As expected I had a mostly great time on the east coast. I say mostly because my parents and I ended up spending all of Friday afternoon at the emergency room.
First off, let me say that everything turned out to be fine, but we only knew that after hours of waiting and tests.
That day we were up early to take my dad to the doctor for an exam. We expected to be done by lunchtime, and then I’d head into NYC around three so that I could meet up with YP in time to go to parkour class with him. Things didn’t go as expected.
My dad fainted during his exam. My mom and I were waiting in the car – the waiting room was crowded and stuffy – when we saw an ambulance and paramedics pull up to the doctor’s office.
“Who could that be for?” my mother wondered. We shrugged it off.
Several minutes later, a nurse came out.
“Is he done?” my mother asked.
That was when she told us he had passed out.
“What?!” my mother cried, jumping out of the car and scurrying with the nurse back to the office.
We found my dad sitting in the exam room, surrounded by paramedics. The doctor and one of the paramedics explained that it was probably a normal reaction, but that we should take him to the hospital to get checked out.
“I don’t want to go,” my dad said, but we convinced him otherwise. As they loaded him into the ambulance, he looked very pale and out of it. I was glad we were going.
My parents kept thinking we’d be in and out in an hour. I knew that wouldn’t be the case, but I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did. We were there until about six thirty.
Like I said, everything was fine, and it was a tremendous relief to learn that. Although waiting around for hours was annoying, everyone was super nice. The nurses, orderlies, doctor, everyone. And I was really glad I happened to be there. If I had heard about it afterward or during, I’d have felt so helpless and guilty.
It’s tough when your parents get old.
I ended up heading up to NYC after dinner and got to Brooklyn after 10 (I was still on west coast time so I wasn’t too tired). I was meeting YP at his sister’s. I walked into her apartment to find a group of people sitting in the dark. I thought they were watching a movie, but then YP snapped on the lights and everyone yelled, “Surprise!”
I was indeed surprised, especially since I recognized only two out of the five people there.
But it was such a nice gesture on YP’s part. He brought out a platter of cupcakes lit with candles and everyone sang. It was lovely.
Riding the subway to and from Brooklyn, I realized how much older the population is in my neighborhood in San Francisco. I’m no spring chicken, but the New York subway seemed full of youngish, cute and artsy men, while in SF I don’t see that as much. In my ‘hood, it’s all baseball-cap wearing douchebags, 100 year old Chinese men, aging hippies, or drunks/drug addicts.
The next day YP and I met AK, my writer/library school friend, at the Met. We saw several exhibits, including Photography and the American Civil War, which I found fascinating. And as tradition goes, I visited the Greek hall, namely a specific site.
I saw the Buddhas too. I’m not a complete degenerate.
Afterward we walked around Central Park. The weather was very nice all weekend. A bit chilly and windy but sunny. Plus all the trees were in bloom.
That night we met up again with YP’s sister and another friend, and saw Oblivion. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t good either. Mostly it was boring, and I fell asleep several times. Also, the whole time I kept thinking how much younger Tom Cruise’s love interests were. One I kept thinking was like his daughter because her coloring was similar to his.
The next day I met my college pal SB for lunch. On my way there, I saw a mother and daughter, who couldn’t have been more than eight, in matching fur vests. Ah, the Upper East Side. I got to see SB’s husband and daughter, too, briefly, before we headed out for a yummy Asian lunch.
I was meeting AK for coffee near Union Square and was planning on walking. SB walked with me most of the way before heading back.
Another strange sighting was that apparently the lobby of the main Pfizer building, where I used to work, is now a bank. I don’t know if the whole building is a bank now or just the lobby. Either way, weird!
AK and I had a very nice chat, and then I headed back to YP’s.
I was pretty pooped so we had a relaxed evening. A walk on the Highline (another NYC tradition for me) with this view of some very cool graffiti –
– and an Indian dinner.
Another NYC tradition is that YP gets me hooked on a new TV show. Last time it was Revenge (which has gotten really stupid since), this time: Hannibal. It’s well-done, and I love Hugh Dancy (aka Mr. Claire Danes) and all the actors, but it does make me think, Goddamn, there are a lot of serial killers in that town. We also watched a French movie to get in the mood for our trip to Paris in a few weeks. Again, I fell asleep several times, but from what I saw it wasn’t very good. YP and I both thought Isabelle Adjani was wholly unconvincing as a diva-starlet.
The next day, Monday, I headed back to SF. Surprisingly the flight back, which is longer, felt shorter. I watched TV and slept. Across the aisle from me was an adorable toddler who kept grinning at me and saying, “Hiiiii!” I wanted to kidnap him.
By the way, on the food ordering system, I noticed the option to send a drink, snack, or meal to another seat. I thought it was for parents to buy drinks and meals for their kids. I see I’m going to do well in the singles world.
That sounded like a wild time, filled with ups and downs, from real life medical dramas to pondering Tom Cruise’s choices of love interests. Has your father gone to the doctor since then to see why he might have fainted?
Hi Neil – The ER doctors ruled out the most serious causes, such as stroke. They’re guessing it was just a natural reaction to the (unpleasant) procedure he was having, in combination with nerves, slightly lower blood pressure than usual, and not eating enough.
i’m glad to hear your father is okay and can see how worrisome it was at the time.
otherwise, what a fun, packed trip. those are the best.
your comment about tom cruise’s love interest on-screen reminded me of this set of graphs – he’s one of the name examples: http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/leading-men-age-but-their-love-interests-dont.html.