Monday, February 08, 2010

Inching Toward Progress

I am feeling human after taking celebrex today and yesterday. For once, the pills didn't double me over with stomach pain. The work day passed quickly. I saw the lawyer and he agreed to take my case. I think the pictures clinched the deal. (A) called the contractor a clown. I guess that's as insulting as a Harvard graduate can get. Before Friday, I have to get an estimate for all the repairs not just the replacement of the cabinets. I think the electrical work will be pricey. Anywhooooooooo, it seems I'm making progress. (A) thought he might have a ticket for me to see Garrison Keillor. He called his wife but she had already given it to someone. It was still a nice gesture. Before he hung up, she must have told him she loved him. He said, I love you too. It was touching. I suddenly realized, I couldn't remember how long it had been since I'd even heard someone say that.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Knock, Knock, Is Anybody There?

My hair is falling out and soon I will have to make a decision about cutting most of it off and starting over. My shoulder length locks took years to grow out and I am not looking forward to wearing sewn in tracks of synthetic weave.

If my life has one constant, it is the refrain of beginning again. This goes against every impulse of my soul which invariably wants to dig a hole in familiar terrain no matter how dysfunctional and just stay put. Inertia is highly underated; offering the coziness of the familiar. When life about you is chaos, staying where you are can be a lifeline. But of course, it is impossible to move forward when one is stuck in the past or a present which is not working out.

Soon, I will probably cut the hair, but for now, I will let it fall, inspecting each tightly knotted dread, as though it were a limb, I no longer need. I am evolving. Perhaps, like the ape man, I will eventually shed all hair and become a totally new creature, smooth and upright with my face defiantly meeting the world, composed and in control. I may even grow a new limb and call it courage or hope.

Yesterday as I completed my rounds; developing pictures to show the attorney on Monday, shopping for pink plastic cutlery to tuck into lunches taken to work, I smiled at strangers and store clerks. I never smile. They smiled back. It was strangely delightful. The smile rose from a lifetime reservoir of defiance. I was in so much pain and I never give in to pain. So I smiled, as though I had a secret. When others smiled back, we briefly shared 'the knowing.' If you persevere, you will survive.Finally, at the end of the day, I asked for help getting the bags into my car. I was almost doubled over from the relentless agony in my back.

I don't know when I began talking to (M) as though he understood, as though
his mind would absorb my thoughts the way someone would whose brain was not short circuited/damaged. He always surprises me with his uncanny ability to do or say the thing that is right and perfect for those moments when I am stripped of hope. At one time, during my rounds, I wondered just how long I would be able to complete the mundane tasks I once took for granted. I told him this as he stood over me. I lay in bed, tears welling in my eyes and he moved closer with his hand outstretched and then he prayed. (M)talks to God as though the two of them are pals, as though he expects his buddy to drop everything and listen to what he has to say. I don't know if I cried because once again I swallowed the guilt and shame of having lost my temper at (M) hundreds of times. At that moment, I couldn't even remember why, just that morning, I had yelled at him before leaving home. My anger exploded like shrapnel against his wall of mute stoicism/patience. Despite my frequent rages, his love is unconditional. Or maybe I cried because I desperately wanted to believe that somewhere God was listening.