In Twenty-Four Hours


 

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I could begin by telling you it was a dark and stormy night. I wouldn’t be lying as clichéd as it sounds.

And for the record, most nights are dark at some point, though not necessarily stormy.

I had gone for a run with my running clinic. It’s been tough lately, but over the last few weeks a new resolve has begun to emerge.

I will be working with a personal trainer effective November 1, 2014. I am going back into training mode.

I want to get healthy, I want to get conditioned. Come January 2015 if I feel I am prepared I will enter into training for the ½ Marathon in May 2015.  No more excuses. No more feelings of defeat.

The other night I dreamt I was running through Queen’s Park. It was still dark out and I was greeting the trees, the air, the moon, the earth…and I felt so light, so alive…

Then I woke.

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It was a dream of what I used to do a little over a year ago. I realized in that moment how much I want that simple pleasure back. The tears stung my eyes as I curled up into my pillows.

I’ve got several goals that I want to bring to fruition over the next little while and the only way I know how to do this is to buckle down and get ‘er done!

In any case, let’s get back to this dark and stormy night of mine.

I had puttered about the place when I got home. I made dinner and cleaned up.

Then I worked on some old photographs, scanning them into my computer and giving them new life to share with family and friends.

A few ideas popped into my head regarding stories for future books. I’ve several on the go now. I think I have a story to be told in every genre at this point.

I was happily tired when I slipped between the sheets.

Nirvana claimed me swiftly and I fell into a deep and restful slumber.

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I like to keep my bedroom window open just a bit to keep fresh air circulating year round. Else wise I find it can get just a little too stuffy.

There is something very comforting about curling up in my blankets with the cool of the room surrounding me. The exhaustion of the day found me melting into my bed as each muscle tensed then relaxed gratefully.

I was a good two hours or so into this night’s sleep when something drifted softly over, caressing my face.

I was being summoned back into the waking world.

A strange howl now filtered into my ears as I was drawn from the realm of sleep. The sensations of my faced being stroked caused alarm.

It was a rude awakening at this point. Disorientated, my eyes popped open. I was in a defensive and combative mood as I rose from the sleep state.

Above me a white billowy thing hung in the air. It was massive, big man!

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From somewhere a scream erupted. It was from me as my brain now began feverishly to put together these events and respond accordingly.

The howling that had assaulted my ears upon waking began to dissipate and with it the white billowy omnipresence that, for a nanosecond, held me captive in all my vulnerability.

Awake, well kinda sorta,  with this heart of mine pounding like a jackhammer doing triple time I followed the visage of the white billowy thing.

It had drifted off toward my bedroom window.  A moment later my laughter filled the room as I curled up to one of my pillows.

The white billowing menace had been the sheer curtain that adorns my window.

I decided to get up and calm myself and watch the storm play out for a bit.  I must admit I love a stormy night.

Trees were being punished ruthlessly as the wind factor fluctuated between 85 – 100 km per/hour.

Sounds of things being knocked over or tossed about added a certain credence to the power of this thing.

And the rain, well it would come down in sheets then nothing.

I suppose the wind was just raking the storm clouds across at such a rapid pace and squeezing every cloud dry in its wake.

I smiled as I thought of how fresh the air would be in the morning and with that I returned to bed.

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Wednesday I muscled through work as a host of issues seemingly tried to impede my progress. I was indeed grateful for the day’s end.  I had gone for my nine month check*up regarding the cancer thing.  Everything looks great and they extended the period to four months before the next one.  I can dig it.

I had waited patiently for an hour after my appointment time before I was in fact ushered in.  Now I headed off to the third floor to offer up some blood for their ongoing research.  I had agreed to do this way back when, thinking that if I could help in some small way then perhaps it’s worth it.

I don’t know that I’ll continue with this, however, as the blood lab at the Cancer Agency sucks.  Not once in the year and half that I’ve been dealing with them have they been able to draw blood without butchering a few veins.

I have deep veins that are also known rollers.

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I always pass this information along to the whomever is burdened with the task of extracting blood from me.  Every other lab I’ve ever dealt with never has an issue and have always managed quite easily with this knowledge to do the job swiftly and professionally.

Not the Cancer Agency.

I graciously informed the young woman as she wrapped the rubber band around my arm to do so tightly and I made a fist.  The vein rose immediately.  Did she get the needle?  No.

She started to flick it with her finger then press down on it.

“It’s ready.”  I informed her pleasantly.

She gave me a dubious look then continued to flick her finger and press down.

I had that sense of dread now as the vein was sinking fast.  Still she got the needle ready, inserted it and started to dig around.  I was pumping my fist furiously trying to bring it back hoping it would pop again but I knew this was to no avail.  The vein had collapsed as it often does yet she continued to try and find it.

I closed my eyes and sighed.

Sheepishly the technician removed the needle and covered the area with a cotton swab and taped it down.  She apologized and said that she would get her superior to perform the task.

Then she disappeared calling “Ruby…oh, Ruby. ”

Ruby was apparently very busy.  I would have to wait.

I’d had to go and plug the parking meter once already and now I sat hoping that  I still had some time left on the hour that I’d added.  Dark thoughts entered my mind as I considered the possibility of a traffic ticket.  It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve been in this position and there are a number of traffic tickets that I simply refuse to pay.  I really believe that parking should be free for patients.

In any case Ruby sent another technician in to do the job.

The woman smiled confidently at me. “Having problems are we?”

Curious comment.

“No.  I’m not having any problems, thanks.” I smiled back.

She gave me a curious look in return and I once again explained the issue with my veins.

She wrapped the rubber band around my left arm now as the right one was done and the bruising had already begun to spread beneath the cotton swab.

I fisted up and the technician told me I shouldn’t do this then tried to loosen my fingers.  That good ‘ol sinking feeling returned as I explained that this was the best way to get the vein to pop.

She looked at me stonily and I got thinking about the meter that was ticking.

I released my fist and she began to whack my arm with two fingers and press down.  Oye!

I watched rather detached now as she slapped the crux of my arm trying to get the vein to show itself.  Then her eyes drifted down to the vein that runs prominently up the forearm.

I didn’t even have time to object.  The needle was out and in within a heartbeat.  This was not a good place and I am certain she knew this.  The blood flow was slow so I began to pump my fist to increase it.

Our eyes met then and whatever she’d been about to say was swallowed.

I wanted to punch Ruby in that moment and I don’t even know who the hell Ruby is.  Frustration washed over me in a way I don’t like.  The bruising was already beginning and it took a couple of minutes of pumping my fist before the three vials of blood were collected.  Removing the needle she placed a cotton swab on the entry point and my thumb replaced her finger.   A black bruise at least one inch in diameter had already formed.

She was contrite.

So I do believe I’ve held up my end of the bargain with regards to the research.  If they want to continue with it then they’ll have to allow me to go to the blood lab of my choice as I’m done with that one.

Fortunately no parking tickets were littering my car so I drove back to work with the radio cranked singing out of key.  The frustration now released and gone.

A torrential rainfall greeted the drive home.  I had packed up to hit the gym after work and as I snaked along the highway at a leisurely pace the exhaustion of the day began to settle in.  News of the young soldier who was gunned down at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa filtered in over the radio.  Like the majority of Canadians I felt a deep sadness settle upon me.

I came home and let the sofa envelope me as a I fell into a light sleep.

A half hour later I got up and made dinner and watched the news of the days events.

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This photo was taken a few minutes before Corporal Cirillo was gunned down.

 

A gunman with ties to some radical ‘religion’, ,and I use the term loosely, had killed Cpl. Cirillo then waltzed over to the Parliament to shoot up the place.

Why?

And you know, being chosen to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a huge honour for those selected.  The guns they carry don’t have bullets in them.  They stand for those who’ve fallen in combat.

Whatever entity the gunman felt he was serving and that will embrace him in the afterlife won’t be a fair and just one, of this, I’m certain.

A young man, a soldier, father, son, brother, friend, lover had his life stolen

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And as I crawled into bed all I could wonder was why?

Twenty-four hours had passed and now I lay mourning a young man I’d never met who was everything to so many, whose energy was fabulous.

Rest in peace Cpl. Cirillo.

 

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