some weeks, nothing but blur
dispatch from 02139 (in which, in the end, you realize that whether you’re in harvard yard or far-off tahiti, some weeks it all boils down to the same old blur…)
for more than a minute, i’d decided that this week was best dispatched in nothing but snapshot. decided that if i dared type a word, i’d just slip the noose round all of us, and pull us all down into the murky sea in which i paddle.
it’s not been pretty around here this week. been the sort of week where all you wish for is a fine pair of wings, to fly away home. tuck back under the covers of your comfy old bed. despite its sag in the middle.
for more than a week now, we’ve been holed up here in a germ pit. a cauldron of germs, i like to think. all bubbling, and brewing, and running amok.
the tall guy fell first, down for the count with a cold and a cough, so bad he stayed home from school for a day. next up was the little guy; he’s been out of school for over a week now. the mountain of make-up work is enough to make me run for the hills.
there’ve been nights when, at the very same time, the kid and the cat were both getting sick. and the cat, realizing the bathroom was occupied, decided to do his part right there on the living room rug. nice.
so from 2:30 till 5 that night, i was the nurse and the char lady, running around with my mops and my rags and my buckets, cleaning this way and that.
only made it to three of nine classes this week. missed election night altogether. didn’t even stay up for the speeches.
but i did manage to meet the nicest pediatrician i’ve met in a very long while. would love nothing more than to sit down with her, over a long cup of tea. or, even better, follow her through her days, notebook in hand. or, sign up to be her partner in medicine, in the fine art of truly caring for kids, and the people who love them.
she called here twice this week, late in the evening, just to check on the little guy — he was that sick. so sick. scared me, the little guy did. when nothing stayed down from saturday through late wednesday night, i thought they might need to poke him with IVs, pump him with fluids, get him back on his feet.
poor kid missed basketball tryouts, the one thing he’d hoped would carry him through the long cambridge winter.
and then, when in my blurry-eyed stupor i reached way down low and too far across to grab a medicine spoon from the bowels of the dishwasher, i felt something go krrrrrrrrink, there in my back, where krinks are not a good noise.
ever since, i’ve been ambling around like some sort of odd-wired skeleton. one who tilts in the wind. even in no wind.
speaking of wind, we got our first snow. snow, sleet, hail, the whole shebang. did i mention that i suddenly realize how far we live from most of my classes? that nice brisk 17-minute walk now feels like a trek cross siberia.
and, suddenly, visions of home swirled in my head. that nice old station wagon, asleep in the car barn, tucked in for its long winter’s nap. i remembered how it used to drive me wherever i wanted to go.
say, to the grocery store. a modern convenience, one i’d too long taken for granted, apparently. a place where, in one fell swoop, you can pick up a crate of kitty litter and a tub of ricotta. who knew there’d come a day when that simple equation took on the glimmer of luxury?
and so it went. i’ll not drone on forever here. you get the point: some weeks, no matter the ZIP code, no matter the wrappings and trappings, it’s all best left a blur.
in light of the true tragedies of the week, the displaced folks in new york and new jersey, hit first with sandy and then the nor’easter’, and in a week when our truly beloved lamcal lost her mama, i should not utter a single word. forgive me. just keeping my promise to type a dispatch a week. we all weather our share of lumps and bumps, some weeks it’s just harder than others, when they all swirl in an unstoppable torrent. my true prayer this week is for lamcal, whose heart is filled with the ache of the loss of a lifetime. sending love, always.