draft | I Did That
and she said, What’s your favorite memory of me as a kid?
and I thought and thought
nearly panicked when I could not recall
a single moment that wasn’t a photograph–
J in her Halloween cowgirl costume,
J crawling through the broken slats
at the bottom of my bedroom door–
but I said When I took your picture
coming downhill on that sled and you nearly
ran me over. That was a good one,
she said, but you know mine? When you’d
walk me through the woods and tell me
the names of all the plants. And it’s true.
I did that. It came back to me. And she smiled.
This morning my yelling woke R downstairs and he rushed up to wake me from whatever dream I was having–I remember the long closet and Mom & Dad’s that is now a half-bath, and a hand jutting out to clamp onto the back of my neck, and trying to turn and see who was pulling me into the wall–
We saw The Sixth Sense yesterday, so the dream is of course derivative, or else an old one triggered by similarities in the movie (which we both liked very much, by the way).
Reading Maxine Kumin’s To Make a Prairie this morning while R talks online with his friend, Rich. Yesterday I received the invitation from Vermont College to be a T.A. at the winter residency. Feeling the need to write, to work, wishing the two could meld. I had talked with R a month ago about the residency slot, how I expected to make the list this time, and we’d (provisionally) concluded that it would be better to go in summer. Now, of course, I want to go–or part of me does–because it’s the writing life, to some degree, and I need it, miss it. I think I will decline, though, and work harder to make room, time, for that element.
R and I talked a bit yesterday about his health: I was concerned that he’s about to run out of meds, and he told me he’s often skipped taking his meds in order to stockpile an extra month’s worth. I forced myself not to react, and asked evenly if he understood what happened when he skipped doses (greater chance of the virus mutating and becoming resistant to the med).
We also talked about not having sex so much lately. R seems to have a very abstract notion about his death–as if it’s a bus ride he’ll decide to board at the corner one day, not a process that could take months–and this worries me.
But he also said that, based in things I have said in the past (damn the past!), there are many things he worries about but feels he can discuss with no one, including (especially?) me.
I did a lot of thinking about the T.A. candidacy. Emailed Louise Crowley yesterday to say I’d received the invitation and would notify them today. Discussed it with R; we did a tarot layout for each, January vs. July residency.
The first reading clearly showed that I was ready and capable of moving into a new stage of growth and work, but that I would have to apply myself to achieve it and not waste the opportunity of the residency. The second indicated there would be too many other responsibilities, and ended with the four of pentacles–money trouble? focus on getting the house?–I don’t know, but it seems it’s not a good time to go to Vermont.
I emailed Louise at VC and indicated I’d phone this afternoon. Accepted the T.A. slot. I need to get my flu shot, as does R.
Yesterday out of the blue (ether) someone from Lexington IMd me, interested in the wicca in my profile. His name is Rocky; his lover’s name is Stevie; they’ve been together ten years. Seems nice enough. Good to talk to someone about craft stuff. We may invite him for our Samhain ritual.
This evening we had tentatively planned to have dinner with Al, a school teacher who lives in Old Louisville. His AOL screen name is Xyphos. He’d talked with R once or twice, then R suggested I look for him online. He seems like a nice, interesting man. I called him around 4 and he phoned back to reschedule dinner for Tuesday evening–this week he is dog-sitting, and it’s turned out to be more of a chore than he’d anticipated.
Up at nine, still having a lot of pain in my left foot. Oh, well. Gathered up some laundry to take downstairs as R and Sadie were coming in from her walk. R at once turns on–turns up–the television. I’m folding clothes, trying to remember the dream that’s slipping away. Regis and Kathy Lee are switching places! R yells from the living room. Something about… but it’s gone, gone. The television audience roars and applauds.
Yesterday I was hanging wall pockets in the guest room: I’d set them out on the bed and was arranging them against the wall. Four children outside, playing at the end of the opposite building, were taunting the high-strung border collie tied outside the last apartment in our building. This dog barks for long periods, over and over; I’ve wanted to complain at the leasing office but how can anyone blame the dog, seeing how it’s treated? Watch this, yells one of the kids, and rushes toward the dog, waving his arms aggressively, stopping just short of the tether’s reach. The dog goes mad with barking and lunging. The kids laugh and take turns. I open the window and bellow STOP TEASING THAT DOG! and they scurry over to the ill-place playground set, glancing back at my window.
I don’t want to be the heavy, the mean-ass grump next door. I could go out and try to talk with them (above the dog’s agitated yapping), explain that this is how dogs go bad, this is how a two-year-old gets mauled to death, and yes, they are big enough to keep safe but what about the next child, and when it happens it’s partially their fault.
Martin Short just got booed! R yells. On his own show! I go upstairs as he’s flipping channels to the youngest person ever to sing the national anthem in a ball park, a three-year-old, who sings as one imagines a three-year-old might. I don’t want these things in my head this morning, don’t want them competing with my own thoughts, images. But here they are being recorded with everything else. Insidious. I get up and close my door.
R and I drove to Jeffersonville to eat lunch and browse around. We found one mediocre antique shop. There were many sirens heading to and from the I-65 bridge and two news helicopters circling. We ate at Hardee’s because we were hungry. Later, walking to the riverfront, we found a great candy shop that operates a small deli counter. Bought Mom a tin of horehound candy. Wished we’d found the deli sooner. Promised to go back. A woman in the shop said there’d been a bus accident on the bridge.
We bypassed 65, which was completely backed up on the southbound side, and took a side road more or less toward New Albany that led to the Ohio Falls overlook, which, it turns out, was the launch site for the Lewis & Clark expedition. Walked down the boat ramp and climbed along the shore full of stones–shale? limestone?–many with interesting fossils. A nice side trip. I found a driftwood branch, probably cypress. Then on to New Albany, where we basically just drove around for an hour.