(c)2020 RO (Ted) Russ
“F*ck this,” grumbled the square of sticky bandage. “Two extra days you kept me stuck on here because you’re too cheap to change your boop patches every seven days – just to save a few bucks!”
It detached itself from my shoulder, fell on the table, and humped inchworm-wise to the edge, where it paused, expectantly. A drop of sweat formed over my good eye and ran down.
“THAT. That’s what I’m talking about” the TDS patch continued. “You say you’ve got chronic pain and yeah I notice that you do (I’m a pain patch ya know and it’s my job to notice those things ya know?) but then you go and do sh*t like this. Nuclear strength pain-causing noodles! AND you do it a full two days past my effing effective date. Sheesh!”
The flippant little precious pain patch dropped off the kitchen bench and kept humping itself along towards the bin like some kind of caterpillar, but a caterpillar that was as wide as it was long and had been stuck on someone’s arm for a week. (And two days. I have to emphasise that cos I promised the little bastard that I’d give it a fitting memorial.)
When it arrived at the bin it tried to hump its way up the side but the seven day adhesive was well and truly expired by then, and it lay there feebly swearing at me in fluent buprenorphine. Choice language, too. Probably more used to boop addicts than real work, if you ask me. It figures.
I took pity on it and picked it up and threw it in the bin, and went back to the bowl of cheap “Spicy Chicken-Like Flavor” ramen and took another forkful of the rubbery noodles and shovelled them in.
Christ this stuff was like fiery paint stripper. Now I understood why they put the hot spice in a separate sachet, and why it was probably not a good idea to just dump the whole lot into the bowl. It’s most probably half cayenne pepper and half crystallised battery acid from the taste of it. And there’s no hint of any fowl-like flavour that you’d be able to detect if your taste buds weren’t already totalled by the heat.
I stopped eating again and went the Anything Cupboard and fished out the new boop patch I was supposed to have stuck on two days ago. “Yer not gonna leave me on ya to work unpaid overtime like you did with Raoul, are ya?” it grouched. I told it to STFU and stuck it on a new clear spot of skin. The grumble settled into silence as it got busy delivering painkiller.
I’d never thought about it before, but now I realised that of course, pain patches had to have names just like everyone else. It figures, right?
Meanwhile with every forkful, Freddy was going crazy in my other eye. Hi, folks, meet Freddy Floater, a huge chunk of eye jelly that detached itself a month ago to float around my left eye and is now making life hell whenever I try to read or type – waving around in there like a demented hairball vomited up by the cat. I don’t think Freddy appreciates the finer things in life like H2SO4 flavoured noodles…
I take a moment to catch you guys up on The News Of My Life so I’ll be sure and write it into the story. I mean, life’s life but sometimes it’s interesting to see how the other person lives, amirite? A catalog of “life events, other person’s, for the pleasure of.” You can’t beat vicarious living for a living.
They can’t fix Freddy but they’re going to remove a cataract in that eye, a cataract they found while checking that Freddy hadn’t smacked up my retina or anything else. Ain’t nothing so bad that they couldn’t find even more wrong… Figures…
I wonder idly if the ‘cat‘ in the word ‘cataract’ is responsible for barfing Freddy into my eye, and why they can’t also just yank Freddy out along with the cataract, but that’s ophthalmologists for you, go in for a floater, come out with two problems instead of one, one’s inoperable and that’ll be two hundred dollars for this visit thank you sir.
Freddy likes Freddy Fender music. Figures. The only music that’ll stop Freddy’s energetic visual irritations is class 2 strength irritating music. I’ll put up with the frenetic waving and distortion thank you…
Actually, I think the reason FF music seems to pacify FF is because it sends me catatonic, a natural defense mechanism designed to prevent me slitting my wrists or banging my head against the nearest hard surface. But then I’m not a doctor, so who knows? Hehehe, ‘catatonic’ d’ya see what I did there? No? Oh yeah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Hang in there!
I notice that the reddish haze over the bowl of ramen has decreased, and hopefully take another forkful. It’s definitely less destructive once the temperature drops, so I finish it off. The drop of sweat meanwhile has been joined by a couple dozen of its buddies and I’m mopping them away in waves.
My good eye waters and wavers. I wave back. Weird new thing in the story, category “waters, wavers, and waivers.” I watch people reading the story up to this point and realise I’m supposed to finish it off.
One of the cats wanders in and sits and looks at me. Pickle’s my familiar, he’s pretty humanised and socialised and I reckon he knows when I’ve got the irrits and comes to settle me down. (Also, it’s a perfect way to tie together all those ‘cat’ words. Yep, it was all just a plot device to catch your eye…)
“Geez buddy, I have had the weirdest morning. My pain patch backchatted me because I’m trying to make them last a bit longer, whoever it is that manufactures MY cat food is trying to kill as many people as possible by the feel of it, and our mate Fre… – ” I break off because talking to the cat is just whack, right?
As I move, my little homebrew kitchen lighting setup picks up on the movement and switches on the light near the sink so I can rinse the bowl. The click stirs Pickle into action. He winks slowly, washes a paw, and then grabs a tinkly ball to play fetch with me. “C’mon hoomin, you need to unwind” he purrs.
Today’s gonna be a great day..