In transit

I spent much of today going back and forth on the train. In the morning, J and I went to the cancer center to get my scan results. They were good! Even the echocardiogram I had yesterday (right after the CT scan). I get echocardiograms because one of my medications has the potential to damage my heart. Thus far, it has not.

Nurse Practitioner K saw me today. She was her usual warm self, with what seemed like endless time to spend with me. I look forward to and enjoy my visits with her, although sometimes we have to remind ourselves to cover the matters at hand (duh, cancer, meds, side effects) because we’re too busy discussing everything else (life, politics, how Gen X might still save the world). When she was saying goodbye she said, “I love you.” I did too. I never anticipated this depth of feeling for a caregiver I wasn’t related to.

After my appointment, I tried getting new, better insoles for my shoes, but as of tonight I don’t think they’re working very well. My plantar fasciitis is better, but my toes seem much worse. Tomorrow I’ll have to spend a couple of hours in the snow (hopefully! Because they’ve already canceled school) so that will be the true test. I am pre-exhausted at the prospect of sledding. But also excited — the boys have had so few great snow outings this winter! And I think we even have cookie ingredients in the house.

Tonight, I took the train back to the city for a moving lecture on the life and death of Primo Levi. It took me back to my early years living here, when I had the time to attend lectures and readings without major upheaval. The fact was, tonight we were in a quandary: I wanted to attend the lecture, but there was also a parents’ meeting about the Common Core math curriculum at the kids’ school, which seemed crucial. We held our breath and decided that at ages 10 and a whisper away from 7, Young J and Young A could handle an hour unattended in the evening. J went to the math talk (I’m so glad he did), and I went to the lecture.

On my way home, walking up Fifth Avenue, it hit me that I was walking up the same block, in the same direction as I was nineteen years ago almost to the day, on my very first morning living in New York. I’d stayed overnight at my friend T’s, because the movers hadn’t yet arrived with my stuff. It was early morning and I’d taken the train into the city from Brooklyn with T, who had to get to work. I walked up Fifth Avenue, and right about the place where I was walking tonight, I hit a dip in the sidewalk. I took another step, and hit another one. I looked behind me, and saw the heel of my boot sitting on the sidewalk. I was walking on the nails. New York had already done in a pair of my shoes, and I hadn’t even lived here a full day.

So it’s my nineteenth Apple-versary, as I like to call it. If I try to catalog all that has happened in my nineteen years of living here, I’ll get dizzy. I am in no way the same person I was when I moved here, but that person is still part of me.

I got home and J reported that only Young J had done as we requested and taken a shower. As J filled me in on the math lecture, the boys’ bedroom door opened, and Young J came out, squinting. He’d heard my voice. I hugged him close, all clean and pajamaed and so unbelievably tall. He wanted to see the snow, but it was still hours away. I sent him back to bed. Just before shutting the door of his room, he saluted.

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