Thursday, September 27, 2012

Threading the Eye of the Needle

I am extremely bored and have no one to blame for this but myself. I am at home parked on a shelf (so to speak) in a backwater of southeastern Connecticut, a quiet, somewhat-frayed at the (blue) collar New England town, a small city if we're being honest (which we are as you'll learn in a moment), that was struggling with hard times before mostly everyone else was struggling, Norwich.

Last Friday I had surgery (it's my hobby in the last five years or so-some people go to Borneo or Spain, I go to hospital), this time on my right ankle. I missed all of it-sound asleep. Same story every time as a kid, too. Missed Santa Claus for the same reason, just nodded off at the good part.

I'm not complaining. All the people involved in this surgery, from the screening at Same Day Surgery (I had never seen a 'you must be this sick to ride this ride' sign in a hospital before) through the nurses and pharmacists and CPA (? maybe. I'm a little fuzzy) through my doctor and the anesthesiologist and team were marvelous.

Leaving me with the hard part. To get better and to be as quiet as I can be for two weeks. To go from walking in excess of 18,000 steps a day to as few steps as possible (Sunday it was 79 which was, as my wife understands the surgeon, still 79 steps too many) and then less. I can definitely be quiet, just not indefinitely.

While I am trying, and failing to be good, I have a huge amount of time on my hands. No, I don't get up on the schedule as if I were going to work, but close. Leaving me large blocks of time to contemplate the mysteries of life as I stare out the window, try and peer through the clouds to the sky above (I hope) and wait for my heel to heal, or vice versa.

I wonder about small things-how a Thermos works. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. But how does it know the difference? And I worry about big things-end times and/or the end of my time. When we say this life is a limited engagement, we are not joking and I'm looking for an edge in case, despite my fierce, insistent agnosticism, there is a Heaven. Except that I'll already be dead, I'd die from embarrassment in meeting God.

How does that go anyway? Hello, Bill. Sir. So, whatcha been up to? Oh, a little of this and a little of that, I guess. How's Your boy? He looks great in all the pictures I've seen. His mom must be very proud....
I mean just for that, I'm getting a stick with a marshmallow on it but what if He gives me a (somewhat more than) second chance? What do I have to put me over the top that somebody else doesn't.

WinRar. Don't laugh. You might not even know what it is but I do, sort of. It's a very small file that allows you to uncompress, or maybe decompress is what they said at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria, really large data files. Your computer has it; more than likely you downloaded it. But here's why I'm passing through the eye of the needle and you maybe not so much.

When you click on it to use it, there's an lmost wheedling tiny drop down window that asks you  to "please purchase a WinRar license' because, despite what you think, it "is not freeware. After a 40 day trial (Noah helped develop this?) you must buy a license or remove the program from your machine." Well, did you? That is the question.

One or the other, compadre. Fish or cut bait. The Lady or the Tiger. Waitaminit, what if that's what God asks you standing in the doorway of the Kingdom of Heaven. Did you buy a license? Hint: the correct answer is NOT 'how much is it?' Guess who knows and who did? The surprisingly quiet semi-swamp Yankee. Sometimes you can use an ankle to think.
-bill kenny      

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