I camped out at the other cafe from 9 a.m. Was scheduled to meet T there at 10 to talk poetry. But first, met a fellow school parent and caught him up on my illness. Then, my long-lost friend J from the gym came in. We caught up and I saw latest pics of her delicious toddler. (We also talked gamma rays, because she is a physicist.)
She leaves and I drift right into a conversation with a blogger who’s had a hard week. I tell her I’ve had about three hard weeks. And all of a sudden I am meeting a new person – something that isn’t supposed to happen that often when you’re my age, or so I’ve read. But my cancer gregariousness knows few bounds.
Then while waiting for T to arrive I read more poems from my friend’s newest collection. They are arresting and after reading three I decide I need to save them for a place where I can hyperventilate after reading, without anyone fearing I’m having a cardiac episode.
T shows up, buys some yummy treats to share and shows me a beautiful dragon story/parable/dream she has just written. To me it seems like a fully-formed children’s book, lacking only illustrations. I bet she’ll do it, too.
I show her my hip hop lyrics which need much tightening up. Much. I can’t be telling my entire life in this one song – much better if I just focus on the drug names and making fun of them. Yes. To work on later. This weekend, maybe, although this weekend includes a trip to Allentown PA to celebrate a 103rd birthday (J’s grandfather) and of course, Mother’s Day.
I finally leave the cafe and amble up the block and remember my toenails. They are scary enough the boys have started to show concern. I cross the street to the fancy place I’ve never tried and there is no waiting. Suddenly I’m springing for the full spa pedicure. Today there have been two articles circulating on nail salons, one informative and historical, the other deeply disturbing.
My own feelings are mixed. I hate service providers who are so clearly in a subservient position and taking care of something truly gross, my feet. I have the feet of an 80 year old, thanks to a genetic predisposition to bunions, which forced me to stop running. I once overheard a pedicurist talking shit about my feet in Spanish (she didn’t know I could understand) and while I put her in her place, I also knew she was right.
My last pedicure was in October, getting ready for perhaps the last wedding we’d attend until our kids get married. Our friends J & H were getting married, and I had to have good toes. So I submitted myself to the process I enjoy about as much as minor surgery.
I look back at J & H’s wedding with such fondness. I had an excellent time there, seeing some people not seen in a decade or more, and I was hyped up at the start of my treatment and still feeling good and amazing, someone who had actual cancer in my lungs and you’d never know it! How we danced. How we hit up the photo booth, once even with a borrowed baby. It was a singular night, and it was walking distance from home, and there was nothing at all wrong even though I had cancer.
This morning I looked at the remaining cracked red polish on the tips of my snaggle-toothed big toenails and knew something needed to happen. I hope the boys like the color I chose. I do.