Diva and I started this blog years ago, but I commandeered it 2 months ago to start posting scenes from my upcoming book. So far, you have read my posts and given me feedback. For this, I'm extremely grateful. I have learned in the past 6 months especially that writing is a constantly-evolving skill. It seems like even though I started this project in 2009, it's still a work in progress.
Being older than I once was, and slightly more patient I guess, this is somehow easier for me to take nowadays. When we're young, changes are marked. One day you're a student, and the next day you're a graduate. One day you're a minor, and the next day you're an adult. It made me think that there would be certain cutoffs later in life, where one day I'd be one thing and the next day I'd be something different. Or, one day I'd be writing a book and the next day I'd be finished with it.
Well, I'm sure that day will come, but in the meantime, I'll take you back into the fray. At this part of the story, Diva has decided to move back to Florida. I meet her in Austin, TX, to help with the drive, and mayhem ensues.
Some parts of this story are real... poor Diva was in some serious pain!
Diva and I chose a rustic truck stop for our first meal on the road, and despite my reservations, I felt like I’d made some safe choices with turkey, mashed potatoes, and a green salad dressed with vinegar and oil. Diva took a walk on the wild side and sampled a variety of foods from the buffet, including spinach greens.
When I saw the blob of dark green on her plate, my inner monologue went something like this: Isn’t that some sort of vehicle for e coli or food poisoning? Maybe I should say something. But no, she’s not asking me to eat it, and if Diva wants to eat spinach greens at a rustic truck stop in Texas, who am I to stop her? After all, there are antioxidants and nutrients in that green lump that my lunch doesn’t have. There, I won’t say anything. Not my business. If it’s Diva’s body, it’s Diva’s choice. Stop worrying yourself, Jane.
After lunch, I took over driving, with my trusty scarf in place on my lap to shield me from the sun and a fresh layer of SPF 50 on my body to combat the beams of sunlight hitting us from every possible direction. Diva’s iPod serenaded us as I drove the hatchback toward Interstate 10, and Diva took a little snooze. All was well, until it wasn’t.
By late afternoon, I was hungry again, and I heard gurgling noises come from Diva’s stomach while she slept. Figuring we were on the same page, I took an exit and found a decent-looking restaurant. As we pulled up, Diva looked at me in sheer panic, gasped, jumped out of her seat, and ran into the restaurant.
Although she was known as Diva, she really wasn’t dramatic in the traditional sense. I’d seen her cry maybe once every five years, and only during a major crisis. Once in a while, she would go on a tirade (which was pretty entertaining, actually) and really show her anger when telling a story about something unfair that happened. But panic? Crying? Not Diva. Not in the least.
“Hi there,” I said to the hostess after she’d directed a distressed Diva to the toilet facilities. “We’re on a road trip, and we’ll be eating here. My friend is just having a tough time right now.”
She raised her eyebrows and replied, “OK. Where would you like to sit?”
“Anywhere is fine,” I answered.
I ended up in a booth near the door. When the waiter came along, I ordered a ginger ale and a glass of water for Diva and another for me. Then, I waited.
I was about to get up and find her when she slowly made her way back to the front of the restaurant and found me. She would walk a few steps at a time and used the backs of booths to steady herself.
“Oh my God,” she said. “I don’t know what I did to deserve that.”
“I am so sorry,” I said.
“This never happens to me!” she said.
“Well it shouldn’t,” I answered. “I was pretty worried about those spinach greens you ate, but I didn’t say anything.”
“Well, who knows what it was,” she answered, waving her hand, “but I don’t want to eat anything right now.”
“Not even a baked potato? I got you some ginger ale.”
“I don’t know what I could handle. I’m afraid of drinking anything too.”
“You have to have something,” I said.
Then I remembered something. Thank goodness I was a Girl Scout once. That motto, Be Prepared, has served me well throughout life. What better time would there be for me to sort through my medical arsenal?
I’d recently appropriated my passport holder (which was collecting dust) to be my emergency drug holder. I carried it in my purse. I had enough medicine to suppress a migraine headache, soothe a headache or cramps, provide a jolt of vitamin C, and what was this? I found an old pill used to treat tummy troubles, expired 2 years.