Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Too many ribs ...

,I have gained upwards of three pounds these last few days; a new fat roll has surfaced.
I blame it on the ribs. And the barbecued chicken and potato salad and beans and slaw and all the accompaniments to a Kansas City cookout.
Holyfrijoles I am a pig. Guess "you are what you eat" rings true.
Basically I've eaten the world this entire month. Memories of this time last year have surfaced and I've turned to the fridge. Last May I was taking care of the parentals, watching one wither away to cancer (stupid cancer); the other in intensive care with a multitude of coronary/pulmonary difficulties.
Mom lived; Dad didn't.
This time last year he was still sitting in his brown corduroy chair. I was feeding him pancakes dripping in butter and full-calorie syrup. Half a pound of bacon each morning. Orange juice. Five pills on his tray. "Let me break this one into two pieces, Dad," I'd say, picking up the Vicodin tablet, heavy between my thumb and forefinger.
I hate cancer. Stupid cancer.
One day, last May, maybe mid-month, I took Dad his morning coffee, only to notice (like a blaring neon sign: "I've changed! Look at me! I've changed!) a different dad sitting in the brown corduroy chair. A slighter man. Overnight, the muscles in his forearms had vanished. And that little hunk of muscle that only guys have, that half dollar sized chunk of meat above the kneebone, that had left in the night, too. Dad's bermuda shorts showcased the absence.
Stupid cancer.
The anniversary of his death approaches, and while I await it, I have eaten the world.
Salty or sweet, no matter. I've consumed it. Gumdrops, licorice, Cheetohs (what kind of a grown woman binges on Cheetohs?). Potato chips. Dip #1, Dip #2, Dip #3. Ice cream. Sorbet. Frappuccinos. That disgusting fake dairy QuikTrip "malt" you mix yourself and then pay the cashier $2.49 to consume.
Stupid cancer.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Of allergies and housework and end of school grading

Today I'm in a pissy mood. The house is a disaster: dog and cat hair everyfreakinwhere. Kitchen sinks needs a good Ajax scrubbing but somehow the new scrubber I bought a month ago has disappeared. No kitchen towels in the drawers. A half sheet of paper towel glued to the holder.
Someone washed the metal cake pan but neglected to dry it: It's rusted, really rusted. A thick orange edge surrounds all four corners. I'd rather throw the pan out than subject Self or family to some sort of rust poison that I haven't discovered yet on WebMD.
Dust on every surface. My allergies are screaming GET ME OUT OF THIS ENVIRONMENT.
I get out of this environment only to escape to the front porch, where the green things grow; allergies send me back inside. Yesterday, I'd escaped to Border's to grade but my ADD kicked in and I was annoying even myself. Allergies were at bay but OCD cut loose.
"Grade three papers and then you can look at a magazine," I told myself. "Just three. C'mon, you can do it!"
Couldn't do three because I hadn't lined my coffee cup exactly ... where .... it .... should.... be.
Must grade two, or four, an even number. Yes. Then the magazine, something decorating related.
After four hours at the bookstore, I'd graded approximately thirteen essays and looked through a dozen magazines. Drunk two honey-cinnamon lattes. Eaten a bagel.
It's that time of the year when LifeFunk takes over. I'm in that end-of-year teaching zone: Summer's coming but it's not quite here.
"Give everyone an A," my husband says, satisfied with himself. "That's what I'd do."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nineteen Days and Counting

In nineteen days I can read a book on my porch without feeling guilty that I should be doing something more productive. In nineteen days I can stay up past 9:30 and sleep in past 6 a.m. I can hurl my alarm clock across the floor. I can unplug my alarm clock entirely. I can give it away; sell it at a garage sale. Hell, I can just throw it away.
In nineteen days I can go to the gym on my schedule. A regular schedule. A schedule I will actually follow. Hopefully follow.
In nineteen days I will be surrounded by only my own children. Three instead of 103.
Yes, in nineteen days school will have ended.
Hello, Summer.