I wished for a lot of tail. In hindsight, I should have been more specific.
I’ve been reading a book, and I thought I’d share it with you. Except by “book” I mean “uncorrected proof.” And by “reading” I mean “sitting on.”
I’ll just start over.
I’ve been sitting on an uncorrected proof. It’s by historian Lawrence Leamer and called “The Kennedy Men.” At 880 pages, it’s a bit much for pleasure reading but perfect for a rump booster. I found it in a dusty pile among promotional publications and periodicals that were sent to the newspaper where I work, presumably for us to preview, critique and then recommend to our readers – not cram in a corner until a copy editor with chronic ass ache needs something to prop herself off a chair.
We get all sorts of free shit mailed to the newsroom, usually movies that go straight to DVD or books that make a beeline for the bargain bin. Another title that recently caught my eye was “Spelling Love with an X” by Clare Dunsford. I hope she’s a better writer than speller.
My pain in the ass started in late September, when the newspaper was switching from an archaic program called Atex, miraculously still somewhat functional but precariously held together by duct tape and pterodactyl bones, to a new computer system. Our former computers looked a lot like the three-decade-old machine inside the hatch that Desmond on “Lost” used to input a string of numbers every 108 minutes to save the world. I’m pretty sure we’re not saving the world. Unless saving the world involves cutting down millions of trees to turn into newsprint. Then we’re totally doing that.
My co-workers and I were required to show up three and a half hours early for our shifts for two weeks straight, so that we could train and familiarize ourselves with the new platform while still continuing to meet nightly deadlines and go to press every morning. After the first few days, I started to notice discomfort in my derriere. I had hoped it was just temporary and that it would improve. It wasn’t and it hasn’t.
Seeking relief, I bought a cushion shaped like a ring – the sort that might come in handy for prostate surgery. Or hemorrhoid flare-ups. Or cats. Raved a satisfied customer on Amazon: “I used this after I had a baby and had stitches that healed very slowly. It really helped take the pressure and discomfort off and let my sore places rest and heal.” My sore places aren’t faring as well.
To go from sitting to standing is a painstakingly slow process. It involves pulling myself up by my arms, with intermittent pauses to wince and swear. I’m also thinking about installing a hand rail in my shower. Not because I need it. I always covet the one at my grandfather’s apartment; it’s a quality addition to any bathroom.
After more than three months of enduring the wrong kind of ass spasms, I finally broke down and went to a nurse practitioner last week. The
anal probing examination went as follows:
Nurse: I’m going to put some pressure on your spine. Tell me when it hurts.
Nurse (heading south): And now?
Nurse (continuing descent): Yes?
Nurse: You have a really long tailbone, my friend.
Me: I can honestly say no one’s ever said that to me before.
Nurse: Wow. It’s almost a tail.
Me: *concentrates* *tries to wag it*
Nurse: This certainly explains why …
Me (interrupting): … I feel such a kinship with Teva and Isabel.
Nurse: … your tailbone isn’t healing.
Me (jerks from pain): Owwww. There. That’s the spot.
Nurse: You’ll probably need to see a spine specialist.
Me: Just curious, which animal’s tail would you say mine most closely resembles?
Nurse (ignoring inquiry): You should try icing it once or twice a day.
Me: Maybe starts with a “C” …
Nurse: I’m going to prescribe an anti-inflammatory. That should help with the swelling.
Me: … ends with an “at.”
Nurse: Call me in two weeks if your symptoms persist.
Me: Caaaaaaah …
Nurse: I don’t have to look at your throat. You can get dressed.
My official diagnosis is Cat Lady, confirming my long-held suspicions. The nurse didn’t actually say that, per se, but it was definitely implied.
During a sexual drought spanning on and off for the past several years, this wasn’t the sort of tail I’d been fantasizing about. In the future, I’ll be more careful what I ass for. Although I have been telling everyone that I’ve been sitting on the Kennedy men, so technically I wasn’t too far off the mark.