Welcome to the home of nrlymrtl. This is where Darkcargo safely shelves me when I am not needed to provide snarky comments on books, reading, readers, and movie tie-ins. The pen name nrlymrtl came about my first year of college. I thought I was being oh so clever by removing all the vowels. Nearly Mortal is how I say it in my head, but an old college boyfriend thought it stood for Narly Myrtle. Yeah, that made me snort laugh too.
Nearly Mortal was a bit of sarcasm and defiance rolled into one. After a lifetime of illness, at age 17, I felt a little like flying a flag of defiance. The emergency C-section birth, my kidney disease, and other ails had not killed me yet.
The college years flew by, the nrlymrtl penname was shelved. Life went on. Then Darkcargo sprung out of my best good buddy’s head and I felt the need for a penname because I do value privacy. Well, nrlymrtl still fit for a number of reasons. It’s still been a lifetime of illness, but I have learned that life can be so rich and fulfilling without traveling the world, obtaining a PhD, running a 50-acre petting zoo, and [insert 17-year-old idea of life achievement].
Here you’ll find a few peices that either weren’t published on the Darkcargo Homepage, per my preference, or items that bring a warm memory to mind. Enjoy!
Fire and Ice, Here and Not
Burning like a candle, incandescent and incoherent
Smoldering like a coal, restless betwixt one thing and another
Touch me fool and see if you join my flame!
Cold, like the heart of a glacier
Wrapped up and sweating ice chips
Touch me fool; be the ice that ends my gibbering.
Cool running water returns me to myself
In need, deep need, to end this fever
Fool that I am, smears the tears from my face.
Peace With Earth And Sky
The rain pattered down, making rings of sudden, fading movement in the existing puddles.
The shifting gray of the skies reflecting the inner fog. I hung in that moment.
My spirit breathing calmly; in and out. Pat-lat-pat.
The rain continued.
I felt myself unfurling, petal by petal. Rain is life giving, and yet more.
The little stops of silence in between the rain drops allows me to center myself.
How I ache for these small moments; for they are few and far between.
I breathe with the earth.
The earth and I know what this rain is, how precious it is.
For this short amount of time, there is no past and no future.
I become something greater than myself in sharing this peace with earth and sky.
– nrlymrtl, 03/29/2011
Here I was in yet another waiting room. It wasn’t too different from other waiting rooms, such as the one at the hospital, urgent care, blood draw station, dentist, physical therapy, or my normal clinic. There were seats that imitated comfort poorly and magazines that someone somewhere may have found interesting with titles like Sunset Golf for Geriatrics, Intestinal Health, and Fiber Favorite Cooking. The receptionists were just as overworked and unfriendly as all the other waiting rooms. They go to work and see sick people all day; I would be cranky too.
The difference with this waiting room was that I was the youngest by 20 or 30 years, easily. People shot me looks, trying to guess who I was attached to. Was I bringing my grandma? A dottering old uncle? When it dawns on them that I am there for the same reasons as they, there is pity in their eyes. I had been visiting this waiting room, multiple times a year, since 2002 and only once had I seen a woman a few years younger than me. We happen to be sitting across from each other. We stared at each other. There was so much I wanted to ask, yet we were strangers. She was already Stage 5 and on the transplant list. As of this date, I am only early Stage 4.
But this was a different day. I could tell by the frenzy in the air, the packed waiting room, that I would have perhaps an hour-long wait to see my doctor. I normally have a little anxiety in the waiting room, mostly because I can see snippets of my future in the elderly around me. Some have chosen to be hooked up to a machine to clean their blood 2-4 times a week. You can sometimes see the fistulas on the arms. Some have chosen to have a catheter inserted into their belly and carry a sack around that has to be changed every 6 hours or so. Sometimes the fistulas burst during dialysis and another has to be surgically created in another arm, or leg, or at that tender place where neck meets collarbone. Sometimes the belly catheter becomes infected.
There are, of course, other reasons to be in that waiting room. Like me, people could be waiting for Stage 5, total kidney failure, to come around. But in the meantime, other minor organs start to go out of whack or fail due to lack of full kidney function. The thyroid was the first for me to show damage. It was easily compensated for with a daily pill – which will be for life, since there is no repairing this damage even after a transplant. The next was my parathyroid which is needful for vitamin D creation and calcium absorption. I will be on vitamin D for the rest of my life – easy enough. Add another pill to the daily 8 or 10. However, eventually my calcium absorption will go really out of whack and calcium will no longer make my bones strong and will instead deposit in joints, causing arthritis.
The next reason people are in this waiting room is because they have had a transplant. Blood work will continue to be done every 3-4 months, even after a transplant to monitor the health of the kidney. Anti-rejection drugs will have to be monitored and tweaked to kidney happiness. The immune system will have to be reinforced to the extent possible.
So all this and more do I see around me on this busy day. I hate being here. I hate being part of this statistic group; one of the outliers. In one quick glance I take it all in, sit down, and clamp my feelings down into a little corner. I pull out my Kindle and try to lose myself in a story. After an hour and ten minutes, my name is called and I meet once again with my doctor, the man who, eventually, will perform my transplant operation. He is a cool guy and I enjoy his encouragement and steady, even voice. We’re done in 10 minutes and I am free to walk out of that office. It will only be a month or less before my Kindle and I are in another waiting room. But it will be three whole months before I am again in this waiting room.
– nrlymrtl, 10/30/10
A knitting friend had been telling me off and on for three years to try an audiobook during my commute. Well, I had certain set ideas about audiobooks:
Snort, “I know how to read, thank you very much. Ha! Only the illiterate and lazy bother with audiobooks”.
Such comments were received with chill silence and raised eyebrows. In fact, I am sure you are quirking an eyebrow at this right now. Because surely you are more well-rounded than I and have discovered long ago the joys of audiobooks.
My best good buddy has insisted, in bits and pieces, in bringing me into the 21st century and part of that effort involved giving me her old iPod. Yes, quite a mysterious little blue and white tab of metal and plastic. The mystery deepened as I tried to learn how to use the software – my first experience with an Apple product. The easiest seemed to be an audiobook – getting said file from computer to iPod only took two hours and 70% of my palabras malas vocabulary.
By then it was time to do some house cleaning and the iPod became my chore co-pilot. Hence, my love affair with audiobooks was born. Next was the trip to the library to see what miniscule collection of audiobooks they had available – and to my surprise there was a whole wall of audiobooks. And there were even audiobooks in the sci-fi and fantasy categories. So I checked out two, intending to leave one in my husband’s truck for him to enjoy and be properly converted to the world of audiobooks. It only took an extra 2 months and desperate boredom to do so.
A year later, I find it nearly impossible to travel in a vehicle without an audiobook. It has also educated me on the need to NOT take little snippets of overheard conversation out of context.
And love’s throbbing scepter sprung free.
Fantasy Audiobook went on as I tried to juggle the steering wheel, gear shift, window button, and badge. A most serious-looking guard gave me a dour look while he inspected my badge to ensure I was not some depraved criminal master mind.
Snippets of Fantasy Audiobook continued to pour out my window.
Her hot moist breath….
This guard was looking very serious, and bored. I am sure he was contemplating subjecting my vehicle and me to a random search.
She brought out the leather lash and the velvet cord and proceeded….
My cheeks were burning crimson by now and only a few seconds had passed. Suddenly the guard gave me a smile and a wink. With a tattooed arm, he handed my badge back and motioned me through.
My cell buzzed. I quickly checked the number. Tis the boss. I answered while shifting, which meant Sci-Fi Audiobook was still going.
“Good morning sir, what’s up?”
We’re going down in flames! We need to seal the compartments and vent the starboard side to save the ship!
Oh my goodness! “Sorry, sir, I didn’t catch all that, could you please repeat?”
Abort! Abort! Abort!
“No sir. That was just the radio. We don’t need to put a hold on the report. I can send it over later today”.
What’s wrong with you man, we need to save as much of the ship as possible! Are you a f*ck-wit twice over on your uncle’s side?
Dammit! “I’m going out of range sir. I’ll call you when I get into the office.” Pause, pressing the phone as tightly to my head as possible to block out the sound from the stereo. “Yes, morning radio programming has gotten a bit more liberal these days, hasn’t it sir?”
I picked up a coworker in my car and was hurried as usual. As he sits down, Informational Audiobook is still going.
When inseminating a pig, it is important to sit on her back while inserting the sperm-containing catheter. This mimics the weight of a boar. Also of interest is the fact that a female pig’s clitoris resides within the vaginal opening.
After quickly shutting off the stereo, an understandably long silence filled the air.
– nrlymrtl, 10/10/2010