Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bionic Cupcake

Tuesday, 1:00pm

Report to lab to submit to drug screen for new job. A snaggle-toothed Brit steps out of the exam room to leer at me in the hallway while I have a more intimate encounter with my urine than first world plumbing usually calls for. I keep waiting for the lab tech to tell the spectator to sott off, but he is too busy giving me and my urine commands, "Fill the cup up to this line," "Bring the cup to me," "Now hop up and down on one foot," "Now pour the rest into the toilet, but don't flush," "Now wash your hands," etc... I spend most of my time pretending I'm not holding a cup of urine in my hand as various Midtown executives shuffle by studiously avoiding eye contact. Snaggle tooth really gets to me, though. He won't stop staring at me with that smug look on his face. I'm certain he's in for an STD screen.

Tuesday 6:30pm

Report to the eye doctor for eye exam. I have great vision care insurance at work, which I am about to lose. The problem is, not very many "doctors" are "in-network". So I went to a new vision care center after work and was examined by a very nice doctor. Maybe too nice. Kinda creepy nice. Like I kept expecting him to rub against me and I would suddenly find myself in an after school special. The verdict was that the glasses I have (and never wear) are good for distance, I need a new prescription for near vision. I went out to the eye glass store side of the office and one of the guys said to me, "We're closing. Do you think you could pick out a pair of glasses in six minutes?" Sure, it's just my face we're talking about guys. Luckily a woman stayed late to help me. Thanks to my super great insurance I was able to get a nice pair of Vera Wang frames for free, that's zero dollars, Hip, and only a $25 copay for the lenses. Then I paid $61 for the ultra super premium no-glare, no-smudge lens coating. On my last pair of glasses, I didn't get any coating, because I thought it was some bullshit extra they were trying to sell me like an extended warranty. As a result, looking through my glasses is like looking through a glass of cloudy tap water, no matter how often I clean them.

Tuesday 9:00pm

I walk from 47th Street and 5th Avenue to 28th Street and 1st Avenue to Bellevue Hospital to check myself in to the NYU Sleep Disorder Clinic for my sleep study. I let people glue electrodes to my head, face and legs, put a band around my chest, and stick a tube up my nose. Then I lay down in a room where I can be monitored by video camera and intercom and try to get a normal night's sleep. But no worries, I've got my pajamas and my teddy bear, so it's just like home, give or take a few electrodes. I survive the experience by pretending I'm in some European hostel with a new spa treatment.

Wednesday 6:20am

I am awoken by a technician and systematically unhooked, unplugged and unstuck. I feel about as rested as I do every morning. I have the option to shower at the lab, but since I hate hospitals, I don't want to spend another minute there longer than I need to. I tell the tech I'm going to take a cab to my friend's apartment and shower there. "Okay," he says. "You look like a crazy person. But you'll be leaving from Bellevue, so nothing too suspicious there. You might want to go to the bathroom and wash the grease pencil off your face." When I look in the mirror in the bathroom I see that the clumpy adhesive used to hold the electrodes in place is stuck in my hair and now I understand what the tech meant when he said, "You look like you've been attacked by pigeons." At 7:00am with my face scrubbed clean, my hair in a pony tail and still wearing my pajamas, I get into a cab. I can't believe I've got three more work days and a trip to the dentist before this week is over.

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