One of the strange things about aging is a big change in body image. Unfortunately, this does not mean I have gained a Zen-like attitude toward my less than perfect body, or that I have made peace with the idea that I probably will never be able to pass by a plate of brownies without succumbing to their beckoning call.
In the past, when given any conscious thought, my body seemed to function as a whole. Of course, there were times of sickness or injury when one part of my body would take front and center for a while. But still, as the old song says, the head was connected to the neck bone, and so on. The various parts communicated with each other on a regular basis and made agreements on who would move first and where they were all headed.
Lately, however, it seems that all these parts have become a highly dysfunctional family, with little agreement on who is in charge. (I thought it was me, but clearly I have been mistaken all this time.) Basic and simple things, such as getting out of bed in the morning, have become fraught with dissension, arguing and downright refusal to cooperate! Like a roomful of tired and hungry preschoolers, everyone is clamoring for attention, or alternatively, sulking in the corner and refusing to talk.
Getting Up in the Morning (A One Act Play)
Cast of characters (not necessarily in order of appearance):
Brain – the parental unit (who thinks it is in charge)
Spine – the communication highway between the brain and all the rest; basically, cable and internet
Back – the oldest child, a teenager
Hips – twins, 10 years old, known as “right” and “left”
Bladder – 2 years old
Scene: A 70 year old woman lies in a comfortable bed sleeping soundly. It is around 5 AM. Suddenly a piercing voice shatters the silence.
Bladder: MOMMEE!!!! I HAVE TO PEE!!!!
Spine: Briefly sputters to life, sputters some more and then goes dead
Bladder: MOMMEE!!! I WEALLY HAVE TO PEE!!!!
Brain: UmpKgkee. IKHee!!
Spine: Connection: One bar.
Back: (With the type of righteous anger that only a teenager can summon at 5 AM) SHUT UPPPPPP!!
Right Hip: MOMMEE!! I DON’T FEEL GOOD
Left Hip: I DON’T FEEL GOOD EITHER; UH-OH, Right just BARFED!!
Back: IF YOU ALL DON’T SHUT UP, I’M COMING OUT THERE AND BEAT YOU UP.
Spine: Connection: Two bars. (Just enough to start the brain talking, but not enough to fully engage the thought process.)
Brain: Back, I don’t care if you were up playing video games until 4 AM; You need to SHUT UP yourself.
Left Hip: MOMMEE!! I just BARFED too!
Bladder: MOMMEE!! I AM GOING TO PEE IN MY BED!!
Brain: Hold on, hold on, I’m coming……. Back, hips, get moving. Start walking, watch out for the cat; oh, god, is that a dead mouse–don’t step on it!!!
Here I am, Bladder, we made it!!