Being Driven Mad

Kage Baker, as I have often reported, did not drive. However, she liked car journeys, so she was driven everywhere she needed to go; usually by me, since we lived together for most of our lives. However, when given a choice of drivers, Kage still usually preferred to have me drive,

Some of our friends thought that was a little selfish, or at least unnecessarily habitual. But not so! Kage knew, and always considered, an unpleasant fact of my physiology: unless I’m the driver, I get car sick. Very carsick. Quickly and catastrophically carsick. I may hold a world record for vomiting in plastic bags. Did you even know it was possible to puke in a Big Gulp cup? It is.

However, in the last couple of years, I have had to drive a lot of places with Kimberly generously doing the honours; I’m not always up to driving. Yestreday, Kimberly kindly drove me out to Cedars Sinai over on the West Side for an appointment with my cardiologist, to get the results of various tests on details of my heart beat.

Now, we’ve done this a lot in the last 4 years. Kimberly has good air conditioning in her car. I’ve been fine. But my period of grace evidently ended yestreday – the farther we went, the sicker I began to feel. Soon we were edging down Beverly Boulevard in stop and go traffic, with me clutching a handy plastic bag (Kimberly travels prepared for a lot of disasters like me) like a life preserver. But the tragic and classic progression of events was not to be denied …

On the one hand, it was sort of nice to find out I haven’t lost any of my vomit-juggling skills. On the other hand, I was throwing up. Still, all was well enough until the notoriously decaying pavement on Beverly presented us with a bump just as I went into a final spasm.

The glove box popped open, I was jerked forward, and I puked into the open glove box as tidily as could be imagined. If you have a really horrid imagination. Luckily, I hit the stack of extra paper napkins Kimberly also always carries. Unluckily, the entire stack then rolled down the open glove box lid and into my lap …

We managed to get things cleaned up before handing the car over to the parking valet. We managed to get me cleaned up before we went into the cardiology clinic. We made careful plans to take a different route home so we wouldn’t get stuck in bad traffic on the way home; since we had to go pick up Michael at Cal State LA, we decided to access the 10 freeway off La Cienega, and head straight out to the campus.  I have a map app on my phone, so when we left Cedars I was accessing a way to the 10.

However … it was not our day. Looking at the app made me carsick again. I had to put the phone down, and while I was clutching a new plastic bag and praying to die before I puked again, my directions to Kimberly became somewhat – confused. We had just crossed into Venice, I believe, when we realized we’d somehow missed the entire damned freeway.

We never did find it. I cannot imagine how we managed that, but we drove all around Pico, La Cienega and San Vicente without a sign of the 10. We finally managed to find Rimpau – of all things – and found our way back to Hancock Park and hence to Hollywood; where we found our way to Highland, Lankershim and eventually the ever-faithful 5 …

I cannot help but feel that these mishaps and bad luck are somehow due to the failure of Cedars Sinai to install fish tanks in the Cardiology Tower. The feng shui of the place is totally screwed. Certainly, neither the luck of Kage nor the protective fishies were with us yestreday.

But we made it. Kimberly displayed the sang froid of a Rebel pilot, even with her navigator puking on the flight equipment.

Oh – and the latest report from my doctor shows I have added tachycardia to my heart glitches. This may cause vertigo, and probably contributed to my puking in the glove box. Also, I apparently have sleep apnea. So now I get to have a sleep study done, to find out what kind of apnea I have and what to do about it.

I hope the sleep lab has a fish tank.