Things I Wonder About by Maggie Millus

Beans, Beans, Beans...Gas, Gas, Gas.

Beans, Beans, Beans…Gas, Gas, Gas.

It’s night, long past midnight but nowhere near time to get up.  I can’t sleep.  The best I can do is enter that semi-conscious dream world where random thoughts run across my mind like scurrying insects. I want to get a fly swatter and chase them around my subconscious.   If I become more awake, the mental garbage in my head will float to the surface of my subconscious and my mind will choke on the rubbish of my past and present.


Most of the time, I think of idiot things as in, why did I eat so many baked beans tonight?  I feel like I swallowed a dirigible. Come to think of it, I wanted to eat the whole thing.  I think that’s a sign I’m aging. I wonder if I’m losing it.  Howard disagrees.  He says gas and an unruly appetite are not signs you are getting old.  Still, he had to go and make a whole damn pot. Two whole quarts if you need a measurement.  Half a gallon of baked beans – for two people- with enough flatulence to blow the roof off.


I think about how we disagree on cooking.   The basic idea is that he cooks and I eat.  Now eating is not a big deal for me.  If it doesn’t taste bad and I am hungry, I will eat.  Howard, on the other hand, has a whole different set of criteria.  Such as, how much can he cook at one time?  5 lbs of potato salad?  5 lbs of meatloaf?  He is cooking for two but the number 5 is always prominent in his decision of how much to make.  I think his favorite number is 5.  He must have watched too much Sesame Street when he was little.   I should be grateful that his favorite quantity is not 10.  As in 10 lbs, 10 quarts, 10 gallons, 10 croissants. I wonder what he would do if his favorite number were 20.


We can’t agree on household repairs, so I worry about domestic chaos.   My husband is a Mr. Fix-it.  He can fix a lot of things.  But when?  Only time will tell.  I think about the leaking plumbing in our bathroom.  If it gets worse, we will be able to put a dock in our hall way or maybe even the living room.  I wonder if we should install a diving board.


People are always sicker at night.   I don’t feel sick.  Yet.  You never know.  I could get sick.  If not tonight, maybe tomorrow.  In biology class we learned about cell structure but never cellular mayhem.  And, as kids, we never stopped  to  think about how important cells are, especially if they are not ours.   Pick up someone else’s viruses or bacteria and there is nothing like an army of intestinal microbes on the move.  I wonder if I should write a book about E. coli and diarrhea.  I could call it Strangers in My Bowel.


I wonder about bowel obstructions.  I know people who have had them but I don’t know how they got them. Maybe they swallowed a sponge or a cork.  Sounds painful, disgusting…but shit happens, and then, maybe not.


I wonder why doctors are always looking for troubleI hate invasive diagnostics.  I worry about needing them…more so at night. Such probing thoughts…  Colonoscopies really concern me.  I wonder, is there such a thing as too many?   If you have a lot of colonoscopies, will you drip?  If a colonoscope goes up too far, can a doctor see from one end to the other?  Could he see the light of day?   If you look into a mirror from behind during a colonoscopy, will you find yourself?


It’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m still awake. I’m out in the living room and the dog is stirring.  I think she may be thinking…about a trip outside, to do her business.  I’m thinking too, about how I don’t want to get up and take her, but if I don’t, I’ll have a mess to clean up.  In the middle of the night.  Something more to think about.  Where is the flashlight? What if I step in it?  How loud will I yell?  I wonder …



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