March 13th

Enough is enough. I'm tired of this guilt ridden deja vu non stop.

Once I got behind in filing my taxes years ago I was afraid to file because of having not filed. It went on years, and I ended up paying many penalties when the inevitable happened. I've found myself being the same way with this journal.

For weeks I've been behind with a list of several entries to write, and getting further behind as the list stacks up.

My sincere apologies to those involved in the following catch-ups. Hopefully my posting Reader's Digest Condensed versions will not be viewed as an insult.

I went to work at my Other Job on the 28th of February with no thoughts of it being anything out of the ordinary and for the first several hours it was just that. At 10:55am the whole world changed. The first second or so I thought it was just the laundry guy pushing a hamper down the hall, or maybe an unhappy patient jumping up and down, but it escalated quickly into the most powerful earthquake I've ever been through. Within seconds I went from standing up from my desk to escort a patient down the hall, to forcing myself against the trim of a door jam with two nurses and a patient wrapped tightly in my arms, keeping them from running up the hallway in a chickenlittle terror.

The old explanations of how time is subjective generally referred to the difference between 60 seconds sitting on the bathroom throne, or 60 seconds crossing your legs outside a locked bathroom door. I now have a standard of comparison. This earthquake rattled on for a bit over a half minute... within the confines of that small universe, time was endless and terrifying.

Our building was hit pretty hard - it's an older building. We began to evacuate the patients to outside and to grab whatever we could quickly grab as far as paperwork, medications, and so forth. I was running up the hallway along with my boss, checking each room for stragglers, when I ran into one room ahead of her, hit a lake of water from broken pipes, and faceplanted right on the floor. I could feel my back and neck strain but we just kept on keeping on, emptying the place out, and spending the next several hours passing out blankets in the parking lot, triaging patients for transport to one facility or another, dispensing medications, counting noses a dozen times. I left a phone message for a house mate to please unplug the electric heater I'd left in my bedroom. Finally the adrenaline began to wear off and I told the boss - who had seen my faceplant - that I had to go to Group Health. I found myself going quickly from he-who-cares-for-everyone to he-who-is-in shock. My neck was stiff and my back was stiff, and I could feel myself suddenly literally dropping into a near-clinical shock. It was a couple of miles to the E.R., and then several hours in the waiting room where I gave in to the near overwhelming urge to withdraw into slumber. Once seen it was a quick matter of exam and prescription for muscle relaxers. I totally eschew narcotics even if they are indicated, but robaxin or ibuprofen or toradol and such are wonderful. No buzz, just an absence of pain.

Walking out of the exam room and up to the triage nurse I was walking on emotional eggs. I began to ask her for directions to the men's room and the pharmacy and she said, "Now, just listen to you. Not a courteous word but just 'I want' and 'I need'." I turned and lost it. I was in tears before I got halfway to the men's room and just broke down sobbing. When I got back, tears still on my face, I went back up to her desk and told her "I held it together through the earthquake to take care of over 30 patients and to see them safely out of the rubble and on to a safe place. I was hurt, but I held it together. Once the shock started hitting me I was barely holding it together, and when you chastised me for my poor choice of words you just pushed me over the edge."

It was a lesson I'm going to have to remember the rest of my medical career in talking with patients.

Finally getting home around 6pm, every fear I'd had was vanished. Littleone was fine and whining for her dish to be filled. Of the thousands of books on my shelves one was on the floor. My computer, intact. All the animal skulls hanging on the walls were still hanging. I crawled into bed for as much sleep I could get. It had been much more of a full day than I'd expected when I'd rolled outta bed in the morning.

Recently we had a staff member fired and it left a gap in experienced staff members on our night shift. I've been on day shift for six months now and - although I'm naturally a nocturnal person in life - I've grown to prefer the work environment day shift. Management asked me if I would take a temporary change for a few weeks to nights. It's a favor to them, and they asked, they didn't order. Not only am I back on nights, but instead of working three 12 hour days in a row Mon/Tues/Wed, I'll be on a couple shifts, off a couple or few, on and off, every other weekend on and generally very erratic. I don't like it and I'm really looking for some appreciation when this is all done. Right now I'm paying off karma at an accelerated rate.

Not long after the earthquake I had a sequence of furious ICQs back and forth in several directions. When Vamp had been up here a few months back Kevin helped to tie her up, and I still have the gift he gave me - the bloodstained rope she had worn. They were quite taken with each other, of course - they're both good quality people. Vamp told me that on a certain date she was coming up to the Wet Spot to do her orientation, finally [previously she'd been up only as a guest]. She and Kev worked out a bondage play date for after the orientation. Meanwhile I had also been ICQing with Nia, and dangled meeting Vamp as a bait for her finally getting her own membership at the Wet Spot. She and I decided we would do the orientation and then do the bondage scene that I'd promised her for her birthday. And, of course, all four of us would do a nice dinner in between the orientation and the play party.

The old military adage that "no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy" had it's analog that evening. Just before I picked up my toy bag and hit the door the phone rang and Kev told me that he had had a terrible day at work and felt too much anger at coworkers to safely play, and asked me if I would be able to stand in for him. And, I got word from Nia that she had been nursing a sick husband and wasn't sure if she was in a good head space to bottom. Soooo, after a nice dinner at Pandasia we adjourned back to the Wet Spot to the back room. The last minute change in plans ended up with Vamp only having an hour before her ride turned her into a pumpkin.

Now, let me mention here the cutest little side interplay going on. As I got out all the bondage gear I'd planned on using on Nia and Vamp stripped naked quicker than a blink, these two are checking each other out nervously. Both are cuter than hell in their own totally personal way, and both would dearly love to add a cute bi/kinky/poly girl to their circle of friends. And both were stammering and stuttering and damn if it wasn't fun to watch. Just before I strapped her down Vamp quickly said to Nia, "If you need to help him it's ok", or words to that effect. Hearing from Nia after she was every bit as nervous. Hehehehehe. I plan on watching this one for some time to come.

I started with a full lace-on leather head hood, and then added an old leather antique bicyclist's helmet that I could tie down to the bed frame. Some old medical restraints I'd found in a thrift shop secured her feet down and her hands down, and a posey vest held her torso down. In my memory, just as she recounted in her own journal entry of our scene, things are starting to get a bit jumbled. I recall starting out using a small vibrator on her various nether bits for a bit, and then gestured for Nia to come over and take over. I reached down into the bag and brought out my Hitachi Magic Wand. It's more or less the John Holmes of buzzing things. We did this and that and a bit more of this and a goodly bit of that and made her labia rings sing, made her toes twitch, and when we did a bilateral nipple suck she just about melted. At one of those timeless moments, Vamp and I just went feral together. It wasn't arithmetic, it was definitely geometric, building and feeding off of each other, rough, cruel, roaring in animal voices, lurching and rolling against each other. It was powerful 'sex' without any penetration - hell, I hadn't even taken any clothes off. It was just a wonderful primeval moment. Poor Nia had never seen feral before, and she stepped back to a safe distance. Peak, anticlimax, denouement. Clothes got put back on, good byes said, and another wonderful evening concluded.

My leaving night shift at my Other Job followed a long period of my having to be the lone ranger, the fellow with the badge and gun setting down the rules. A blessing of the day shift is having 20 other staff members around. Many of our patients tolerate discomfort poorly, and kicking heroin or alcohol or meth can definitely give discomfort. Mix that with a high percentage of them being mentally ill makes for pretty unpleasant crises. The past six months have been refreshing in a lack of those sorts of crises.

Sunday the 4th of March was my first shift back working nights. We started with a fellow going into the DTs, hallucinating and getting goofy as hell. We caught it early and shipped him off to the local E.R. before he ate a curtain or jumped out of the window or something. Then another gentleman who had been just surly, maybe even antagonistic, started getting louder and louder. After redirecting him for a few hours, we moved him into a single room to avoid having his roommates killing him. I told the aide - we were the only two on the floor - I was going into the staff lounge for about five, just to shift my focus. Next thing I knew I heard the aide screaming my name. I burst out into the hallway just in time to see that man raise a 25lb fire extinguisher over his head to throw at her. I removed the fire extinguisher from his hands and encouraged him to return to the quiet room. The next hour was spent bringing in Officer Friendly and our very loud patient leaving in handcuffs.

What a welcome back to nights. Argh.

Number One Son, of whom I am quite proud, comes over for dinner one evening early in March. We were celebrating his 27th birthday, and I did up the best meal I could for a Nipponophile - steamed vegetables [kohlrabi, asparagus, daikon, bok choy] sprinkled with Spike, and sliced hot steaming unagi. A very pleasant dinner. I'm enjoying his company, even as he is stretching his legs more and more. I may later this year have to travel out of state to visit him, and I'd thought Bellevue was a pain in the ass. All I can do is to wish him well, and to give him my love. He is a maturing young man I can brag about. That's a good feeling.

And here we come. Right up to date, more or less. I've glossed over much detail, left out fascinating anecdotes, forgotten important conversations and probably neglected dear friends. So be it. I'm current with the journal and will endeavor to keep up much better. Nia is coming over this evening for her birthday bondage party, just to keep on proving that life is indeed quite good.

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