Tag Archives: unicorn

The Surreal Zone

crazy mirror

I generally ignore the TV, but I happened to glance up the other day and was alarmed to learn that my hair is not shiny enough, my towels are not fluffy enough, my bed is full of bacteria and my shoes are stinky.

Although the hair is a lost cause at this point, my mother always told me the rest of those problems could be solved with cider vinegar;  perhaps times have changed. Apparently, if I steep myself in magical chemicals that come in brightly colored bottles, all these horrors of the human condition will disappear and I will be blissfully happy.

Well, that’s a relief.  I’ve got enough to worry about.

Case in point: When I asked my doctor how we know that the chemotherapy is working, he patted my knee, smiled and said, “We don’t. If you’re still alive in five or ten years, then we’ll know.”

I understand that doctors would rather not commit to anything, but I did read somewhere that losing my hair is a good thing, a silver lining, because it means the chemo is working. I may have written nice things about silver linings, but that one is a stretch, a tarnished, scratched and dented one lying under a pile of moth-eaten sweaters and mismatched socks on a rickety card table at a garage sale, because while the chemo monsters are, hopefully, gobbling up evil little cancer cells, they are also gnawing away at my immune system and doing their best to annoy many of my tender bits. In self defense, I have to paint my nails, use cuticle oil, moisturize from head to toe, figure out how to draw eyebrows, try to come to terms with hats, wigs and scarves, re-think my diet, re-learn how to do yoga and be very, very careful about how hard I push myself. Someone took my mirror and swapped it for a fun-house one that only reflects warped and distorted images. I have stepped through the looking-glass and landed in The Surreal Zone where nothing is as it was. Strawberries taste like oranges. Puppies speak Spanish and kittens speak French. Two plus two equals five. The Donald is my best friend.

Despite all of that piled on top of what the TV might have to say about my woeful inadequacies, a very kind friend pointed out that even a unicorn can get split ends in her mane and an occasional chip in her horn but she’s still a unicorn. Perhaps she’s a bit tarnished, scratched and dented, but then, aren’t we all?

So I have good days and bad and on the days when the bad is more than the good, there are butterscotch brownies.

butterscotch brownies


Rainbows and Reality

During filming the other day, one of the young guys who works for the studio had a seizure.

I was chatting with Melinda, mother of the girl in the video and all around good egg, when a group of people started to gather by the door. Melinda said, “He’s having a seizure.” I don’t know how she knew that. From where I was standing, all I could see were his hands. He was crouched down by a large table, his hands on its edge, fingers balled into fists, wrists crossed.

It was clear that nobody, including me, had any idea what to do. The group crowding around him making sympathetic noises didn’t seem to be helping much.

Melinda watched for a moment, sizing up the situation, then strode over and started giving orders. “He needs to be put on his side. Don’t try to make him stretch out. We need to move him away from all this equipment so he can flop around if he needs to. No, don’t put a pencil in his mouth.” She was not bossy, just clearly in charge.

Kudos to Melinda.

About five minutes later, some EMTs arrived. Kudos to them, too.

I think the whole thing made an impression because of the strangeness of the situation. There we were in a filming studio, creating a completely artificial world, when reality came thundering in with a bang and a roar.

None of the kids who eventually watch the video will ever know how many people it took to create that world, or that Kiko and Skyla were sweating buckets under the hot lights, or that we had horrible fatty-meat bentos for lunch. All they’ll see is a perfect set with perfect lighting and smiling faces and rainbows and unicorns all around.

Lucky them.