old Bird had, as was soon discovered, brought the diarrhea of five grown men with him. Given that the Rancho is 800-square feet and has but one loo, allow your senses to run wild at envisioning what ensued. Rest assured: It ensued. It was like The Shining, with shit.
So that was, as my fabulous German neighbor and architect would say, “unpleasant.”
Alas, some unpleasantness had already transpired before the shit-cum-snow storm of December 2010. As every sentient human knows all too well, family holidays can be genuinely great, but they also kind of suck. Families-of-origin always get into it somehow, and if money is tight, those Tolstoyesque configurations that form the basis of so many Danish cinema-verite movies can make one’s living-room feel like a psychic Nagasaki. Since Broke-Ass’ family of origin meets up in that hallucinatory netherworld at the axis of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe, and Grey Gardens, suffice it to say that the family holiday at the Rancho was one big John Cassavetes film festival.
Broke-Ass felt like shit. She not only had to explain with all due thought and care to Baby Poodle and Little Mousie just why holidays with families of origin can be so harrowing (rather, why their mother’s in particular), how you can love people but be hurt by them at the same time, and why it is extremely important to avoid familial triangulations early on in life, but she also felt super sick to her stomach. She threw up. A lot. And she did not stop. For six weeks.
After Broke-Ass was carted off by ambulance for the second time, she was admitted to the hospital. There, she underwent every test in the ledger of medicine and was starved within an inch of her life to run those tests properly–and since she had already been unable to keep down nary a vittle for six weeks running, that a right and proper inch. She was completely and utterly evacuated. That second night at the hospital, with tubes inserted into every free vein, Broke-Ass had something of a dark night of the soul.
Which did not revolve around fears such as “What if I have Lou Gehrig’s Disease?” It centered on: “How much is all this going to cost?”
Stay tuned, babydolls. Next Up: How Much All That Cost. Also, the amazing Dr. Li.