Saturday, November 10, 2007

i shall name him "squiggle"

What on earth am I holding?

I've been having a really hard time lately with being single. Really, it's all I think about, almost to the point of obsession. I've been waiting my whole life for someone, and here I am and it still hasn't happened. You can only hold out hope for so many years until you begin to feel like an idiot.

Last night, driving home from
Epic Proportions at the theater, the familiar glob of deep, grinding fear, anger, loneliness, and hopelessness began rising up. It was not good. I had a confusing, busy week at work, filled with all sorts of office politics, bickering, and general wierdness. I had some theater-related issues on my mind that I needed to vent about. I wanted someone at home waiting for me. I wanted to put on my pajamas, sit on the couch with him, and talk it all out. I wanted this more than anything.

When I got home, it was dark, it was chilly, and if it wasn't for Sophie's nails on the wood floor and the distant thumps of the cats jumping off the bed to greet me, there would have been absolutely no sound. I turned on all the lights, put on my pajamas, opened a beer, and then just let it hit. The wallowing, the self-pitying, the anger, the horrible ache of emptiness that can't be filled and may never be filled.

Around midnight, I realized I had never gotten the mail that day. I checked the mailbox and it was empty, but as I was closing the door, I saw a box wrapped in brown paper on the porch. A package! It's always a good mail day when you get a package.
I saw it was from Laura in NJ. An unexpected friend gift!

I needed this so much at that moment that I took my time unwrapping, trying to make the anticipation last. I finally broke the tape on both sides of the box, lifted the cover, and was greeted with this:

Opened package (re-enactment).

I pulled it out, this green fuzzy thing with black eyes . . . and realized it was:

Yes, my very own stuffed Lyme bacteria, borrelia burgdorferi!! (Click here to read more).

Bb is a spirochete (pronounced "spiro-keet", like "parakeet"), a corkscrew-shaped bacteria which is able to screw itself deep into your muscle tissue or to roll itself in a ball and hide. That's what makes them so hard to kill. They are very mobile, able to spin and squiggle their way throughout your body.

Showing the corkscrew shape.

I burst into laughter. I laughed and laughed, read the label, read Laura's note, and laughed more. I mean, really, FAO Schwartz is carrying stuffed Lyme bacteria? And the bacteria HAS EYES?! I don't think this is going to top kids' Christmas wish lists this year, but it's one of the best gifts I've ever received. And it came at just the right time. Because far away in Manhattan, in a toy store, Laura had been thinking of me.

You just don't get bacteria in the mail every day.


Michelle said...

hey lisa,

I have seen these before online, but never knew they were at FAO!!!

what an adorable pic of sofie, LUV it!!! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on a single lonely Saturday nite :-)

Michelle,lymie from myspace

volyssa said...

I just received one of these toys from a friend in NYC who remembers the hell I went through one summer with lyme disease. The toy is therapeutic to be sure. And friends are the best.

Silver Spring, MD