Deep in the Heart of Texas. Yessiree, when I began this little sing song ditty I was still in Austin, keeping it weird, Texas, feeling pretty darn good, except for a slight case of sniffly allergy and musing how quickly time flies when I’m having fun and how ridiculously slow it is when I’m not. I was also consisting what is real and what is not and who really knows? Such deep thoughts I have these days.
I was in the hipper-than-thou coffee house just down the ways from the Eco baby store my daughter Julia, with baby Levi in tow requested we visit….when my eyes did spy a real life, more cowboy than Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger, packin’ a well tooled holster made by convicts, which held ever so snugly, a six shooter crafted by a famous (but not to me) silver smith in San Antonio, sporting authentic s Exclusive issue Texas Ranger cowboy boots and requisite hat.
Shee-it this ole Ranger was mighty cordial, getting up so as we could navigate the baby Humvee through the narrow aisles of the coffee bar which was full of hip creatives tapping away at their MacBooks whilst looking up ever so often to see if they were still of this here world. The Ranger looked his part, even if the setting was not a saloon, all dressed up better than a professional two-step champion or a rodeo rider on his way to a wedding. I asked him if he was a lawman, his response was “Yes ma’am.” “Wow”, I thought to myself, “how cool and this guy isn’t even In a movie!”
In LA most people would think the Ranger was really a Universal Studios stuntman on a break from the hourly Wild West show…. But in downtown Austin somehow I knew he was the real deal and a welcome change from the hype of lalaland. There are only 150 Texas Rangers and in that big old state and they’ve got a real job catching “bad guys”. Shit I’m such a romantic. Did I tell you I still have my Roy Rogers cap gun from 1955? Now I did. Anyway seeing Mr. Not Chuck Norris made my day, in a good way.
That was a week ago before the sniffles of ” cedar fever” became the f’g flu and I had hightailed it back to Southern California. My “best laid plans” of writing daily got buried under blankets, piles of soiled hankies (I refuse to put trees up my nose), a Neti pot, bottles of homeopathic cures and tea cups filled with lemony hot water. I snored through the days, too weak to lift a finger except to push play on netflix only to wake up and realize I missed the entirety of Downton Abby Season 1. Two days ago I, in my achy despair, got out of bed, took a shower, got dressed and drove to see Dr. Ho, the herbalist on Sepulveda. Max and I used to joke about the doc and his magical “eye of newt tea” which consisted of whatever a view of one’s extended tongue and pulses told him to include to make you well.
Thankfully, the doc’s “office” is a room behind the counter at Dynasty Herbs and is only a few blocks from my home… I drove only when I knew I wouldn’t endanger others…I.e. I Checked off the vital stuff…. shower, eyes open, clothes on, keys, purse with cash, shoes, car has gas, other cars…. I felt like a pre-Romba robot test model being tested for bugs. There and back, I thankfully did not crash into anyone with my car or person, but I did feel extremely grateful I had made it home alive and well enough to boil the water and begin drinking the infamous “tea”. Things are different now that Max and I can schlepp eachother around when we are sick. They don’t get sick where he is, do they?
Did I mention that drinking the “tea” is a job fit only for those so desperate to be well they’ll do ANYTHING??? Okay, that may be stretching it some…but the taste of this combination of herbs, fungus, roots, bark and god knows what else is most often REALLY bad, especially if your nose is clear and you can smell. When I’m drinking the stuff I use whatever creativity might still be lurking beneath the infected me and imagine myself having travelled to another planet where the beings who have welcomed me with their many opened arms have brewed their favorite beverage in honor of my sudden arrival. They mean me no harm, even if they do have the look of giant iridescent ants in multicolored tutus. (My stories are colorful, aren’t they?) They tell me that the concoction is the perfect thing to revive me from my long journey through time and space. That little story gets my first few cups down me on day one.
I have been in several “worlds” the past month. On the road with grown son, Billy, crossing states in a rental car, scattering the contents of cans containing ashes of my beloved Max, visiting with daughter Julia and family in Austin, being grand mere to darling grandson Levi, sharing memories with Max’s brother Simmy, meeting an honest-to-god-fearing lawman in Texas, plus so much more then returning to “the land of believe it or make believe it, whatever” and going to bed with the flu. Whew.
I’m on day three still slugging down cups of earthen cure and I’m beginning to feel myself again. I mean literally I can feel me, not the numb, headachy, dopey me that was lying slug-like for a week and still I’m going to take it easy for a few more days. Besides, the jury’s still out about what constitutes real. In the meantime I’m gonna make popcorn. Maybe I will catch those slept-through episodes of DA.
Wishing you good health.