A Long Walk On Hot Concrete, the New Person in the Mirror, a Visit to my WLS Surgeon, Blue Cross Are Liars, Asian Women Are Beautiful, Mr. Circumcision, a Bright Golden Orange Dragonfly, and a Complicated Tropical Dream of Mango and Coconut Filled Swimming Pools in Maui.
Please be sure to go on over to my guy's journal and check out the beautiful song he wrote for me called An Angel Called Jacqueline. I prefer his own sexier acoustic version but this one is good nevertheless.
I have gotten so out of the practice of looking at myself in the mirror and liking what I see that it surprises me, happily surprises me, when I catch a glance of myself unaware and like what I see. That's how I felt just now when I came back from a long barefoot, burning asphalt and concrete walk in the hot sun with my neighbor Karen and her dog. I was so proud of myself for forcing myself get away from the computer and out of this house, and for hopping from shade patch to shade patch on my burning feet for blocks longer than I formerly could have gone, and with another human being on top of it. Then I came home, collapsed on my front step/stoop, enjoyed the view of my garden, the freshly pebble filled front walk, (Thank you Tom my beloved friend and gardener), the new decomposed granite covering the pathways around the herbs and rose bushes, and the spinning wind rainbow disk things that I got for the kids.
I felt so good getting exercise in the middle of the day, and the girls across the street had all be so kind to me. The compliments you get from people when you lose weight are just never ending. People are so supportive and kind. It's pretty hard to be depressed (Well, as long as you isolate yourself in a selfish little bubble and stay away from the news, but how long can you really do that for?) when people are being so wonderful to you all the time, cheering you on, commiserating with you over the desire to eat and lay around -- how cruel it is that you can't just do that and remain at whatever fat weight you've arrived at and stay there, accepting that you'll never be a starlet size two. It's cruel that the scale keeps running up and up, never stopping, no matter how high it gets, and you tell yourself that there's no way it'll ever go any higher, but then of course it does.
But I was telling you about how happy I felt when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had just rummaged around in my closet trying to find something to wear to meet the contractor my Mom's sending over to look at some of our, ahem, problem areas. I am hating all of my clothes but what the hell else is new, (you know, you know exactly what I'm talking about), picked out a stripey red dress that I thought would look horrible, went to pee, stood up and then was shocked that I liked the way the person who was looking back at me from the mirror looked. I could see the difference that everyone is talking about. Gone were those fat patches on my upper arms, gone the fat under my armpits just behind my boobs, I looked okay in this dress. Wow, this is fun!
Never mind that I'm hungry and thirsty and all I could eat for breakfast was one bite of Cream of Wheat and two sips of a protein drink. What matters to me is that I am losing weight and I truly don't feel deprived. I believe that I can eat whatever I want, (okay, with the exception of say Entenmans and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but really, fuck them, truly, those artery clogging, greasy food promoting bastards), and I don't feel like I'm suffering through one more miserable diet. If I want Mexican food I'll have it. I'll just eat two chips dipped lightly in guacamole instead of twenty. If I want ice cream I'll have one, or at the most two, guilty bites of someone else's, and I won't have to eat a whole pint of Coffee Haagen Dazs, grossed out at the idea that I'm eating some poor cow's frozen breast milk, while her calf is half starving in some crate, waiting to be fed to some sick "veal" eating shit somewhere.
Yesterday I went to see my terrific, dearly loved weight loss surgeon, Dr. Carson Liu, whose feet I would gladly bathe in expensive scented oils and slather with kisses. You have no idea how serious I am about this, but please don't tell his gorgeous, drop-dead-beautiful wife Jessica, his business manager, who I met for the first time yesterday when she came into the room to break the happy news to me that my insurance company, (the crooked and vile Blue Cross), have decided to pay only eight-hundred-and-seventy-five dollars of his nine thousand dollar bill. This after having told me over the phone that they would cover everything but a thousand dollars of it. What was I thinking in not getting it in writing? *Jacqui smacks her head in stupefaction.*
Handsome, talented, genius Dr Liu has a sweetheart of a nurse, Christina, who is also staggeringly beautiful, (I just happen to think Asian women are some of the most beautiful women on the planet and that's all there is to say about it), so when I saw this other gorgeous Chinese-America woman I started thinking, "Wait a second here, why is this guy only hiring beautiful Asian women with wonderful hair, and isn't that a bit of an unfair hiring practice?" Then all of a sudden I figured it out, she had just been talking about her little nine month old daughter, Dr. Liu has a new little daughter so I said,"You're Doctor Liu's wife aren't you?" and when she said yes I just grabbed her a gave her a great big hug. She was so cute about it too. She made me promise not to tell anyone, but now of course I'm writing about it on my journal, but that's not the same thing as blabbing it all around the office.
Later after the other nice nurse, the one who gives shots so well you can't even feel them, had taken my vitals, and we were on our way to the gigantic techno-super-whiz weigh-in scale, I caught sight of a very overweight man in a suite talking with Dr. Liu and another doctor. They were just leaving the room and as they left I just couldn't help my buoyant friendly self, I bounced over towards this guy and said, "Oh don't worry at all. This is the best decision you will ever make. You are going to be so happy you did this. Dr. Liu is the best. Look at me I've lost eighty-six pounds in just a few months and already it's turned my whole life around."
I just wanted to cheer the guy up, give him a little shot of confidence, a little brotherly fat gal to fat guy love kind of thing. But he probably felt the way I have always felt when people butt in and tell me about Herbalife or ask me when the baby's due, and I guess I shouldn't have done it because he took one angry look at me and growled, "You've made a mistake. I'm here for a circumcision!" and with that he turned his back on me and slammed the door to his room, leaving me standing there with my mouth hanging open. Although it turns out he really was there for the surgery. Poor guy, I still want to give him a hug. Grouchy people are always such a challenge.
Still later when I was about to get my monthly B shot, (which I will have to have for the rest of my life, because the surgery has left me unable to assimilate B), that I had hoped to get from my favorite nurse, I'll call her Nurse #1, the other nurse, (who is perfectly nice, and who we will call Nurse #2), started preparing the syringe. But I wanted Nurse #1 to give it to me because when she gave it to me the last time I didn't even feel it. So when my favorite nurse, Nurse #1 walked by, I gave her this desperate, pleading look and made little shot-like hand signals behind the other nurse's back and she caught my drift. Then Nurse #1 cut in and asked Nurse #2 if she wouldn't mind if she gave me the shot.
I came over and said, "I'm sorry, it's just that when she gave me the shot last time it was so amazing I didn't even feel it. But don't feel bad I'm sure your shots are fine too, and who knows maybe she'll blow it this time and it'll hurt like hell." Then I gave her an apology hug, (hell, I'll hug anyone these days), and Nurse #1 and I went into one of the little suites. After I got the shot that I didn't even feel, I walked to the back of the closed door and screamed "Ouch!!!" as loudly as I could. Then we both came back out of the room and tried to keep straight faces while we looked at the other nurse who was standing in the middle of the hall with her mouth hanging open, and then we all burst out laughing. I laughed so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes and Nurse #2 kept telling us over and over how there was no way that we had fooled her, and that no one yells like that when they get a shot. Lots of fun all around.
Picture by Bill Arnett
This pretty little dragonfriend is almost as beautiful as the one I saw.
Just one more little story before my dream -- There was this stunningly-beautiful, bright, fiery orange dragonfly that was perched on the very tip of my Mother's car antennae, when I was leaving her house the other day. I looooove dragonflies, love, love, love them. I think they are magical and lucky like hummingbirds and bat rays. This one had a furry, bright orange body the color of the sun when it's setting, and wings that were translucent where they connected with his body and at their tips, but that had a bold stripe of that amazing orange right down the middle of each of them.
He, (I try to be fair to the sexes and use she as much as possible but this guy just felt like a he), seemed to be attracted to the shiny black ball on the end of the antennae and was dripping the wire and then bobbing his head back and forth towards the ball. I was so close I could see his eyes and every little detail of his wings. I just stood there frozen for so many minutes until another dragon fly buzzed us and my orange friend gave chase. Then he came right back again, circled over me and went back to his perch on Mom's antennae. It was amazing, such a terrific moment, and another reminder that I should never go anywhere without my digital camera.
Okay so here is the dream that I started writing about early this morning but that has taken me until now to finish. I've been remembering my dreams a lot lately and they've been interesting enough to me to want to write them down. This one was all about this luscious Polynesian hotel restaurant in Hawaii and my running around without underwear. I'm going to put it behind the cut for those of you who can't bear to slog through people's dreams.
This dream is set in Hawaii on Maui at Mama's Fish House. If you've ever been there you'll understand completely what I'm describing but if not it's this little tropical paradise of a restaurant that was designed by a man and his wife who bought a yacht from Richard Burton, sailed it around the tropics for a few years until they tired of the sailing, and came back to Maui where they picked this beautiful bay with sugary white sand and built the best fish restaurant on the island. I don't eat fish, I can't bare to kill something so beautiful, and I prefer to swim with them, but that's what I've been told. I'm more interested in the tropical drinks, the gorgeous flowers, the sweet Polynesian decor, and the proximity to the ocean.
In the dream I am klutzy and I am always looking for things like my underwear, people and things I can't seem to find. At one point I knock over one of those tiki lamps that people use a lot of in Hawaii and at backyard Luau parties.
Anyway I'm at the beach in front of Mama's Fish House. I am picking up all of these little plastic vintage cracker jack toy type things that are lying all over the sand. I gather them and make a skirt out of my little tee shirt dress and store them there. I want to give them to Beau. I'm so happy to be finding them, it's like a treasure hunt. Then I stumble over a big box full of even bigger kitschy plastic tropical souvenirs. I am taking some of these out to give to Beau when some attendants or beach boys come along and confront me. They seem angry with me that I have been collecting these things so I apologize for my confusion and sadly dump them back onto the beach.
For some reason I take my cotton underwear/shorties off and set them down by this little old dock just before stepping down on to the sand near the ocean. So now I'm left to walk around in a very short tee-shirt dress with the very bottoms of my perfect (Hey, it's my dream. I get to have a perfect juicy J. Lo butt if I want to), butt cheeks peeking out, and all the rest of my sexy private package being completely visible with just the slightest bend of my waist or upsweep of a trade wind breeze. Don't ask me why because I haven't figured this one out yet, (guess I'd better run that dream analysis program of mine or do some Jungian dream analysis work with this symbol, bleh, who has the time, heh; I am Jacqui's underwear, I protect and cover her most intimate parts, without me she would get laughed at by strangers...), but I walk away from these underwear and then spend the rest of this dream trying to get back to them, to put them on so I won't be embarrassed and put people off their meals.
I am trying to find Scott and Beau. I am thinking about how wonderful it is here and how happy I feel whenever I'm in or on Maui. I want to stay longer than just this one day. Apparently Scott and I have come to pick up Beau, or some mysterious, invisible, sister-symbol who I never find, and we have to return to the airport right away. Scott was able to come away with me for this one day because he had conveniently arranged to take the day off from his job as a legal assistant slave. Scott really did have yesterday off from work. He works so hard he rarely gets any time off, so maybe this is why I was thinking of this. I am trying to come up with some way to persuade Scott to let us stay for the night and then fly back tomorrow. I just want to be able to stay here for one day without having to rush back to the airport, but I don't even think we have enough time for a drink
I am trying to find Scott through this maze of white tents and tables that have been erected on the lawn just in front of the beach. There is the cutest little doggie all dressed up in a Hawaiian shirt with a lei and sunglasses. I stop and pet him, careful not to flash anyone in my panti-less state. Then I get up and notice that Scott is over by this bar and he is having some kind of tropical drink. I remember these drinks as having been some of the best drinks I have ever tasted but he is complaining, saying the rum isn't any good and that he doesn't like his drink. He wants to return it somehow
He gets up to leave and I follow him, but he steps up a step, and without my underwear on I am worried that I will be flashing my butt along with my other prettier parts at all of these people who are here to have their dinner.
Scott and Beau get away from me and I am trying to find them. I have to walk across this lawn by the beach to get to them but there are all of these sword fighting entertainers coming out to fence. I am trying to walk across this lawn without getting hit with one of the swords, but there are at least five different couples fighting as part of the entertainment. I carefully pick my way through them unnoticed until finally a Chinese man whacks me across the back of my left hand with his sword pinning it to the ground.
There is a frozen moment where I wait for him to pull the blade away, and half expecting my hand to come apart in two pieces I'm amazed that it only hurts and isn't even bleeding, just bruised, badly. Happy to see that his sword is blunt and mainly for show, but happier still that my hand is intact I walk on, continuing to look for Scott, Beau, my sister and my underwear. The man follows me for a bit apologizing profusely, probably worried that I will sue the restaurant and he will lose his job, but when he realizes that I am all right he gives up and goes back to his play fighting.
At the real Mama's Fish House on Maui there really is a sweet looking Bed and Breakfast or lodge like place right next door. I seem to remember it being painted pink and being pretty much hidden from view. I remember wondering about what it must be like behind the wall and whether they would have access to one of the most perfect little bays I've ever seen so that's probably why it showed up in my dream.
In the dream it's clear that this hotel is magnificent. It's subtle and small on the outside, exclusive and hidden away from visitors, looking like nothing really, but once you gain access through a complicated series of narrow steps and hallways it's clear that this is one of the finest luxury resorts in the world. The kind of place seriously wealthy people and celebrities seeking privacy would stay. The least of the rooms starts at a thousand dollars a night and the prices work their way upwards from there.
It amazes me that we can have such beautiful incredibly detailed dreams of places we've never been, things we've never seen. This hotel/resort was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. It reminded me a little bit of a more tropical Bel Air hotel, (The Bel Air hotel is just down the street from my Mother's house, the house I grew up in, and it was like an extension of our backyard to me. We would walk down the street to it and play with the swans, or play hide and seek in the gardens, swim in the pool even though we had our own, spy on people, and mingle with guests at their weddings. I made friends with Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor this way), in the way it was just one gorgeous bungalow-like room after another, little mini houses and suites all cobbled together, but each one was unbelievably lovely and unique.
I want so badly to peek inside one, and knowing that using my fluent Spanish can get me pretty fair in certain housekeeping circles, I approach an elderly looking maid with white hair and greet her with the customary, "Buenas tardes senora." Since she is cleaning one of the rooms I am hoping she might let me take a peek so I ask her and she agrees, telling me to come back in just a few minutes.
I make my way back towards the restaurant thinking that I'd better put my underwear back on for this, if I can find them and Scott or Beau or my bizarre invisible sister, but I get lost again and wind up at the resorts pool/spa complex.
There are several large pools set into an aging wooden deck, but the pools themselves are amazing, the most exotic spa pools I've ever seen and I am dying to jump in but know I can't because this is a big part of the pull of this exclusive resort, the use of these pools, I'm not a paying guest and there is this matronly pool woman fast approaching who will catch me and toss me out.
Off to the right and wending it's way around the deck is a large pool that seems to be the main activity pool with slides and grottos. The water seems so clean and clear and fresh I just want to jump into it so badly. Then directly in front of me there is this large wooden outrigger or canoe that's filled with coconut milk. A few people are sitting and relaxing in the milk while others are just sitting on the edge of it lazily swinging their feet back and forth, while still others are standing around and dipping their hands into it.
To the right of the little coconut/canoo pool there is a large semi-shallow pool where people seem to be gathering together in the waters of it's north side. A jet of some kind is pumping fresh mango into one end of this amazing pool and they're swimming in this mango juice. You can see the orange rush of fruit puree heading out towards the one end of the pool that is obviously colored orange, while the rest of the pool remains as clear and blue as the cleanest of pools.
Sadly I turn around and am confronted by the kind of out-of-it pool matron. She doesn't even seem to notice me but I feel obliged to explain my being here in this exclusive area. A couple with several children pass us heading back towards the hotel and I follow after them. Ms. Pool Warden is just happy to see me go and leaves it at that.
I follow this family down the narrow stairs and around some turns to the front of this amazing property that in cuckoo dream like fashion faces away from the ocean but has an ocean in front of it. Beats me, I just make this stuff up. As we approach their little home bungalow complex I notice that there is another small luxury pool that is near their unit. In fact every one of these bungalows has it's own gorgeous water feature. And since most of these places are designed in a kind of indoor/outdoor tropical fashion, these wonderful Jacuzzis and ponds are often inside the units with waterfalls and sculptures and caves -- beautiful clear clean jets of water spraying into these individual pools or just cascading down into them.
It's funny but I can picture this place so clearly, I wish I could transmit pictures of it from my brain to yours. It was so fine it was like something out of Architectural Digest, but maybe I should give myself the credit for designing it since it came straight out of my own wildly creative dreaming mind.
I remember the maid who has promised me a tour of one of the units but can't find her so I head around to a sort of courtyard in the middle of some of these suites. I am trying to peek into them from their front windows and doors and again, they are just simply the most luxurious, gorgeous, sweetly decorated places I have ever seen. Each one has it's own style. Some look like yachts with gleaming polished wood banisters and ships wheels, some have bookcases filled with antique books, others are decorated in tropical splendor with just a hint of kitsch, while others are cape cod like, some are small, quaint, romantic and intimate, and still others are decorated in a very modern style with great big floor to ceiling glass windows and sweeping views.
Gradually I become aware of someone watching me, someone who is staying on the property, a wealthy older man who is interested in me, and is about to welcome me into his world in some way, and just then I wake from the dream.