“He needs a name. Little Red Weiner is not a name,” says The Fixer. I give it some thought and decide she’s right. Part of The Diaries’ magic is that everyone gets a name, some more imaginative than others. So, last Thursday, the bane of my existence, my feeding tube, became Gus.
Gus, along with two surgeries, is the reason for my “homeboundness.” Is that a word? Doubt, it, but you get the gist. Feedings every three hours and a tube hanging from under your clothes makes for quite a sight out in public. Pair that with whatever spell surgery casts over cancer girls to make them fall asleep after about two hours of activity and there you have it. Kind of housebound. Even the most dedicated of Netflix girls goes stir crazy after a while.
At first it’s exciting. There’s the new season of House of Cards. Could you die? That Claire—keep us guessing all the time you badass. Then there’s Reign, the story of Mary Queen of Scots told with a Gossip Girl twist, great gowns, jewels and enough sexual tension to keep any girl binge watching. Need more? Recommendations come fast and furious from the chicks. There is The Affair, True Detective, Magic City (yummy) and Californication. A debate ensues over Californication. The dolls that find David Duchovny as delicious as a bag of donuts love it. Those who don’t, well, they lose interest in his escapades. Poor them.
But, even a devoted couch and blankie girl can only take so much. And I’m running out of ways to disguise Gus. People are visiting. I am walking to my mailbox. I have to positively grab hold of him getting in and out of cars. Pants prove problematic as he falls right across the hip line. Perhaps new dresses are in order? My darling sheaths count on an unmarred tummy. Gus is not cooperating.
I examine the line of my stomach and its attached friend. I curse Gus as my new svelte; cancer frame features a stomach flat minus a protrusion with a little red head. I call Sisterella to inquire if shopping might be on her radar. We squee together lamenting we can’t also take in lunch and cocktails.
We hit one of the secret bargain spots. Sisterella goes to work tossing willy-nilly into a pile every dress minus a drawstring waist in the store. I try on so many dresses I am Goldilocks beneath a pile of summer wear. This one is so thin; Gus can be spied through the fabric. This one is so tight; his outline is sketched across my middle leaving little to the imagination. But some are just right. We scoop up our finds and move onto candles and lotion.
You know where the best candles reside and there we are. Mistake on a Saturday at a certain open-air mart. People swarm about and the two-hour mark is near. I find the candle to fill my home with the elixir of the Gods transporting me to the tropics for a vacation from this fresh hell and Gus. Specific lotion is necessary as another side effect of the bitch who’s invaded my body is skin so dry flakes fall as if there is a call for snow.
I can measure the disappointment in Sisterella’s eyes as my big day has come to an end, merely two hours after it began. I promise her there will again come halcyon days of shopping, lunch and a drink for sustenance.
As she drops me back at home and drives away, I shake my fist in the air ala Scarlett O’Hara and call out, “As God is my witness I will shop again.” And smile at the stranger and her little dog I did not see. Pfft.