The World As Mare Sees It...
Sitcom 2006-01-30

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Diaryland

Shall we start with the London Tube map that's emblazoned on my body, or should I just go straight to setting my boobs on fire?

To the beginning, shall we?

So, if you remember, back at the end of November, just before I went to London, I had to get an echocardiogram done, and then wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. A few weeks ago, I had the follow-up with the cardiologist who decided that while, in all likelihood everything was fine, more data couldn't hurt. Since the autopsy report isn't back yet, they want to rule out any congenital complications as soon as possible.

So last week, off I went to have another echo done, complete with a sweet Philippine woman ordering me to "Poosh hard! Poosh like you have to go to the bat-room! Mmm! Ugh! Yes. Poosh!" while she stuck what felt like a brick into my ribcage.

After that was the stress test where, while doctors took my blood pressure and watched my heart's activity, I had to walk, then jog, then, like, hike up Mount Everest, quite quickly, like Mr. Right was waiting at the top, with a diamond in one hand and a pair of Jimmy Choos in the other. (For the record, poppets, visualization is the key to preventing humiliation over one's lack of physical stamina.)

Fine. I've pooshed, I've run, now all I have to do is get fitted for another heart monitor - this time for 48 blasted hours. Two days of sponge baths because I'm not allowed to get under the shower; two days of not wearing a bra, because it interferes with the tangle of wires, the five electrodes taped to my body, and the shoulder holster carrying the actual monitor. No shower, no bra, no bloody dignity. Thank God I was still working at home at the time.

So there I am, a giant sweatshirt tossed over the unfettered Girls and the chest technology, uncomfortable because my skin is being pulled in several different directions, and the holster is starting to chafe. Still, I think to myself, I can do this. It's all for my own health, and it's not like anyone is seeing me like this. There's no personal humiliation involved, right?

Except, except, except... itís winter 'round these parts, right, poppets? The heat is jacked up in the house, which always makes the air drier than I'd like it. I also have this nasty little habit of not picking up my feet when I walk, and combined with the dryness, I'm like a bundle of live wire. Tiny little electric shocks everywhere - my cat refuses to let me pet her, and I don't blame her, because frankly, I really don't want to be responsible for frying my feline with my finger. On some surfaces, you can actually see tiny blue sparks wherever I touch which, admittedly, is kind of cool, in a superhero kind of way.

Anyway, so there I was, strapped up and yet swinging free, going about my business. Near the end of the first day, I had to go back into my stock room, which is full of small spaces between metal shelves. The room is also on the chilly side, so upon entering, it's not unusual for the Girls to appear cold if you get what I'm sayin', and I'm pretty sure you do. It's a look that's especially evident when there's no foundation garment involved, and frankly, I was in danger of putting someone's eye out. So there I am, cheerlessly doing what I have to do, taking stock from my shelves, filling various client orders. And just as I was squeezing through a tight spot, the Girls, standing at attention, grazed against a metal shelf, and turned my chest into a Pink Floyd light show. Blue lightening, poppets, came shooting out of my nipples!

Let nobody tell you that Mare-Ingenii isn't electrifying.

Two days later, and a lot of itching and scratching later, I got to remove the whole contraption. The first time I did this, the tape removal was fairly easy, and aside from a little redness and tenderness for a few days, it was a pretty painless process. This time - because it was staying on longer, maybe? the technicians used, I don't know, duct tape, or ceramic caulking perhaps, because I had welts for days after. The welts, predictably, mirrored the shape of the round electrode with the strip of tape across, so what I've got is Waterloo, Embankment, Westminster, Leicester Square and Covent Garden clearly marked on the whole of my torso. I am a walking journey planner.

At this point, slipping on a banana peel can be the only thing to come, donít you agree?

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iimage: Jack Vettriano