That's what I've got for ya. It's Friday and amen to that. Although it brings with it meteorological prognostications for "flooding rains" which means more water in our basement. This has been the wettest and snowiest winter in recent memory. I'm already banned from the basement because we did a mold test thingie and it came back positive. Luckily not for the toxic black stuff, but in my current condition any mold--even the standard kind--is not recommended. I actually learned more than I wanted to about mold from my doctor. Turns out there are two kinds: mold that produce waste products (from eating your particle board or paper or whatnot) which cause that musty smell and some issues for kids, asthmatics, people with lung issues, the immune suppressed, etc. Then there are the kind that give off "mycotoxins" and these are the kind that NO ONE should live in or around. The scariest is aspergillus, which essentially colonizes your respiratory tract and kills you, especially if you are immune-suppressed. So I'm bummed to be locked out of the basement, but glad that we don't have the most virulent kinds of mold. But every time we get more rain forecasts I just feel like, "okay, when are the effing locusts and boils coming?" Enough already so we can get the damn basement fixed.
Speaking of invasive organisms, the Princess Obsession has found its way to Bambina. How bummed am I? I've done all I can to not encourage it, but pop culture will have its way regardless. So I'm taking the middle way: not making a big deal about it but not necessarily buying into the commercial expression of it either. So she can be a princess all she wants, but damned if I'm spending 60 bucks on some kind of princess contraption from the moneysuckers at Disney. Especially since they have, like, one princess who isn't blond and blue eyed. Bambina has settled on Ariel, who I think was the mermaid? I have no idea. So I play princess with her and tour castles with her and then make sure she rescues me and the imaginary prince because we are afraid of the dark and she is not.
In other news, my 5K running training program is being postponed until I can get to a running store (hello, July!) to get the proper shoe fit. I was totally loving running because I seriously was having trouble getting myself out of breath for the first time in my life. So all was going swimmingly (runningly?), lungs good, form good, training good--until my knees suddenly started screaming, 'STOP IN THE NAME OF MENISCAL SANITY!" My doctor is a runner, so I was hoping he'd give me some tips for my knees. His tip was: "give it up till you can get the right shoes." So my running career is over as quickly and ridiculously as it began. Story of my life.
In other, other news, on Wednesday I forgot my Dad was dead. We were talking about some issues with our water heater and I seriously thought, "I'll call Dad and he'll tell me what that noise was." And I seriously carried that thought around for a full minute, like "oh let me just go get the phone..." I'd heard tell of that happening to relatives of the deceased, but it's not so weird until it happens to you. I actually started laughing because it was so surreal. My brother, god love his handy self, is now the lucky recipient of those late night my-house-smells-like-burning-electricity calls. And after him, my girl C's husband M, who is as handy as he is dandy.
Which leads me to my next stream of consciousness musing. I'm reading Shape Yourself by Martina Navratilova, a woman I absolutely loved as a high school tennis player. She was the ultimate champion and my 16 year-old dream of an ultimate life would have been to play tennis like her and then go home and make sweet double-handed backhand love to Andre Agassi. I'm not ashamed to admit it. That was even back when he had that crazy mop of ridiculous mullet hair. Anyhoo. Martina rocks. I heart Martina. One of the key elements of her book is to do what you can with what you have, and to surround yourself with people who support you in your efforts to be healthy. She uses a Czech proverb to make her point: "Protect yourself not with a fence but with your friends." If I could sum up most of my life--and especially the past 280 days or so--I would have to say Thank You Czechoslovakia for that sentiment. My friends and family are my fences. Whatever we need, we ask for and receive. Whenever I call or email and just drone on about me me me, I'm listened to. Whenever there are opportunities to get the BBDD and Bambina out and about, our friends are there. Whenever I have joys or anxieties or irritations, I feel absolutely surrounded and embraced by the fence of my friendships. Up to and including the kind that will tell you how to fix your boiler, and you just can't overstate the psychic benefit of that.
So that's the big pile of nuthin'. I'll send you off with this little ditty by Sherman Alexie, which totally sums up the poignant and yet rather funny issue of forgetting your Dad is dead:
Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie
The morning air is all awash with angels . . .
- Richard Wilbur
The eyes open to a blue telephone
In the bathroom of this five-star hotel.
I wonder whom I should call? A plumber,
Proctologist, urologist, or priest?
Who is most among us and most deserves
The first call? I choose my father because
He's astounded by bathroom telephones.
I dial home. My mother answers. "Hey, Ma,
I say, "Can I talk to Poppa?" She gasps,
And then I remember that my father
Has been dead for nearly a year. "Shit, Mom,"
I say. "I forgot he’s dead. I’m sorry—
How did I forget?" "It’s okay," she says.
"I made him a cup of instant coffee
This morning and left it on the table—
Like I have for, what, twenty-seven years—
And I didn't realize my mistake
Until this afternoon." My mother laughs
At the angels who wait for us to pause
During the most ordinary of days
And sing our praise to forgetfulness
Before they slap our souls with their cold wings.
Those angels burden and unbalance us.
Those fucking angels ride us piggyback.
Those angels, forever falling, snare us
And haul us, prey and praying, into dust.