Friday, August 27, 2010

First venture out…

My boss has become the Godfather. He is presently residing inside the parsonage across the street from the church in a soft leather recliner. He started receiving some appointments and there have been some people seeking him out as well. I haven't seen anyone kiss his hand yet. I think that at this point that kind of thing wouldn't be a very good idea. His right arm is being held prisoner to his body by a curious looking stripped down straitjacket. It wraps and holds tight and travels all around to the other side to wrap and hold tight again. All of this in a perky shade of white. That arm is not going anywhere for a while and he isn’t either. His left hand/arm is bored and looks a little lost.

Someone loaned him a piece of equipment that has managed to give some relief to his aches, but I have to say I am confused by the contraption. The small white cube shaped cooler has two blue flexible tubes coming out of it. They wrangle and wave like the whiskers on a catfish but they have a very important job to do. They connect to a shawl that looks like bubblewrap with a lovely blue cover. The tubes deliver cool/iced water to the entire area that is injured. It’s kinda neat. The shawl stays attached to his shoulder with matching blue ace bandages. The machine sounds like a hesitant pump. It says "poooosh" then nothing."pooooosh" again and then nothing.

 I have bonded with the ice pump this week. I’ve learned how to work it and put it on the patient patient. I expect my certification license to come in any day. Something has been bothering me about it, though. The machine is a miracle worker,the idea  came from an obviously brilliant mind. I’m just thinking that this machine was created for people who can’t move well, who are hurt and need to sit in the shawl and rest. So, why do you think there is no on/off button within reach?

I came by a couple of days ago to check on the pastor patient, and the machine was off, shawl off. He asked me to help him put it on, and I did. While I waited for the poosh sound, the newly injured and weak-eyed boss slipped past me, gently treaded across the carpet  to a dresser a few feet away and picked up a ginormous plug. “Now I just have to plug it in and we’re all ready.” As he tentatively  reached behind the dresser to plug the machine in, I said, “Stop! I’ll do that.” He looked relieved. The worn out one-armed pastor meandered back to his chair and melted into it. …..

 Are you kidding me? Talk about a bad joke. Did the inventor really expect people who are in bad enough shape to use this machine to be able to get up, walk over anywhere and plug/unplug the darn big bazooka  plug? I decided that the inventor must have had some serious unresolved issues when he created this thing.... might have had to do with caring for his ailing mother when he was really wanting to go outside and play baseball with the team.

 I went to the hardware store and got a surge protector that reached to his chair and now he just has to turn it on or off. He can do that very well with his toe. Toes don't get to do much except wiggle and point.  What in the world was so hard about that, Mr. Inventor? I’m sorry to say that I hope you get a splinter one day that you can’t find. And I hope it hurts for a while.

After a couple of days of agony, my boss’s brain began to clear and send him whispers, “Go to church. Get up out of that chair and go to work. Go visit someone who is in pain, pray and plan a service or two. Go on now, do it.”

His body was sending him answers to those whispers on a louder scale. “DO NOT MOVE OR SHIFT YOUR BODY OR BREATHE TOO DEEPLY.BE STILL. IF YOU INSIST ON VISITING SOMEONE IN PAIN, VISIT YOUR OWN SELF. PLAN A SERVICE OR TWO IN YOUR DREAMS. GO ON NOW, DO IT.” The tug of war continued and grew stronger until he decided to prove his brain right and so he got up and waited by his window to watch the church finish the day and settle in for the night. He gazed through a cracker jack telescope (because the binoculars were just too heavy for his out of shape free hand.). He waited as the last Bible Study closed and the members left. He waited while two friends stood outside and talked through their day. He watched the lights go off one by one and he waited until even the bunnies who frequented the churchyard settled in for a good sleep.

Unfortunately, after being in a recliner for 3 days, the standing wait exhausted him and the pain meds got tired, too and wore off, so back to the recliner he shuffled- carefully and as still-like as he could go. An odd thought crossed his mind as he sank into the chair. "I'm glad we don't have earthquakes around here." He fought off the shudder inside him that heard that thought.

He was awakened by the sound of the morning paper hitting the front storm door and knew the time was right, and short, so he eased himself out of the chair and hiked the rugged terrain of the parking lot over to the sleeping church. The steeple light led him across the street. All was quiet but for the gentle jingle of his church keys and the nearly silent, lower case sounds coming from his own mouth with every other step. “ouch” step step “ahhrgh” step step. “yeow”.  His right fingers were thrilled to finally be given a useful and painless job, holding the keys.

He made it to the front door, looked through the glass and saw the alarm was shining green. “Whew, no alarm to deal with this early morning.” Out of habit, his right hand tried to put the key in the lock, but the automatic movement came to a screeching stop when the straitjacket prevented the motion and the pain of even considering it screamed at him to “STOP”

“Oh, yeah.” He relaxed and let the pain drizzle away.

His left arm started twitching and his fingers were full of energy. “It’s our turn!!! We can do it!!! We want to try!! Give us the keys, we’ll get the job done, by golly!!” His left hand swept up and gently, out of sensitivity for it’s mirror twin, took the keys out of the pained right hand.

In his mind’s eye, the key made a beeline for the lock- zip, zing, turn. In reality, he watched as the keys tried to cast the  awkward hand closer to the lock. “Look, we’ve not done dexterity trials in a while, give us a break. Give us a minute, will you? “

He watched as the working left hand moved the keys closer to the general area of the lock finally zero-ing in on the keyhole. Alas, the key was upside down. He stared at his fingers and willed them into turning the key around in preparation for a second go. Key hit glass. Move it over a bit. There. Key hit metal, missing hole.

The Pastor froze in aggravation  and looked around.

“Oh dear Lord, how long have I been here? He glanced at the sky and was relieved to see the sun had just barely started to show a bit of shine to the coming day. The key was still maintaining contact with the metal.

With a bit of a left-handed jiggle, the key finally made it into the keyhole. What a feat! The surrounding audience of churchyard grass and morning dew applauded and wept at the long awaited success. Surely  Ripley would be interested in publishing this exciting accomplishment in the next Believe it or not edition. He stared at the connection between key hole and key and with deep concentration, he watched his hand turn. Although he was making good use of his one good hand, the left, he was still thinking in right hand mode, so instead of unlocking the door, he locked and re-locked it.

Deep breath. Try again. The key turned, the lock released and he was free to enter his workplace, his worshipful space, his church. His hand tugged gently on the key, getting a head start on opening the door.

His right hand tried to reach the door handle , to open it as he had done every day for the last 6 years, and immediately recoiled from the mistake.The door settled back into its frame and the lock clicked back in place.

 Sad eyes peered through the glass. He was soooo close. He could see the welcome mat just inside the doorway, patiently waiting to welcome him to HBUMC. He saw the outline of the front desk and the round lights on the elevator against the back wall. “We’re right here, Pastor. Take your time. We’re not going anywhere.”

Two tries later and he was in. He was in, exhausted and ready to go back home to the recliner. He could feel it calling to him, the soft leather saying, “Come on back, my friend. Come back and rest. We’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

Determination kept him moving forward. He shuffled through the lobby, around the corner and approached his office door. His working hand reached for the handle and pressed down.

The door wouldn’t budge. His office was locked.

If you have ever experienced the power of a perturbed pastor’s silent scream then you will understand why , at that moment, the sleeping bunnies awoke and ran away as if a fox was on their tails. You will know why the pictures hanging on the hall walls rattled, and you will feel sad in your heart to see what flocks of birds that live in churchyard trees look like when their feathers fly right off of their sleeping skins.

The silent scream woke up some much needed endorphins, and he felt a wave of patience break over him. He shuffled three steps over and leaned inside the mailroom, his free arm reaching in a cubby for the spare key. Yes. It was there. That’s a first.

He relaxed and entered his office. He walked around his desk and slowly lowered his weary self  into his chair. He had made it to land at last.


Anonymous said...

I feel his pain and I am exhausted! Excellent update- keep them coming. Loonygin

Louise said...

I'm exausted after all that, but not as much as HE was!!.
Your Bird friend

Recovering Church Lady said...

Hi Church Lady, I am your newest "Follower" and I was drawn to you by your name which, as you can see is really close to mine.
I'll be back, I enjoy your ventures. I have also been a preschool teacher and a church secretary among other things!