My impatience is great. I think, I really do think, that if you asked past coworkers, friends, even acquaintances, you would hear the opposite. I am a woman of much patience, the ability to answer the same question many times, the willingness to step through an argument as much as necessary until (I get my way) you understand where I’m coming from…
But with myself, for myself – I am very, very impatient.
Today, I walked. Yesterday, I walked less. The day before, I was on the train and took maybe 100 steps total, all to and from the toilet. For days before that, I husbanded my steps carefully, knowing that each step I took made me less likely to be comfortable later. This stupid foot and ankle thing – which my dad has diagnosed from my descriptions (and so any errors are born from my inability to communicate) as what was called in olden times as “stone bruise”.
The symptoms are simple – starting with a golf ball swelling under the skin on top of my foot, flattening out to an overall swelling of the foot’s top. Now I have heavy bruising at the end of my foot, right behind my three middle toes. Also in the bottoms of the curves of my instep and along the outside of my foot where the tender parts meet the sole. And in my foot, on the top but inside, there is pain. It is a coming-and-going sort of pain. Pushing off with my toes when I step makes it worse, so I limp a little, coming down harder on my left foot so that my right foot doesn’t have to push. Keeping my foot up, reducing the pressure and swelling – these are the things that make it better.
So that, plus a little twinge in my ankle that means a slight sprain. Not too bad, not much to deal with, really. But it is a sprain in the very middle of my foot, and it is hard to avoid aggravating. I have done a stellar job of healing it up to this point. By missing out on Varanasi (and what a self-pitying statement that is!), I gave myself three solid days of healing, plus another three on trains. I kept my foot up most of the time on the trains, though the environment isn’t as conducive to relaxation and healing thoughts as the very comfortable Hotel Surya Varanasi.
But now James is sick. He is coughing and blowing his nose; his ears feel clogged up and his chest hurts. He feels, in short, somewhat like I did in Agra, but worse. He doesn’t want to leave the room, because just walking up and down the stairs exhausts him.
Suddenly, I’m trekking. This sickness of James’ has made me less willing to loll about somehow. We have things to do, and I need to do them!
What are these things? Well, medicine for James, a cell phone so that we can communicate with rental agents, some fruit to suit his delicate stomach, a more congenial (i.e. cheaper) place to stay while we look for a long-term living arrangement…
So there I went, strong of purpose. I spent a lot of time on the internet, contacting rental agents. I looked into a hotel to see if the pricing was better…what else did I do?
Then I went back to the hotel and had dinner with James. And then I got wanderlust again. I walked up the road, looking for the place we’d stumbled on accidentally that had cellular internet advertised. I bought bananas, found a cheaper hotel, took a bunch of photos. I tried to get a cell phone, but didn’t have enough money on me (startup is going to cost about rs.1300, or 40-some dollars).
What I didn’t do was get medicine for James. Ouch! See how I suck? Because really, though it sounds like I got some things done, I really just wandered around. I walked uphill for a while, then took what seemed to be a likely left and found myself on a wholly new road, or lane since it was too narrow for more than one narrow car at a time. As a matter of fact, I sheltered once with two young ladies between a couple of scooters while a small bus and a small car negotiated the tricky act of passing. They used a driveway opening on one side and a shop entrance on the other…
I made it back to the hotel almost miraculously. I say that because I came out only a few stores down from the hotel, on the right road, though I hadn’t even realized there was a lane there while walking on the main road! The side lanes hide themselves when you are busy with the storefronts and people. The small openings that are little roads can’t compare for sheer attention-grabbing when men rearrange their dhotis, women resettle their saris, autorickshaws dodge motorcycles, and busses create little pockets in which to travel…
Back in the room, guilty for abandoning James without medicine (twice), I read for a while, with my foot up. Oh, yeah – my foot! Well, it was fat and achy, but I wasn’t admitting that while I edited the photos I’d taken. It took a couple of hours for the throbbing to fade, and then restlessness hit again.
A couple of doors down was a restaurant that advertised free wifi internet. They had the wifi, but not the internet. Unable to check on the emails I sent to rental agents, I am simply writing. And eating. It is a restaurant, after all.
Without being able to post these writings, it seems rather silly. I am sitting here and my sandal gets tighter and tighter on my swelling foot, but I can’t bring myself to go back to the hotel room. I’ve been confined too long, and out-and-about is what I’m after. I would even go to a club or bar right now, sit on the sidelines and watch people signal their desires across a loud room. But instead, I will go back to the room.
Even the little delay I’ve allowed (created, nurtured, stretched) is a guilty indulgence, because this time (third time’s the charm) I finally got medicine for James! Okay lover – here I come to save the day!