Monthly Archives: December 2010

Bearing the Unbearable

A few weeks ago I live-trapped a young rat, slightly bigger than a field mouse, and since it was so bitter cold outside, decided to wait until warmer weather to release it (thinking it could use a few warmer days to build itself a nest).  I kept it in a 5-gallon bucket in the basement with a screen over the top, made sure it had bedding and food and a water bottle.  I felt badly about keeping it in there, trapped and all alone, but I thought my reasoning was sound.  Still, I had a bad feeling in my gut about keeping it down there.  Well, the water bottle stopped up.  An inch from water, my captive died of thirst.

I could have prevented it.

I have two sweet dogs.  Since they tend to chew shit up, we keep them crated when we’re not home.  Paw doesn’t mind, but Jake, with his hound dog spirit, hates it.  I have a similar nasty gut feeling about it.  If we left them outside, any number of terrible things could happen.  They could get out, get lost, get killed by a car, get stolen, get rocks thrown at them, get hurt like Sunny –

If only.  If only I had protected her better.

My daughter, my only child, was born with a serious heart defect.  The first four months of her life I lived in a catch-22 torture – she would have died without a surgery that could have killed her.  I want to cage her up in my heart, make her tiny and put her back in my womb so I can keep her close always, never let anything happen to her that could take her away, because I know how it feels to look into the great maw of that particular monster.

I couldn’t keep the rat alive, captive.  I couldn’t stop Sunny from going out on the porch, her favorite spot, that day.  We handed Ry over to the surgeon, and each day, I let her go.  I let her go with my hands, but my anxious heart stays wrapped around her, begging the world to bring her back to me safe.  She goes into the world, her beautiful, free, natural self, and I could lose her.  It’s true.  I can’t bear it.  I have to bear it.


How Cellular Technology Will Save My Member

Mo and I got new cellular telephones today.  We’ve “upgraded” – I think that’s what the young people these days call it.  In my day, when you upgraded, it meant you switched from a Clydesdale to a John Deere.  Or something.

So we got these super spiffy Pantech Laser Telephones.  If you’re one of those people that use Raspberry Telephones, or Eye Telephones, or whatever, you’re probably laughing at me.  But seriously, I’m such an old-fashioned hippie it’s really amazing I even use toilet paper.  You know, instead of recycled newspapers, or tree bark.

So the first thing I did on my new phone was to learn all about how to use it, which involves pushing a bunch of “buttons” on a “touch-screen” and smearing your finger across the front of it to make it move all around, which really is amusing until you start buying things like stocks and airline tickets by accident.  How do you clean these things, anyway?  I mean, I could spray it with Windex, which really does clean everything, but then when I went to wipe it off I’d end up buying a waffle iron or an overpriced sex toy or a few heads of cattle.  Though with all this fancy new technology, I could probably just point my phone at the cows and they’d move right along where they’re supposed to go, instead of all this whooping and hollering and bruising my member on the saddle nubbin.  And it would cook me a fine meal, something really modern like dim sum or goose le orange, instead of having to cook my hard tack and beans over those damn lazy woodstove coals. Or something.

Evacuations Should Happen More Often.

It seems like there’s going to be a massage evacuation every week.  Last time it was at the spa, for a gas line break.  Tonight it was at my home office – pounding on the door during a session, evacuated my client, two fire trucks, lots of handsome men in yellow rubbers … what was I saying?  Oh, right – everyone is okay, there was a fuse box fire upstairs, baby Henle was upset to be woken up, but Ry was away at Riley’s for the night, thank goodness.  Handsome firefighters.  What was I saying?

The Ice Storm of ’10

I got a snow day.

I was set to go to work, really I was, and then I locked my keys in my [running] car.  I skated around in my nice black work shoes on the ice-sheet road while I waited for the locksmith, and realized, hey, I’m skating in my shoes on an icy road.  What made me think I’d make it down the slippery hill that is my driveway?  Likely, I would have skidded down the driveway, hurtled right over the berm and plummeted, shrieking, over the cliff on the other side.  Okay, it’s not a cliff.  And I don’t typically shriek.  But you know when you’re sliding in your car on ice how the gentle slope of your neighbor’s yard looks like a slippery ramp to bottomless death.  Maybe you don’t know.  Well I grew up in Maine, so I know how it feels to be spinning, helpless, in circles in a car on ice, and I know what it’s like to shriek, and I didn’t want to fall off the cliff at the end of my driveway.

My upstairs neighbor Amanda got out by driving straight across the lawn.  She didn’t even bother to park on the street, either.  She said, “I’m just not coming home til it’s melted.”  I, on the other hand, am choosing not to drive across the lawn we share with the landlord and down his slidey driveway onto another gentle icy slope of death to get to Frankfort Avenue and eventually to my spa job.  I just don’t think I want to risk the Wrath of Landlord Dave and everyone whose shiny new cars are parked along my street, praying silent car-prayers not to be side-swiped by insane people attempting to traverse solid ice to try to get to work.  However, I admire Amanda’s stubbornness.

It took about an hour for the locksmith to arrive, during which time Rayya watched a movie at another neighbor’s and I tried not to think about how I was destroying the environment with each passing moment that my Forester sat idling.  J from J’s Discount Locksmith was a friendly fellow, and smart, like Amanda, since he parked on the street and hauled his tools across the yard in a bucket.  He was probably real friendly for the rest of the day, too, since he had sixty of my tip dollars in his jeans pocket.  $10 of that was his tip, since he drove an hour and then hiked over the icy tundra to get to me.

By the time Friendly J left with my money, Seamus the Forester was all nice and warmed up inside.  The hard crust of ice which had coated it was now running in little rivulets down the steaming green exterior.  So I sat in the car for a while, warming up my hands, trying to think of a text I could send Melissa about why I didn’t get to work, some manipulative wording so she wouldn’t get mad.  After all, this locking myself out of my car business is getting old.  After three expensive visits from a locksmith, I still haven’t gotten a spare key made.  And locking myself out while it was running was some really nice icing for the mad-cake.  At least the dogs weren’t in it tearing shit up, and oh my god they could have put it in drive by mistake and crashed into the neighbor’s- no, the landlord’s house.  Oo, I’m freaked out now.

Blue’s Journal of Whacked-Out Dreams: Drunken Pirate and Helpful Stepdad

I was a drunken pirate, and I was also Johnny Depp. Tara, one of my massage instructors, was captain of the pirate band. I was staggering down a road in my hometown at night. I decided not to be a pirate, to quit drinking. Tara had us play one last chess game, before I was to quit. The chess pieces were beautiful green jade, and the chessboard was drawn in dirt in the road. Each time I lost a piece, I was in excruciating pain. In the end I lost and Tara won. She had planned it – you can never stop being a drunk, you die of it.   She wasn’t a bad person, it was just the way it was. The pirates said goodbye and walked away. I lay on my side, moaning, dying, looking up at lovely green Northern Lights above a bare treeline and a billboard.

I was pregnant. Mom, Jeff and I, driving home on an icy cold winter’s night, began sliding on the ice.  We gave ourselves over to it, laughing. We stopped at a row of boathouses side by side along a springtime seaside promenade. We had plans to turn one boathouse into a home. It wasn’t perfect – there was no yard, but it a had a manicured park out back and an ocean view. The day was sunny and warm; large boats were tied to cleats along the wooden docks. All around was green grass and sand. Jeff threw some ropes out of my way.

Thanks, Jeff.

Whoopie Pie

30 years ago I woke up to find my tooth gone from under my pillow, replaced by a whoopie pie.

If you’re not from New England or Amish country, you may not know quite what to picture.  A whoopie pie is two palm-sized round chocolate cakes or cookies with creamy filling sandwiched between.  The whoopie pie is not related to the similarly-named whoopie cushion, and does not make fart noises; in fact, it does not make any noise at all, unless cream filling being squished under a pillow makes a sound.

What, you may ask, was the Tooth Fairy thinking?

I have no idea.

But a tradition was born.  Today, my daughter lost her very first tooth.  Tomorrow, she will find a whoopie pie under her pillow.  She will eat it, and she will rejoice in the squished, sticky weirdness of it, and in a few decades she’ll wonder what the hell the Tooth Fairy was drinking that night.

She’ll send her Mom deep heart-waves of love.

Just a little argument (with our razor-sharp talons)

Birds will often attack and drive away larger, predatory birds in order to protect their territory and young (you’ll see crows going after much larger hawks, for example, and even smaller birds dive bombing and harassing until the threat has been driven away).

In my dream, two birds were flying overhead, back and forth between two trees.  One was an enormous white gyrfalcon, and the other was a small snowy owl.  Both were females.  Each was defending her nest, though the owl was much more on the defensive side of the battle.  I admired the tenacity and courage of the snowy owl, who was striking out with those sharp talons and an angry little whistle with every pass.  The powerful gyrfalcon, however, was not being driven away – she was attacking back, and one of her near misses, had it hit its mark, would have ripped the owl apart.  I was filled with apprehension.

Suddenly, they were buds.  Pals.  BFFs.  WTF?  In response to my unspoken question, the gyrfalcon said to me conversationally, “Oh, we’re just arguing.  It’s all good.”