I’m heading into the mood swinginess of tapering off steroids. If I bother to look back to last fall I’ll probably find the entire process chronicled there in words. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the volume of writing here, lately. I’ve fallen down on the job as an organizer of information. But when the information is the stuff of your life, it’s harder to sit dispassionately applying tags. I’ve got some ideas, schema, and most importantly, friends who went to library school more recently than 20 years ago, so I’ll come up with something before we all drown. Promise.
I had the best day. I’d say my conversations with my dear R, N, and W were the best – and you guys really are and I loved seeing you all! – but maybe the thing I was proudest of was dealing with a broken fridge. And not falling apart because of it. And now the fridge works again (the guys said it would work “forever” and I’m not sure what that means for fridges back in Russia where they’re from, but I hope they’re right). No, maybe I’m proudest of stopping at the wine store on the way back from the park and getting some cheap chilled sauvignon blanc to sip in bed and ponder taking an actual afternoon nap. I did not, of course, nap. I was too excited about the setup.
I am having total recall these days about things from twenty and more years ago. It’s either the wonder brain drug, or just a hell of a lot of free time. I reached out to a beloved poetry teacher from college, to see if he could help me remember a poet I heard read in what must have been 1990. By the time I got his reply, I’d found it! The poem! The poet! And then got the most wonderful reply from my teacher. I am holding my teachers especially close these days. The good ones. And I was so lucky to have so many good ones.
This is the poem, if you’d like to read it. I tried, but failed, to find audio of CD Wright herself reading it, but she has a very gentle accent from Arkansas, and the last two lines you need to read in the style that people do these days, emphasizing every word with a period in between. Actually, I want you to go off and read this poem to yourself out loud. Now I’m giving you an assignment.
I let J out to play basketball tonight. Thanks to R sending us Indian food for dinner there was not the usual anxiety about cleanup. I had Young J plow through his homework and then let them have after-dinner TV (which is kind of unheard of around here). Then with ten minutes to spare before pajamas, I pulled up recordings of J’s songs and played them for the kids. They’d heard them before but I think Young A was less familiar. He was rocking OUT. They both were. I missed J, but I felt good and sneaky, creating these little fans for him here. Then Young A and I played a throw/catch rhythm game on the drums. It’s been a while. Cancer has suddenly made me a much better mom. At least I hope so.
While we listened to the music and they stroked my arms I was suddenly confronted by their ragged, filthy fingernails. I am the primary fingernail caretaker around here. It was always thus. So after they were pajama-ed, I brought out this Hello Kitty set I was given for my seventh birthday, never used and somehow never gotten rid of, and decided to teach these boys what a fingernail brush is for. They loved it.