The other night Hill and I had a very nice little date.  That is to say that I didn’t cook dinner.  Instead we went out to eat and sat down at a table across from each other and talked.   We were married on a full moon, and it was always our idea that we would go on a date every full moon to celebrate our monthly anniversary.   It turned out that we sucked at it.  First we had to keep track of the full moons (I finally bought her a moon chart as a little birthday gift at some point), but even then it proved hard to do.  We used to joke that in our first two years of marriage we had managed to go out on our full moon date about 4 times.

Now that I’m quite a lot sicker, though, we’ve been going out to eat quite  a lot more.  Between the very nice people who have been sending us on our mystery dinners, and just a general level of fatigue at that time of day, a dinner out has become less of a strange occurrence.

We sat and we talked mostly about the various projects that hill is working on.  She’s up to her elbows.  The work she’s doing makes me very proud indeed, not to sound patronizing.  Most simply boiled down, the projects that she’s working on are advocacy/activism projects that center around guaranteeing housing for everyone by taking speculation out of the housing market, and ending discriminatory policing designed to intimidate and alienate people in their own communities.  It was an uplifting dinner.

I went home with something new in mind.  I decided that perhaps irrigating at night would be a good idea.  I mean why not?  If it’s taking so long, why not let it eat into my night instead of my day.  When I feel I’m mostly finished, just put on a bag and go to bed..  empty the bag in the morning once it’s collected any of the slow moving detritus and replace it with a little cap and get on with my life.  Irrigating can be a somewhat tiring process, and to have going off to bed as the prize instead of trying to start my day (already half gone), seemed very clever.

So when we got home, I set myself up in the bathroom..  I take my laptop with me so that I can watch netflix, or one pocket matches on youtube, or catch up on email.  I got all the paraphernalia lined up.  I weighed myself (always curious so see whether I gain or loose weight during irrigation..  think about that one for a moment).  And I got started.  I had eaten a pretty big dinner.  A burger with fries to be exact.  And I helped Hill finish off her mussels.  I filled myself up with water.. a little over a liter and a half.  Immediately I could feel a difference.  I had a very full belly, and now I had very full lower bowel as well.  My body was a little confused.  Clearly this stuff was supposed to find its way out, but WHICH stuff? and which WAY?  I had a moment of anxiety.   I have felt nauseated before during irrigation, but never worried about it too much.  This time I was a little worried.  Suddenly a wave passed over my body and on its own it inhaled in the way it does when getting ready to expel SOMETHING.  “oh christ,” I thought, “this is going to be bad.”  And then violently and without much warning I SNEEEZED three or four times.  What a relief.  My poor body was so totally confused about what it was supposed to be doing.  Meanwhile irrigation itself seemed to be progressing a little.. slowly..    a moment later I felt another wave of nausea and the need to expel.  No problem, I thought..  Another sudden deep breath in, two violent sneezes, and before I knew what was happening, I was vomiting..    Now pause for a moment to imagine this conundrum.   I was SITTING on the toilet.  Attached to my belly butt I had an irrigation sleeve (essentially a tube of plastic to guide things from said orifice to the toilet), which was currently in USE. AND I had a laptop computer sitting on a chair directly in front of the toilet.  I twisted myself into all sorts of contortions half standing to try to direct the vomit into the small area between my legs that gave access to the toilet.  Trying to miss the computer.. and the floor.. and anything really that might be hard to clean up later..  All at the cost of puking all over MYSELF!  After three or four waves of this I felt I was probably done.  Exhausted, I sat back down.  The front of me, particularly the.. um.. junk part of me, was covered with puke.  The fronts and insides of my thighs, my chest and stomach..  etc.  Now.  It would be nice if I could have just jumped straight into the shower and cleaned myself off, but let’s keep in mind that I had an irrigation sleeve attached to my stomach that was currently in use!

At any rate.  It was a clusterfuck.  An hour or so later when I felt I was more or less done, I showered (finally) and put on a bag, and went to bed.  A few times before I actually fell asleep, I had to get up and empty out the bag.  Eventually though, completely worn out, I fell asleep.  When I woke up in the morning, of course I had forgotten all about it.  I swung my legs over the side of the bed, and noticed that I had a bag attached to me that was full to bursting.  In fact, busting its seems..  Leaking out the sides..  It was a small miracle that I hadn’t rolled over during the night on to my stomach!  Can’t even imagine the mess that would have been!

So my day started with a sprint to the bathroom to remove and empty a bursting shit bag and to jump in the shower to clean shit off my elbow(?!).  I then put on a nice small cap, feeling confident that the ordeal was over..  not to need repeating for another 36 hours.  All’s well that ends well.



Recently I finished up and sold another run of pill flasks.  The final.  There will be no more.  I’m in the packaging stage.  I’m sending them in priority mail flat rate boxes.  These are available at your local post office for free!  It’s part of the service.  A good deal, really.

So the other day I went to the post office to pick up supplies.  I walked over to the kiosk with the flat rate boxes and envelopes, and pulled out every small flat rate box there was, and was on my way over to the inquiry window to explain that I had cleaned them out and in fact needed MORE, when I was met by a manager who had sprinted out of nowhere to meet me, saying, “OH, UH UH… You can’t do that!!!   You can’t take all those..   If you take all those, someone has to come out and refill this thing!!!”

(That must happen, occasionally..  I was thinking..  It IS someone’s job, right?  To keep the supplies topped up?).

“Well..  In fact, I need quite a lot more than this..”  I said.

Her eyes widened.

“How many you need?..     You can’t just take all these boxes from here..  This is for people who are going to ship this stuff TODAY!”  She was still stuck on the last part..

“Right..  Well.  I’m trying to ship today.  I’m going to need at least 50.”

“You’re going to ship 50?  Today!!?”

“I’m really hoping to.. 65 or so, in fact..  but I already have a few boxes at home..”  Here I was imagining that they’d be delighted that I was using their service.

She shook her head like I had just sworn in church, “mmmm mmmm…   You can’t have 50…   If you need that many you have to order them online, and we’ll bring them to your house.  Then you don’t even have to come in here..”

“OK..  that’s good to know for next time..  But you see, I’m trying to ship these today.  And here I am!  Can’t I just pick them up?”

“mmm mmmm….” again.  “You can have one package of them.  More than that you have to order online.”

She turned to the young woman working in the inquiry window that I’d been headed to initially when she had caught me red handed, and said “Get him ONE package..” and she turned and disappeared back into the bowels of the place.

The young woman at the inquiry window disappeared as well, and came back with a nice shrink wrapped package of small flat rate boxes.

“How many are in a package?”  I asked.


I hung my head..  “and that’s all I’m getting, huh?  I can’t get another package?”

She closed her eyes and shook her head, “she said one package..”   I could tell that what she meant was “Bitch is crazy!  I can’t stand working under her..  but if she sees me give you two packages, I will LOSE my job.”

“How about if I leave and come back in ten minutes or so,” I joked.

She just closed her eyes and shook her head again.  Not even a sign of a smile.  She looked tired.

“thank you, dear.”  I said, and turned to walk out.  On the way out I passed the kiosk, and considered grabbing everything in it and running, but I had a feeling I was being watched.

My father’s most withering insult for people was “no imagination..”  He would use it at times like this.



Many thanks to all of you who bought pill flasks.  It is a huge relief to have them out of my hands and into yours.  Please remember to give them a good wash out before you use them..  You’ll be doing the final step for me!

As soon as I’ve taken a proper inventory and built a page for them, Jerseys will be on sale.  They are Ibex long sleeve full zip merino wool cycling jerseys.  The perfect weight for fall cycling.  (just in time for Psycho-cross season).  The wool is grown and woven into fabric in New Zealand.  The Jerseys are sewn here in these united states..  in my home state of Vermont, in fact.   The embroidery as well.  This is the first thing that I’m offering on here that I haven’t made myself.   A bit of a break, I know, but a very very nice product, that I’m proud to be selling, and that I hope you’ll be proud to wear!

Thank you all for your continued support.   Now that the pill flasks are done, I can go out to the shop and just play!!  I’m going to carry these small flat rate boxes over to the post office to mail them (with some trepidation), and then head down to the shop.  Tonight is dinner out with Glen, who was hanging out with Mario Batali last week (as you do..) who invited him to eat at Babbo tonight.  So Glen, in turn, invited us to join in.  Should be a pretty fun night!



37 Replies to “misadventures”

  1. Wow. I can’t imagine what you go through each day just with the irrigating! Never mind everything else. You held your composure quite well in regards to the boxes. I personally think this woman was wrong to do that. I missed the sale of the pill flasks. Too slow, I guess.

  2. Next time organize a flash mob and everyone buy one box. I am sure that would be more annoying than having to restock the bin.
    Some how I am not seeing when you put things up for sale. I would love to buy a jersey though.

  3. I would have lost my mind. And I agree, flash mob is the way to go. I still don’t understand totally the irrigation process but maybe it’s better that way. I’m still adjusting to life with my kangaroo pouch. I start chemo on Monday. My marriage fell apart. I’m a mess

  4. Ha! You made me laugh out loud when you summarized the bathroom experience as a clusterfuck, no other way to describe it – I’m a nurse and could just picture it all going down in the bathroom. (Your awesome writing style brings EVERYTHING to life.) I’ve been puked on, pooped on, and sneezed on, among other things too. I’ve also had many close calls with someone I was caring for whose ostomy bag was about to burst or actually did so! At least these bodily fluids were all your own! 😉 Hopefully you understand, I only laugh because you painted a very familiar picture and sometimes, after a good shower, that’s all you can do. Believe me, I know it’s not actually funny and I am so sorry you went through that. Just know, I have been following you for the past year and I have the greatest respect for you and Hill and think about you every day, hoping and praying the best possible for you daily. Congrats on getting the pill flasks done, I know you’ve made a lot of people very happy. Some people live a long life and all their lives never touch a fraction of people’s lives in such an inspiring way as you already have during your life time. Always, R

  5. damn! now i wanna a jersey,but it seems it will be a big challenge…well,maybe can try..take care of u,fast boy,and let’s keep in touch

  6. Thanks. I know I shouldn’t be laughing hysterically at your troubles, but of course there was a funny side to it. I had just come out of an audit for the morning (kinda felt like someone was forcibly irrigating me) and reading your column made me feel like I had been watching a Saturday episode of the RoadRunner. Don’t know how you manage it, but somehow you keep us all thinking that you could piss into any wind – even a gale force! Keep it up!

  7. Your irregatuons make my sinus rinses look like a cake walk. No more complaining about those from me!

    I’m bummed to have missed out on a flask but psyched that you get to go out and play!

    Big love!

  8. Okay I was reading along all nervous but then you woke up to a (surprise!) bursting bag and I was like ” well Hey! Success!! Way to go!” COULD HAVE been a disaster? Yes! but totally wasn’t:) A little elbow shit. No big. And you slept thru all the slow-going. Genius. Sorry ’bout all the vomit…

    Of our handful of trips to nyc, Babbo was by far our favorite meal. Sounds perfect:) Have so much fun

  9. Ive read your page Green Monkey. I get a good kick out of how you write but I am terribly sorry to hear your marriage fell apart. /Sighs, it makes me really angry to think that someone could leave someone at such a time in their lives but I also understand that I don’t know the story so I can only say I feel badly for whatever it is you are going though, BUT DAMN the same week you started chemo?

    That really does suck!!! ;-(

    Both you and Ezra. I wish that neither of you had to go through what the two of your are having to deal with but in life at this time.

    I can only hope it gets better for the both of you!!!!!

  10. Yep, we thoroughly suck at in-person customer service. I’m sorry about that. With a day or two’s planning, we have amazing options like free delivery of massive amounts boxes and carrier pickup of prepaid mailings. But that assumes you have time to plan and waste. 🙁

    Feel free to hate on US(ps). 🙂

    Miss you,

  11. You should have stolen all those damn boxes!!!!! : )
    We have a mean post office lady. She yelled at me for using staples in my resume in an envelope package. Apparently you can’t use staples in a package “because they might get stuck in the machine the mail goes through” Whaaaaaaaa? No one can mail something with staples in it? Bitch was crazy. So, as she watched, I ripped open my envelope, ripped apart all my pages of resume and whatnot and took out the staple….put the papers back in the folder and handed her it. She then replied I couldnt mail it because I didnt have tape over the metal piece that holds the folder shut. “Do you have tape?” I said….. she huffed, outraged, and I said, “I can drive five minutes to home, get tape and come back.” but finally she gave in…

  12. Ohhh, enjoy Babbo! I’ve had a couple wonderful late night dinners there. Definitely finish with the little tastes of all the gelatos/sorbets incl the olive oil sorbet, if they’ve still got it on the menu.

    Always loved the music they play there too.

  13. I’ve done the “grab-n-sprint” before, and I actually had a USPS employee chase me for about a block. They’re very protective of their packages.

  14. Since you are on so many more pain meds now, do you think maybe ta
    king a stool softener would help? Maybe ask your hospice nurse..Since I have the same bag as you..(lol).I sometimes clamp the sleeve and walk around a little to get things moving..(.as long as no one is visiting at the time.)

  15. We’re not really here. We’re over at the other site, but we’re all :stares:
    I’m coming for you smalls. Let’s do this.

  16. dear Ezra, sorry if my comment here is un-related to your post and my English sounds odd and “with limits” since i’m not mothertongue. I just wanted to tell you that i’ve been following your inspiring writing style and your fantastic pictures for years now. I still remember as i said, that day years back, when i was looking on flickr for tags on NYC urban bike scene…and i found you. i’m glad it happened, it has meant so much for me. even if i don’t know you in person i feel like you’re an incredible friend, a mate who over the years has taught me a lot about life and the importance/beauty of savoring every single moment of it (i’m not using the verb “savor” without a reason: your food photography is…wow. just wow. not to mention how darned gifted you are as a chef 🙂

    to cut to the chase: thank you, fastboy! and a big, super strong hug.

  17. Hey Ezra,

    The jerseys are gone…whats next?
    Tell us how you and Hill are doing…….
    … Hope all is a bit less “clusterfuck” (unknown to my vocabulary till now)
    Thinking bout you guys..



    Ps. Got a jersey ;-)))))

  18. Hoping your irrigation adventures since this last post have been few and far between. Thinking of you Fastboy and sending warmth from the west coast.

  19. I’m not starstruck very often either (i-ther, not e-ther) but as someone with a huge crush on Bill Nighy, I’m gobsmacked.

    Of course, the poem is only fitting, and my affection for you (and Hill, and Putney) is endless. Carry on, dear Ezra. Sorry about the repeat of three days in bed, but damned if you aren’t giving cancer the best run for its money EVER.

    love and boundless admiration,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.