Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A day in the life of... (The one written on the DS)

On Sunday (the 16th) we went out for lunch, and while doing so I was experimenting around with DS Organize, a PDA-like suite of tools for the Nintendo DS handheld system, which of course requires something called a "flashcart" to run homebrewed games and tools from. DS Organize includes a text editor, so I wrote out what we both had, the total - I was just playing around. Then we went to the laundromat, and I took it out again, started a new file, and just started writing...
This was written on a Nintendo DS as I sat in the parking lot at the laundromat. Jen is inside washing our clothes. I volunteered to come in, for all the good it would do, this plantar wart on my foot effectively making me a cripple.

I got out of the car, no easy task let me tell you. The glare of the evening sun was in my eyes. Can't write in such conditions. So I put my window up, take Jen's keys out, and open the door. Getting out has been harder but still this was a pain. Open the door, shuffle out and against the side of the side of the car, lean on the door to right myself, then bravely shut the door, isolating myself from support. I hobble into the laundromat. Jen's on the other side, she doesn't see me she's so busy. Bears and Chiefs football on the TV above me. Two little Mexican girls come by to play with a toy but quickly leave, possibly not wanting to disturb a busy adult. Maybe 10 minnutes later, Jen comes over to use a washer on this side. I call to her twice but she doesn't hear me, even from only 10 feet. She sees me only when she glances over. She finishes loading washers and now we both wait.

I restart the DS and change gears a bit, going from the homebrew and media card the R4, to what the DS was made for: gaming. Mario Kart DS, a favorite of mine. If you play it... My guy is Yoshi, in the egg kart. As I play, Jen goes off to put clothes in the dryer. People come and go, and I'm half watching Jen's purse, half focused on composing this message. A Dodge ad comes on and Jen tells me we have to get the song. New Lifehouse song, she tells me. I really like it, too.

I change seats to be closer to a faux wood bench for the kiddies. It feels so good to put my foot up. I still can't see Jen, she must be on the other side. A young black girl comes to the bench and shoots me a glance that says I'm using the bench wrong. I put my foot down and her smile tells me I did the right thing. She departs, foot goes right on back up again. Sweet relief, mine again. Jen returns, her face tired and a little frustrated. A machine would not take her dollar, and no she doesn't need one of mine.

Jen comes back a little later. The clothes are drying, so we go to Food Lion next door to fill up our six 1-gallon jugs. I get up, slowly but surely. Thanks, but no I don't need any help hobbling out to the car. My sweetie, ever my guardian angel, opens my door for me. Odd gender role reversal there, but I appreciate everything she does for me. This great woman of mine then fills up the jugs at one of those water vending machines. Now, as I catch up on the writing, she's enjoying a little break at the yellow pond, if you catch my drift.

So Jen comes out, cleans out the back seat, and loads up the water. She'd left it on the roof of the car. No wonder people were staring. Oh well, let them, two tears in a bucket.

Now we find ourselves at Sheetz getting gas. Jen hums a tune as she does the windows. $33.80 for about 12.6 gallons of gas, guess we needed it. I ask Jen to get me a 20 ounce French Vanilla faux cappucino. She says, "Sure, honey." Just another thing to do for me, she may never know just how much I appreciate her help, her patience.

We got our coffee - Jen got fat-free French vanilla over ice - and we're back at the laundromat. The sun long set, I come inside again. It's cooler here, and I can put my foot up. The football game is over; there is a political discussion on the tube now. A toddler runs back and forth, eyeing me and my DS, as her mommy speaks on the phone in Spanish. About then Jen comes with the dry clothes aand a tired as hell expression on her face. Again I hobble into the car.

One last stop. We need pet food, so we go to Walmart. Jen wanted to go to the one in Washington but reconsidered. We get there, and Jen lrts me out at the grocery side to go park. We see a wheelchair but it's only the regular small size. So I drive it to the pharmacy side and find two king size ones. I'm just heading back when Jen meets up with me.

She's not the only one. A cashier recognizes me, thinks I just went through his line. Must have been mistaken identity. So we go get the pet food.
And that's all I wrote. These events were written 10 minutes or so after they happened, owing both to me not writing as I'm doing, and how long it takes to type on a DS. The bottom screen is a touch screen, and the writing program draws a keyboard on the touch screen. It's fairly easy to type the characters using the included stylus, just slow as one is effectively hunting and pecking. One of those longer paragraphs might have taken 10-15 minutes. I see a couple typos, real minor, I'm not going to correct them, for the authenticity and all.

Now, to "finish" the story, all that really happened is we went around the store, picked up some more things, I called one of my favorite cousins and told her about the puppies and a little about what's been going on with my foot.

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