Good news, mostly

Well, here's some good news. I've passed the Walgreens background check, and an email tells me I'm hired. Yippee, I get to stock shelves and run the cash register and tell people the wrong aisle to find wet wipes. I get to not be homeless, so I can spend my last years being talked at by my hated flatmate Dean.

There's still plenty that could go wrong, though. 

Like, they've already blasted me with four "Welcome to Walgreens" emails, two of which tell me there are "online tasks" to complete before starting to work there — forms to be filed, I assume.

Can't do it, though, because their employee website requires an employee number and password, neither of which they've sent me. And of course, all communications come from a "no reply" email address, with no other contact info.

Also, it was the store's assistant manager who hired me, after I'd blasted him with absolutely all the "nice" I could find within me. But when my training starts on Thursday, it'll be with the manager instead, so I'll need to convince a second person I'm good enough for Walgreens, when you and I both know I'm not.

And the dress code says "no sweatpants," but sweatpants are all I have. Your choice, Walgreens — it's sweatpants or only underpants.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

And here's the not-so-good news.

Yesterday morning I ate a cheese sandwich, with just mayo and mustard on it. A mighty mild meal, but ten minutes after swallowing it, what felt like heartburn started.

It wasn't heartburn, though, because five doses of Alka-Seltzer had no effect, and the pain grew many multiples worse.

Also, heartburn hits in the belly, but this was higher up, at the sternum. It felt like there's a shelf above my stomach, nipple-height, and that's where the cheese sandwich dropped, and somehow launched a war.

And jeeeeez it hurt. I'm describing it as heartburn, but it was radioactive heartburn, all afternoon.

The pain faded to ordinary heartburn levels by sunset, and a mere eleven hours after the cheese sandwich, all pain had gone. Now it's the next day, and I feel like singing "Jump," by Van Halen. How you doin'?

Haven't eaten anything since the cheese sandwich, though, and I'm not about to. 

The same thing had happened a few days earlier, but that was after eating three pepperoni-sauerkraut-and-cheese sandwiches, with the pepperoni a bit discolored, months past its "best by" date. That's why I only had one sandwich yesterday, and only cheese. Yet the pain was just as intense, and lasted longer.

The internet tells me I should be typing this from a hospital bed, but with no health insurance and just $74 in the bank, that's not happening. 

Perhaps pertinent is that my symptoms match a miserable week my wife endured, years ago. For her, the diagnosis turned out to be an intestinal blockage, and docs fixed it with surgery. 

Me, I'll be following some homeopathic instructions I've found on-line, eating carefully and less, mostly broth. And singing Van Halen songs, I hope. 


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  1. I worked for CVS for ten years, and if your appendix bursts at the store they'll make you mop it up.

    You're a big boy so I won't lecture you on health stuff. We both know poverty.

    1. Thanks, man, both for the wisecrack and the lack of advice.

  2. Man, this entry was a good endorsement for antinatalism. To have to start a shit-eating job at CVS in your mid-60s, with no access to proper medical care for the effects of a shit-eating diet of poverty. . .rough. Shakespeare was right again: "That it should come to this. . ."

    1. I had to look up antinatalism. You and your high-fallutin' vocabulary.

      Maybe that's me. Can't disagree much. As my siblings and contemporaries became young adults, "Congratulations" is what I said and even thought when they were birthing babies. Like, not my choice at all, but good luck with that little screaming human.

      No pregnancies or births in my circles in the past decade or so, but "Condolences" would be my present response. Probably I'd be too nice to say it out loud.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Schopenhauer might have had a more cheerful attitude had he only been able to find a decent barber. I'm just saying.


  4. And why do the Googs think I'm an author when I'm obviously barely a typist?


    1. Writing began with doodles in the dust, then cave art, now MS Word or whatever, but it's all writing to me, until it ends with AI.

  5. Any thoughts of calling back the short bus people? They really wanted you to stay.


  6. They were happier to see me go than I was to leave. And I had a car then but now I don't. The bus base is a three-bus two-transfer ride that would take about an hour and a half, each way except on weekends, when the last of the three buses doesn't run at all so it would be a two-mile walk.


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