Could someone please answer the foot?

I was sitting in my office, working the work, when the sole of my foot started vibrating. It was very subtle, like maybe there was machinery operating under the floor. It wasn’t a steady vibration but starting and stopping, with the rhythm of an oscillating fan.

It wasn’t strong enough to stop me from working the work but it wasn’t something I could ignore either. Maybe there was something under the floor, the furnace, perhaps, or fracking. I’ve heard fracking is a thing these days.

I got up from working the work and walked the walk over to another part of my office. There it was still, in my left foot only, at nerve level. Flllllllrrmmmmm, fllllllrrmmmmm, fllllllrrmmmmm…. It was like when the phone vibrates in my pants pocket, only less enjoyable.

I lifted my foot off the floor, storking the stork. It was harder to feel, but it was still there, slower than my heartbeat, but pulsating. No numbness, no tingling, just… vibrating.

I went back to working the work and at some point it stopped, though I didn’t notice when. I have not vibrated since, not any part of me, FYI. And so I thought no more about it.

That night, I was sleeping the sleep when my brain decided to awaken the wake. It happens increasingly, and not just because of the snoring cat. The snoring cat, snoring the snore, doesn’t wake me up; she only prevents me from going back to sleep. She has a full range of snores, in all registers and tempos. It’s like listening to a virtuoso dripping faucet. She likewise vibrates.

Lying there at the edge of sleep, I found myself unable to think properly, incapable, for example, of remembering the dream that I’d just had, which I should have been able to do, because it had just happened! Something about our friends getting a new house, which was really only a set-up for a spin-off sit-com starring their relatives, who turned out to be black, which was a bit of a surprise.

But I couldn’t remember any of that then, which upset me, and I convinced myself I was getting Alzheimer’s, if not right away, then soon. Probably something to do with that buzzing foot. It made sense.

In the day of the day, I realize now I was suffering from the night frets, those dark thoughts of the dark. It is true, though, I do forget a lot. Sometimes names won’t come to me. I blank on words, even images of faces. They just sit there behind a closet door in my mind, and I start to lose it and have to hack through the door with an ax. “Heeeeere’s memory!”

I know my body is going to fail me, sooner than I think, if it isn’t starting to do so already. Parts of me are starting to vibrate, after all. I’m the youngest of my siblings, one thing I’ve always been able to feel smug about, but lately I’ve been catching up. We’re spread out all over the map, my siblings and I, and it seems those times we communicate by mass email, the topic is often health – our parents and, more and more, each other’s.

I try not to worry about the buzz that rings the ring in my ears or the specks that float the float in my eyes. It’s part of aging and inevitable. I try not to dwell on how demoralizing it is to find a grey hair, and I don’t mean on my head. This is life at 50, and if there’s any good that comes with age, it’s the perspective of knowing that you are living the life of the moment, that the jerks doing the jerk don’t matter, and that things will fall apart when they’re ready, soon enough, just hopefully not right now.

Wisdom and smarts aren’t the same thing, though. The morning after the dreams and the Alzheimer’s panic, I was driving the drive to Montreal. My vision started to get cloudy, things were going grey and fuzzy. Was I having a stroke? Going blind? Quick check: was anything vibrating?

Then I realized it was lightly snowing.

My brain was not thinking the think.

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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39 Responses to Could someone please answer the foot?

  1. franhunne4u says:

    “I try not to dwell on how demoralizing it is to find a grey hair, and I don’t mean on my head.”
    You too? Well, at least nobody sees them with me. I suppose you are not so lucky, being married …

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Ah, the “night frets.” I know them well. Every possible terrible outcome is on the table when our mind overthinks in the middle of the night.

  3. List of X says:

    I don’t really have anything to say, I just wanted to comment the comment.

  4. You had me at ‘tingling’.

  5. Thank goodness you can still write the write. Or right the write. 50 is child’s play. Just wait until you start sagging the sag and limping the…walk. You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?

    • rossmurray1 says:

      That’s one of my biggest fears, actually, when I can’t write anymore. It’s week to week these days, although I did write this on the fly in a crowded hospital waiting room, so there’s that.

  6. pinklightsabre says:

    I liked the way the mind sack seemed to swing in this, as if it’d found its own, at last. Not like it doesn’t normally, just more so here, like you could just go and go and go. Keep it up! Try enhancements if you can’t! Be glad you have some hair even if it’s in the wrong places, no matter the colour, the spelling, the forgetting! All non-essentials get tossed overboard; be thankful you don’t have to think about it. From Berlin, now. In bed, with Willy Nelson (on the iPod, not in my bed).

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Speaking of willies…
      This was very much stream-of-consciousness writing, in a waiting room, actually, so, yes, a bit of an exercise. Not that it matters, but this post is performing dismally today. Where are all the feet people!

  7. Ned's Blog says:

    As I approach 50, I’ve noticed being more acute (I used to just be a cute) to my body doing weird things, making weird sounds (even before eating Taco Bell) and just generally freaking me out with its weirdness — something I haven’t experienced since beginning puberty. Which is how I’m trying to think of this process: second puberty.

  8. ksbeth says:

    last night i was fretting over the fact that i couldn’t remember the word for the fast line with a few items. (express). came to me today. looks like my retirement plan (winning big at jeopardy), is off.

  9. gavinkeenan says:

    Working the work, shaking the shake and all of the other phenomena you describe remain preferable to kicking the bucket, hitting the floor and dying the death. Stay Strong!

  10. You’re as young as you’re going to get, unfortunately. But look on the bright side – you have legions of adoring fans.

  11. What an awesome take on turning the 50. I’ll do that next year at this time and already have the vibrating foot and ringing ears. Thank you for making something I’ve been dreading sound not so bad – it helps when you’re among cool friends.

  12. byebyebeer says:

    Once it dawned on me that everyone alive will eventually feel old, it bothered me less. Except those who won’t, and that seems worse. The buzzing foot actually sounds special, lucky even.

  13. Clearly, Parkinson’s is parking. It starts in the extremities, then moves up into the WebMB lobe of your brain where it keeps you fearfully right-clicking into the wee hours until the trembling parts go numb and you’re positive that you’re diabetesing the die.

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