G is for Gobi

The alarm going off like the final bell in a cage match brought her nightly ten rounds fighting with insomnia to an end. Jazz congratulated herself on not sagging on the ropes at 3:00 and picking up her phone to surf social media.  By avoiding the glowing screen of uselessness, she managed at least two dream cycles, so at least three hours of actual sleep in the last ten hours. Sure, she was exhausted, a perpetual state, but her eyes did not feel like someone had crammed the Gobi desert into her orbs.

She swiped the phone off before her wake up song repeated, the Good Morning Song from Barney and Friends, guaranteed to drive her to sit up and move. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, Jazz reached for her stabilizing quad-cane. She hated it as much as her morning alarm, but it served its purpose. While it took as much energy to use as walking without it, she hadn’t fallen once since she started using it around the house. She just never expected to be cane-bound at thirty-four, let alone needed the stupid push chair-walker anytime she left the house.

The insurance wouldn’t sign off on a scooter yet, and she didn’t know if she was grateful or angry about that.

Jazz hobbled over to where she had laid out clothes two days ago. Today was a big day, and she wanted it to be perfect. Ignoring the pain in her joints, she pulled off the oversized t-shirt she had slept in and lived in since she got home from shopping Tuesday. Leaning on the ladder chair beside her clothes table, she changed underwear without fully sitting down. After tucking her phone under her bra strap, she rested under the guise of studying the two choices she had set out for shirts.

One had buttons and fit her perfectly. The other was overlarge but slipped over her head in one move. Jazz tested her range of motion. Her fingers didn’t flex well, but she was able to raise one arm to shoulder height. Loose black blouse would be today’s outfit; she had hoped on Thursday for the button-down. She hadn’t be able to wear the turquoise embroidered linen in over a year. She should probably give up on it and donate it to Goodwill or the Kidney Foundation before it went completely out of fashion, but she loved that shirt.

The black skirt pulled on easier than the blouse, after which she sat on the tall step stool and recovered, going over what else she needed to get done before noon. Hair, make-up, jewelry, breakfast, charge phone, wrap a present. She had meant to get the present wrapped yesterday but a pain flare had ended the attempt.

Hair next. No, breakfast first. If she didn’t get to her hair, she could still go, but no breakfast will kill the entire day.

Jazz looked over at the breakfast bar and drink she kept on her nightstand for those days she couldn’t make it out of bed. Gritting her teeth, she stood, turned her back on the bed and room she spent too much time in, and went to her breakfast nook to eat like a civilized person.

On the blond wood table, bright in mid-morning sunshine, stood a box of blueberry breakfast bars, small plastic bottles of grape juice, and her box of pills for the week. The first week box for the month was behind the used drink bottles and breakfast bar wrappers waiting for her once-every-two weeks visit from the state subsidized care-giver to refill since her fingers couldn’t manage organizing pills anymore. In the middle of the table was the result of her struggle to wrap the baby shower present with real paper before the pain had disabled her.


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)

Marathon Party (G to M)
4/8/2019 – G is for Gobi
4/9/2019 – H is for Horse
4/10/2019 – I is for Sherbet
4/11/2019 – J is for Jazz
4/12/2019 – K is for Keeper
4/13/2019 – L is for Loss
4/15/2019 – M is for Marathon