Posted by: estheramy | May 20, 2012

“Oh, my God,”…

“Oh, my God,” I cry out in frustration.

Obstacle after obstacle continue to present themselves (selves–as if they are beings trying to thwart Esther and I) as we attempt to make preparations for our trip. As of this moment, this very second, obstacles are occurring to my even writing this blog.  Writing pad in hand I walk out my side door to write my first posting, heading for my backyard, where I left my writing pad this morning, and lo & behold, the gate is jammed and won’t budge.  I hear my wind chimes summoning me, but can’t get past the gate.  Think Kafka’s The Trial, minus the gatekeeper.  Then, I try to get back into my house and discover the screen door is locked.  No key.  Why not?  Because I’m moi, Amy.  I’m trapped within a narrow passageway, between my house and my neighbor’s ugly squirrel colored fence, hedged in like I’m a dog in a dogrun.  A big fuzzy bumblebee hovers.

I’m barefoot.  I take heed of all the rusty nails strewn along the sidewalk, and remember that according to the travel guide, that in Abadiana, where we’re headed, going barefoot is inadvisable lest mold, mildew, and funghi infest our soles.  I have yet to get flying insect spray and cipro for diahrreah.  I need polio, hepatitus A & B, malaria, typhoid, and Yellow Fever vaccines.  When Dr. B handed me the list of vaccines, I mumbled, “This sounds like the vacation from Hell.  Sitting at his computer, he only nodded, remnants of his lunch visible on his lips. 

From inside the hospital–I mean house!–I’d tried to make my appointment for my Yellow Fever shot which the doc instructed me to have asap.  When I called the number of the clinic closest to my house, a recorded message instructed me to leave my name after the pound key.  I kept hearing, “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you.”  I kept repeating my name, “Amy.  Amy Kahn,” my voice rising to a crescendo.  I hung up in exasperation, and tried another clincic.  This time, I was told that there used to be a clinic at the location I was calling, but existed no longer,  Another clinic number I called didn’t answer at all.  Finally, I found a clinic that answered, and I was asked for my e mail so that I could receive the four forms I needed to fill out.  Four forms!  

Now, the pharmacy calls, saying they have my medication ready but it is not covered by insurance.  $65.00.  My doctor told me that none of the recommended vaccines would in all probability not be covered and that theymight cost me up to a thousand dollars.

I have a sensation now like worms wriggling between my toes, a side effect of the hepatitus A & B, or the Polio vaccine I had earlier today?  My right arm is throbbing.

All my friends are horrified that I’m planning to go on this trip.  Hearing that we’re going to a small unheard of village (until Oprah’s show featuring John of God residing there) they are mightily afeared that Esther and I will be God forbid raped, kidnapped, or killed.  The only exception to the exhortations I’m receiving not to go were from my psychologist, who reframed the trip as a mother/daughter journey.  My husband is totally non-supportive; he’s fuming that he was “not consulted.”  I told him that asking his permission to go on this trip would have been a mere formality.    My mother and sister do not not about Esther’s cancer recurrence at her insistence, and my flute teacher, who is a Buddhist, is the sole person who has been wholeheartedly supportive.  

In front of my house now, the sun is blazing, blindingly bright.  I squeeze the grass blades with my toes, inhale the juicy smelling grass, and watch my neighbor in his vivid turquoise shirt drive away.  I listen to the hum of my air conditioner.  “Hmmmm.  Ommmm.”I admire the beauty of my across-the-street neighbor’s exquisite English tudor garden, a little piece of Paradis.  Wild pink roses nod their heads at me and patrol the Japanese red bush and purple crocuses.  I watch an Orthodox Jewish couple stroll down the street.  It’s so tranquil here.  “A bird in the hand…”  What mystic treat could possibly await us Esther, that can match the tranquility of here, of home? 

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