You know how it is when you're relaxing in front of the idiot box with about half of a nice, dry, ice-cold martini within easy reach, and you put your feet up - and the phone goes off.
The neurotic builds castles in the air. The psychotic lives in the castle, and the psychologist collects the rent.
It's Migraine One. She lives out in Granola Land (California - what ain't fruits and nuts is flakes), she suffers from fibromyalgia (she says), and tonight she's hysterical. It turns out that her husband, Schmuck, promised to come up to visit her (they live apart but are still married) and now he says he's sick with the flu or something, and doesn't think he can make the drive. This isn't the first time he's ever done this, and from what I gather he does it all the time. I refrain from making an observation involving self-preservation and the pursuit of happiness.
I suppose it's time for a little background here. Back in the bad old days, I used to keep company with Migraine One. We were an on-again, off-again item, and our relationship (such as it was) was based on - well, I can't really remember, but eventually Migraine One found someone else to fixate on and left for California. And that was that. Since then she's managed to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which means that she regularly gets tanked up on pain pills and cheap wine, then calls people she knows and talks to them. On one memorable occasion she called me on a Sunday afternoon and wanted to sing. No, that's not a typo, and no, I haven't been drinking. It's early yet. Just let that sink in for a minute. Imagine:
Old NFO: Hello?
Voice: Hi Old NFO! I was just thinking about you and all the good times we had together.
Old NFO: Um... who is this?
Voice: Migraine One! Didn't you recognize me?
Old NFO: I - who?
Voice: Migraine One. I was just thinking about singing, and I wondered if you'd like to sing with me.
Voice: I know! Let's sing Swanee River. (in bad mezzo-soprano) 'Way down upon the Swanee River, Far, far away...
Tonight Migraine One isn't singing; she's in hysterics. We're talking alcohol fueled, trailer trash hysterics here. I listen for a while, then I try to calm her down. My problem is that Migraine One might be suicidal, and even if she's a pain in the royal venochee I'm not hardhearted enough to tell her to sober up and call me back later. So I do the best I can, offering sympathetic comments where I think it's appropriate. No, Schmuck shouldn't treat you like this. Yes, he's a real jerk, but maybe he really is sick and you're going ballistic over nothing - which turned out to be a mistake, because the wailing, weeping and general hysteria got turned up a notch.
I listened until she wound down, bid her goodnight and called her brother, Sticks. I explained Migraine One was in hysterics and I thought he should call her, and I guess he did. I turned my phone off and went back to my evening.
And so, you see, I got a voice message on my phone this morning. As it turns out, Schmuck really did show up at Migraine One's house like he said he would, and he's as sick as a dog. He's running a fever of 103° F, and he's got a bladder infection. I gather she's taking him to see the local witch doctor today.
Migraine One doesn't just live in the castle. She related to the royal family and is in line to become a lady in waiting. Me, I feel more than a little vindicated.