I truly love when Kara comes over to play cribbage. It can be any evening of the week, really, but for some reason, its when she comes over on Friday nights that I really get to have a touch of fun. She’ll usually bring a six pack of some beer, we’re not pressed for time, and we get a chance to laugh and giggle and gossip like two ridiculous little school girls, rather than talk shop. She knows I spend all day and all night knitting, and knows sometimes its best for me to put the needles down and be a dork for a minute.
Now, Kara and I have been playing cribbage with this same little board she gave me as a gift years ago. Its one of my prized possession. I love it! LOVE that board and I’ve kept it close to me as one of those gifts that isn’t worth anything to anyone, but me. I love the time we get to spend together (she is my best friend, of course), but I love that when we play cribbage I get to escape. Kara is a masterful player, and in the years we’ve been playing the game, I’ve gotten better and better, to the point where I actually win a few games now and then. And our usual ritual is quite easy. First person to win two games wins. And inevitably we have to play three games because we both have one a game. So, not bragging or anything, but I’ve become a really good player and love that I get to win sometimes.
As was the case last night. I was winning and was about to “skunk” Kara (see a cribbage rule book). And just before I did, she not only sneaked out from behind the skunk line, but won the game. “DAMN!” But, I’m hardly a sore loser. I love to play, so I said, “Hey! I’d love to have some pics of us playing, so that I can share them on my blog.” Kara took some pics of the board with my little red pegs ahead, and a great one of Mario sitting in my lap telling me which cards to play.
The night came to a close, Kara went home, then emailed me the pics. I don’t know if you noticed the same thing I did, but when I saw the pics, my heart sank. I couldn’t believe how much weight I had lost, how skinny I was. Then it dawned on me, a conversation one of my old acquaintances had with me that seemed at the time rather off topic and out of nowhere, but now seems to make sense. He asked me how I was “physically.”
“Well, when was the last time you were tested?”
“Gee, I dunno. About 2 years ago….why do you ask?”
“Was just wondering…..You just don’t look as healthy as you used to. So, I was wondering if you had been tested….”
Hmmm. Ok. Now, I understand why he would ask. Yes. I weigh 122 pounds right now. And God knows, the last two years have been a nightmare. A NIGHTMARE. With the stress of that, the stress of not being able to make rent, compounded with not being able to buy massive amounts of groceries, compounded with a hyper active personality that is always ALWAYS working and rarely sleeping, yes CAN cause some pretty drastic physical changes. Sorry, old acquaintance, but the days of my lounging on Sunday for brunch are over. The days of going out for the evening at 10pm to a room filled with overly critical queens is OVER. Being able to sniff my nose at food because I don’t approve of how it was grown is OVER. And it kinda angered me that in this particular community if you’ve gone incredibly thin the only explanation can possibly be illness. And not just ANY illness…..but, the biggie. AIDS. Oh! And just so you know, and if we may speak candidly and a touch adult? I tested negative….because I haven’t been intimate with someone in about 3 years. (and if you ask me, THAT is the real tragedy here….but, you don’t think about stuff like when you’re trying to scrounge up food).
But, looking at those pics, I saw first hand what all of this has done to my body and I was just….a touch terrified. Stress and poor eating habits and no sleep. Does a body poorly. Granted pics of my face get taken often and I like to think I’ve got one charming smile. I really do. But, man….122 pounds… at 6 foot????
New friends like Ruan and old friends like Marie (whom I think has been with this blog since the very beginning) mentioned I ought to put up my donate button again. My dear DEAR friend Trasi once told me to think of it as my “yarn bowl,” and that like any artist, if people appreciate my writing and my knitting as they walk by, then its there as an open way for people to show appreciation and to help. My double pointed knitting needles going a mile a second can easily compete with the grand strumming of an acoustic guitar on the sidewalk.
So, my donate button is back up. I’m not going to be able to continue on this particular stretch for too much longer. Think about it. I mean look how skinny I’ve gotten? Its true, rent is late again, still haven’t raised it all, electric company is sending little warning letters….But, like I wrote in my last post, I don’t need to be a rich man. I just need the basics.