Oh! Oh! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
I wrestle with the tangle of sheets and blankets, try to get out of bed and get weight on the leg before it totally locks up in a charley horse. This time, I'm victorious. Whew. Disaster averted. I hobble to the door, on my way to the bathroom to find a calcium pill. Whoops! Forgot the girl. I hobble back to the night stand.
I clip the guardian to my underwear band and make my way, bleary eyed, navigating by various night lights to the bathroom. Not enough light to find the calcium pills. Squinting to avoid blindness I flip on the overhead. I keep my eyes nearly shut, trying to keep my night vision. Ah hah. There you are. I turn out the lights and promptly drop the pill on the floor. Crap. Oh well, at least it didn't fall in the toilet. I lost a Synthroid that way last week. Dropped it on the counter top, bounced right off into the bowl. I probably couldn't have done that if I tried.
Back in bed I try to fall asleep, but angry dollar signs are surrounding me, nipping at me like a pack of hungry velociraptors. I'm worried about money.
When you are sick and scared, it is easy to say: health comes first. We'll find a way. It's only another $400 per month...
But in the trenches, that is easier said than done. Time are changing. It is 1910, the T-Fords are being bought as fast as they can roll off of the assembly line and I'm the owner of a buggy whip factory. Digital is killing the lab industry. Most of my colleagues are now out of business. In the year 2000 I had nine employees and over 3,000 customers spread over all 50 states, with at least one on every continent on the globe. That included our guy in Antarctica. We were busy. The lab was hopping day and night. I worked 80 hour weeks. We were a wash in cash, if not profits.
But now with digital, most professional photographers don’t use labs anymore.
Now it's just me and Molly, my half-day two-day per week angel who keeps the paperwork end of the lab in check. I do all the tech work. Some days I'm busy, some days I'm surfing the web waiting for the phone to ring.
The lab is sometimes too quiet. Too empty. I’ve got a ton of moth-balled equipment that I couldn’t sell on Ebay for two cents on the dollar. The world changed. Almost overnight. Nowadays in an entire month I process less film than we would have done in a single day four years ago.
Some months I’m functionally bankrupt. OK, I paid the phone bill late last month, so I gotta pay it on time this month....so I’ll pay the electric bill late this time.... In fact, we had a slower than anticipated Christmas season. My health insurance bill is three weeks late.
But every time I’m about the throw in the towel, some big order comes in and saves the day. We’ll have a little flurry of business. Things will get better. I get caught up on my bills. I start to breath easier....then things slow down and I’m surfing the internet waiting for the phone to ring and trying to remember if it was the phone or light bill I paid late last time....
So into this delicate balance I throw a huge new monthly bill. I had expected the money stress to be balanced by the lack of health stress. That hasn’t exactly been the case yet. For two weeks I was in heaven. Then we had a little taste of hell. Now...I guess this must be Purgatory.
Some times when I do a BG she’s right on the ball. Sometimes a little off. Now and again, a lot off. Now I’m hyper-sensitive to it. Yesterday, in a mall, my wife asked me, “What’s your
“Depends who you ask,” I replied dourly.