No, he hasn’t left. Gus is still with me. Asshat. We just went on little weekend getaway. I still have no choice but to take him along. And, of course, being the center of attention at every meal, he was most pleased with himself.
“Look at me, keepin’ her alive and shit.” He’s so boastful.
He met new people and showed off his skills. He breathed in mountain air scented with pine and enjoyed the woods. He watched Middle Chicken play pickle ball and relax for the first time all summer—a mini respite from taking the bar and fretting over her mother.
I almost didn’t go. Two nights before, I fall head first onto the floor. I know—like a top- heavy wee child. Boom, over I go. It is the fault of Tommy Bahama, the little striped cat who lives in our home. I bend to pick him up and lose my footing. One hand instinctively goes to Gus the Asshat Feeding Tube as is always the case, the other is full of cat. My head is the only available appendage to break the fall.
Clunk. I hear it deep within my brain. I lay still for a bit. Am I hurt? Is there blood? A tumor? ’Cuz once you give a girl cancer, tumors and the like lurk behind every corner. Cough? Oh, it’s morphed to lung cancer. I’ll be dead in three weeks. Headache? Aaah, its gone to my brain, perhaps eating it alive while I clean the kitchen.
Lying on the floor, I surmise I am indeed, fine. Tommy Bahama sits a few feet way, quizzical look on his tiny face. I call him an unladylike name and go to bed.
Meantime, Middle Chicken comes into my room. She was in the shower. “Did you hear that bang?” says she.
“Oh, yeah,” I answer. “It was just my head.”
“What? Are you all right? Do you have a concussion? How many fingers am I holding up?”
I lay in bed thinking. If I can’t manage movement about my own home, should I really be spending the weekend with friends away from home? It’s less than two hours away, I reason. I don’t have to get on a plane. I can pack my food cans. I have Gus. I can always come home if something goes wrong. I’m not too far away. And it’s thirty degrees cooler than here on the surface of the sun.
So off we go, Middle Chicken and myself. We pick up Coradorable on our way. We will meet her mom, Sweetest G, along with The Goddess, River Rafter Girl and their mates at the cabin–a cabin that sleeps twelve. Just a modest little place.
Gus takes center stage at coffee on the deck. He nearly struts as he makes an appearance in a crowd—something he’s never done before. The girls acknowledge his presence and he beams. Even on a mini vacation, there is no vacay from Gus.
The real question is: Am I irritated that I have to eat from a tube or am I irritated that Gus takes the
spotlight away from me? A question for better minds than mine.