Well, you may recall Elizabeth had a hellish week. Elizabeth has a tendency to run away on birthdays. But after many, many volts of electricity, she stayed put. This year I decided Saturday would be her birthday and asked her new family/friends to share it with us. So Cheryl and Maggie hopped the ferry to spend the day. There was a discussion between where to go: a) Dead People or b) Squirrels. Dead People win!
Elizabeth is always leading the way into dubious behaviour. Remember Elizabeth’s call to action to do something fun this weekend? Well, she wanted us ALL to go goth (or wear corsets at the very least). And so, we arrive back from the ferry to see Elizabeth working on her five inch spike dominatrix boots and her lace shrug. With her black velvet corset and skirt she totally embraced the inner goth going slut. Here she is, trying to pick up customers in the graveyard with her "come hither” look. It somewhat disturbed me that a wheelchair could look so sexy and down and dirty with the right attitude within.
Meanwhile, thanks to Elizabeth’s bad influence, I bought this spring my first ever corset and finally it saw the light of day. Elizabeth is saying here, “Show the folks what corsets are all about!”
Maggie hadn’t brought dress-up clothes. That stopped Elizabeth for about 2 seconds, as she opened up her “tickle truck” and corsets, skirts and arms warmers spilled out. I (Linda) ended up with to elbow length lace arm warmers that came in handy for the “Sex Kitten by the Mausoleum” look. Not that I originally wanted that look, but when Elizabeth is shouting, “No, no, don’t get up, work it, you’re so sexy, all these dead people want you, woo hoo!”
Meanwhile Maggie emerged from her Ranger/EMT/Anthropology shell to look drop dead gorgeous in spider web corset, a mini plaid skirt and arm warmers to match. As Maggie is straight, we were trying to hide our salivation, that is until she started talking about the costume party she went to in her genuine Catholic Schoolgirl uniform and pigtails. (Cheryl and Elizabeth say, “Yum Yum!”). Elizabeth was slightly put out, as she doesn’t buy her corset to have OTHER women look better in them, but since Maggie was “quote” ‘doing it for Elizabeth’s Birthday’, she put up with seeing her ballet slippers finish the outfit (Elizabeth: Sigh! This is when is would be nice to be petite not just FLAT and skinny.
There has always been ongoing teasing between Elizabeth and Maggie about Elizabeth trying to turn Maggie into a lesbian (this is entirely in Maggie’s mind…..maybe). So while Maggie was getting ready they were bantering to each other. “See, I knew you just wanted to get me naked,” said Maggie when she was given the corset. Maggie protests a LOT but then, when we arrived at the entrance to the Mausoleum Maggie invited Elizabeth to take a picture with her saying, “Hey, this might be one of the few times you’ll get to lean up against my breasts.” Hmmmm, who is teasing who here. Particularly as later, Maggie would be placing her birthday present into Elizabeth’s groin AND undoing both her corset AND her bra! But I get ahead of myself.
We attempted to foist a genuine boned under corset on Cheryl, who has worn them in Historic Parks for her job. She said there was no chance she’d be able to fit into a boned under-corset without eight inches of space in the back. Elizabeth’s eyes lit up and said, “Oh, that a great place to START!” At which point Cheryl backed away and refused to go near the corset again. So we gave her a pair of Elizabeth’s armwarmers to go with her new Deadhead shirt.
It was a lovely day for a picnic in the cemetery and Elizabeth wasn’t going to let a little fever and sore throat keep her away (and apparently, neither did we?). After a brief period of time Cheryl and I nominated Maggie as the queen of camera whores because she had 3 cameras to herself which was as many as the rest of us had put together. Also she tended to wander off and get a little TOO into being one with the tombstone.
One of our favourite tombstones was dedicated to Cashew and Peanut. Who would name their kids that? I’m pretty sure people weren’t allowed to bury their pets there. Elizabeth immediately went back to the “disability angel” and got the picture she wanted. So between Elizabeth going all vamp and gothy on us and with Maggie in full camera whore mode it was an INTERESTING time keeping track of people.
We pulled out the Japanese handmade umbrella and let Elizabeth…well, be ELIZABETH. Which means a lot of hamming it up and some genuine smiles between the, “Oh get me in my magic girl pose!”
Of course, Elizabeth has this POWER, which is to get people (or birds and animals) to DO things that they wouldn’t always do. So it wasn’t long after I was laughing at her doing her “Magic Anime Girl Transform!” poses before, I (Linda) somehow found MYSELF doing Anime Girl action and transform poses. Thank goodness Elizabeth hadn’t snuck in a sparkly wand.
Elizabeth, when she takes pictures like people to laugh. She tried various sexual questions and eventually found one that worked on each of us (really, we were kind of GLAD the cemetery was empty). I’ve been called an innocent and a prude so I can’t tell you what it was that made Maggie look like this (Elizabeth: I can, I just suddenly remembered that I needed some advice on buying a strap on)
Cheryl on the other hand got zinged with a “So, what can you tell me about Threesomes!” to produce this picture after which she said, “I’m not saying.” Which made us all much MORE interested in what she might be able to reveal to us about threesomes (Cheryl: “They’re distracting”).
Elizabeth, though she doesn’t actually have a good oxygen supply still acts like a nine year old high on pixie sticks when in a graveyard. So she is already fighting her way to another tombstone and stroking it like a kitty, leaving Cheryl to clean up the photography supplies.
After an hour of rambling we found a shady area, laid out our black tablecloth and ate Elizabeth’s birthday chocolate mint cake. Maggie regaled us with her tales of how exactly she knew SO much about gravestones, which it turned out she did an anthropology project on them. So we debated about people who overcompensate in death and how it is the LIVING who end up deciding how the dead are remembered. The cake was enough to sustain us for what I thought would be another 30-60 minutes to explore the rest of the cemetery. Didn’t quite work out that way (Did I mention Maggie wanders off and Elizabeth gets hyper and far ahead of us?). It was a great cemetery and Elizabeth used her powers to get a crow to provide some performance ambience for us.
Also, we sometimes managed to get two or three of us together, which was a picture worthy occasion, especially with such NICE tombstones. I mean, who can not love a grave like this?
Fifteen minutes later we were pushing Elizabeth up through the grass to another mausoleum when she said, “I’m feeling funny, something is happening.” We tried to get her to the shade as soon as possible.
She wasn’t sure what was wrong and was sort of just staring at her hands, but we were thinking she may have got a little too hot. I started taking off the boots at her request. They’re pretty complicated with about a dozen buckles on each boot and really, really long laces. I was getting pretty frustrated by the laces but finally got one boot off. AFTER I get the boot off, I noticed a zipper that went all along on the inside seam. Geez, that could have saved me some time! The second boot was a lot easier to take off with the zipper down. Only had to tug a little to get her ankle out. While I was holding her calf in one hand and the boot in the other I had to gulp a little when I realized how small her calf and ankles were now. They felt so fragile compared to a year ago. I had been tugging on her boots to free her foot and suddenly I was afraid I’d break her ankle if I didn’t take them off right.
Meanwhile Cheryl and Maggie were cooling Elizabeth off with her coldpacks. Maggie had bought Elizabeth a pink kerchief with skulls and she put it to immediate use wrapping a cold pack in it to minimize the shock to her system. She put it in one of the few working cooling points. So up came the skirt, and the ice went into the groin. Elizabeth didn’t notice anything. Which meant she was NOT well. Cheryl and Maggie also kept her upright, loosened her clothes, and tried to keep her breathing. Elizabeth drifted in and out of consciousness. In one of her better moments she asked if we could lie her down on a grave (she had been in her chair and was having a hard time with her diaphragm). I laid out the black table cloth to protect her clothes from the grassy grave. We were pretty sure the Brandts (the grave she laid on) didn’t mind us using their area. It’s not like we’d hear their complaining 6 feet under. Ironically, when Elizabeth would come too, she would make “Take photo” motions with her hand to Maggie, I think as she wanted Maggie to keep enjoying her trip. Maggie turned into a bossy older sister and told her, “That just isn’t going to happen.”
We spent over an hour on the grave. I can’t remember how many times she’d stop breathing and we’d have to tell her to breathe and we’d all be searching for some sign of her diaphragm moving. For a while Maggie had to put some pressure on one lung which helped with the breathing. In the moments between unconsciousness when Elizabeth realized we were all there with her instead of taking pictures she’d start talking and tell us she was fine and several times struggled to get up. She was not fine. Everyone knew it but her!
Her oxygen levels go down as she talks so we all told her to stop talking. Didn’t work. Eventually Maggie just pinched her lips shut in the middle so she didn’t have much choice. A finger to the forehead provided enough resistance that she couldn’t sit up. Nice to see I wasn’t the only one that could be bossy. Maggie’s favourite line to Elizabeth was, “I can see your lips and YOU can’t….they’re blue.” Which seemed to shut Elizabeth up for another couple seconds
I appreciated having Cheryl and Maggie there. Having two EMT’s around gives me a sense of security and a little less reason to panic when things go wrong. I will admit that there were moments where I was thinking we’d have to take her to the hospital, if we could ever get her out of the cemetery. How appropriate it would be for this goth chick to end her days laying on a grave in a Victorian cemetery.
Fortunately that was not to be. Eventually she was breathing regularly, talking and some of the chest pains subsided. We got Elizabeth back into the chair, but by this time, she was in the cooling vest instead of her corset. Cheryl told her that Maggie was surprisingly good at the one handed bra removal for a straight girl. Elizabeth zipped down the cooling vest to see her bra hanging limp and said, “I’ve been MOLESTERED!” Then after a few seconds, “I’ve had Maggie touching my breasts, and I missed all the best PARTS!” Elizabeth was VERY disappointed to learn that Maggie had taken her out of her corset and was fondling her body and she didn’t even know it. This topic was revisited often for the next ten minutes, “Why do I always miss everything” she complained, “Some birthday present!”
We wandered back, with Maggie STILL disappearing to take pictures, while Elizabeth’s crow showed up again for her to take another picture in Sepia. Which was appropriate since she had problems seeing with vision and colour.
We managed to finally all get through the cemetery and back to the van.
On the way back, Cheryl and I were on the hunt for a suitable epithet for Elizabeth (not that she was going to die on us today and when she does she won’t have a tombstone anyway because she wants to be cremated). The best one we came up with was only one word “REST”. Pretty good, huh?
What started as an hour walk turned out being a nearly five hour excursion. We picked up fish and chips on the way home and watched most of the US unreleased Ghibli movie Pom Poko. We decided that it was NEVER going to be released by Disney, not just because of the many scenes of Racoon children performing Eco-Terrorism. But there were the many, many, many scenes of Racoons transforming their testicle sacks into various objects (as well as lots of testicle shots while the Racoons partied, which was about every night). Maggie and Cheryl sort of decided that maybe Racoons have transformed into humans and now reside in Frat houses. While Elizabeth seeing a “Racoon Master” transform his testicles into a giant bull frog, said, “Oh yeah, THAT’s the image I need burned into my brain right before a nap!”
We didn’t finish the whole movie but I took Maggie back to the ferry. Cheryl helped Elizabeth get ready for a long-overdue nap while I was out.
Elizabeth is still feeling pretty rotten (the sore throat has worsened, her fever has gone down a bit and she’s in a lot of pain) but we did go out and have fun. And as strange as it is to say it, with Elizabeth having a fever AND almost dying, I think this was one of her best birthdays yet.
PS – since it is 2:30, and all is quiet in terms of comments and emails, we will have a mini post for tomorrow, to give everyone a chance to read and see all the pictures (blow them up by clicking – it is fun!).
9 hours ago