All this dog days talk of "I’ve got nothing…", what to write in your b**g…c’mon, people! If you’re lacking it’s in motivation and imagination which is fine, but there’s plenty of material out there. Unless you’re in the depressive phase of a bi-polar disease, in which case, maybe you got nothing and you should go borrow from Hoss . He’s got some good material for sale; even I am considering an investment in his child rearing material. GraceD has interesting insights on the BlogHer convention and while checking those out I would like you to just consider the fact that the premier star of that convention, the woman everyone wanted to be photographed with, made her name writing about poop in the first year of her blog. Then she had a baby and now she writes about diapers and poop. And you got nothing?
Me? I have too much. Too much life. And death. And transitions. And developmental milestones. Plus, in an effort to keep my head above water I’m probably in more of a manic phase. And although I don’t have poop I always have menopausal yeast and that’s a far more burning issue than poop, believe me. I just haven’t had to sink that low yet.
Ed’s death weighs heavily. The stark circumstances of his death are pretty stunning. He died alone, at home, of a severe asthma attack compounded by familial diabetes and chronic steroid use. And then it was a long week before the police were notified that something was amiss and they broke in to find him literally just about gone. Yesterday I stopped by his house with peeling paint and overgrown shrubs in the middle of a block of student housing near the practice field. The place is sealed up and there’s a bio hazard tag on the door; Haz Mat will have to be the first ones in and, from the porch, you can tell why. But people have left candles on the front walk that were lit. Someone left him his newspaper (he would never subscribe but if you visited it was understood you came with the paper in hand), a big fancy lollipop (the medication made his mouth dry and sore) and in the driveway, somebody who loves Ed and loves the sea and fishes and has the innocence of youth and friends with chalk had drawn a big, bold, beautiful tribute to Ed. There are fish and turtles and a "river of life", a ladybug labeled "bug" and big letters that read R.I.P., Ed with an arrow pointing to his front door. I rocked in his porch rocking chair and cried a bit and surprisingly, students from the neighborhood stopped by to express sympathy about the funny reclusive guy who picked up everybody’s broken bottles and litter the day after a big game and to laugh with admiration at how Ed could manage to park 30 cars on his tiny lot on football Saturdays at 20.00 a pop. He was the parking equivalent of the Soup Nazi.
While we wait for the M.E. to finish his job and some sense of when we can celebrate this man’s more than quirky life, friends are meeting up at the local brew pub to tell Ed stories, weep and laugh and drown our sorrow. Last Thanksgiving he showed up for dinner at friend Eleanor’s house at 5 AM Friday morning but they piled out of bed and heated up the leftovers which Ed claimed he was holding out for in any case. We talked about the time we took him to Mexico and got stranded because of snow in Memphis for three days with nothing but duty free tequila and cinnabon coupons (keep in mind here that you have a personality combination of Monk and Jack Nicholson in a sea of hostile, hungry sneezing people with too few toilets.) We talked about how he was the the man who lived to care for others but couldn’t care at all for himself. We talked about how he drove us all crazy, made us laugh, left us guilty that we couldn’t help him enough to escape the hand he was dealt. We said a prayer of thanks for his relief from this life and his reunion with the goofy Hungarians who were his family. One friend noted that although he was late for everything- some of us were still waiting for one thing or another- he was early for death. Another friend thought probably not; 50 years was enough for Ed. He leaves an incredible breach because anyone who met him was either rubbed the wrong way, warmed to the core or both. Never underestimate the power of a brief encounter.
T.D. is packing up. Today she goes for teeth cleaning and she needs to tackle the advance book purchase issue and gather up miscellaneous iPods, clothing, books and running shoes from friend’s cars. Why is it that Starter People are perfectly willing to loan anything and everything to someone else? At least she’s democratic about it; as far as she’s concerned what’s hers is her friends and what’s mine is hers and the world’s her oyster. She’s busy running here and there but I’m reminded of how much I’m going to miss her energy when I realize she and her friends took the time, without comment, to go pay tribute to Ed in such fashion.
T.D. is going to have her own little efficiency apartment near our St. Pete rental rather than live the dorm life; she’ll be able to bike to everything. She enjoys her independence and has no trouble making friends and after watching her brother live with the dorm mate from Hell for a year she’s opting out. Her Dad is driving her and a U-Haul with car down to college- what? 1000 miles away? (grimacing, tearing up).
This is good because if I drove her we would be in some cataclysmic fight before we hit Toledo and she’d take off at a rest stop and hitchhike to her new life. While we were up at the Bud and Jan Show in the U.P. I took her to lunch and everything was pleasant and upbeat until she mentioned that The Putz was planning to visit her during the first week of classes. When I said, "Well, I’m not sure that’s a good idea…" she hissed, "Well, I don’t care whether you think it’s a good idea!" and picked up a handful of mixed salad and threw it at me. Now I ask you, what kind of child throws lettuce at her mother in a public restaurant? Later that evening five seasoned poker players sat at a table with this same child and got their clocks cleaned as she giggled, bluffed, slow bid and outplayed us all. And I thought, look at this: we’re all sitting here completely smitten with this funny, happy, smart young woman thinking she’s the best thing since the wheel. And she throws food at her mother in restaurants. This is why I need both versions of the Child Rearing material available at the Horsetail B**g spot.
So her dad will drive her down and I’ll go a week or so later and take her out for decorating extras and stock her larder and be the good mother. By then I hope to have figured out how to take out a contract on The Putz and he’ll be out of the picture.
The good thing about cats is they know when you need a little TLC. A little is about the most you’re going to get but I think for cat people the presence of their feline companion is usually enough; all that licking and drooling that dogs do is excessive. Since I heard about Ed Sophie hasn’t left my side. This is a cat who normally is seldom seen during summer hours but she’s hanging close right now and it’s hugely comforting. Granted, she’s taken over the felted knitting bag that I just recently finished so I wouldn’t have projects strewn all over the floor of my space. I think she believes it’s a cat bed I knit for her so she has completely abandoned her perch that is behind my chair and she’s staying tucked in the basket where I can scratch an ear as necessary.
My friend Patti, from BCMA, lost her dear pirate kitty, Bart, a couple days ago- suddenly, probably from a stroke. He only had one eye. The other one had basically fallen out of his head a couple years ago- I’ll spare you the details- so he always looked a tad sinister with just one eye on his face. I could relate to this cat and liked cat sitting him occasionally. He was a little huffy with strangers but he sure did love his family and vice versa and the pain of losing a pet is pure and sharp. I’m so sorry for Patti. BCMA is meteor watching tomorrow night and we are all in serious need of our club fix.
Did you notice in the comments that Mary from Iraq checked in and said hello? I love that picture of her Bill sent. I’m fairly certain that’s her little girl in the photo behind her and I try to imagine being away from your family and serving your country in dusty harsh Iraq. I’m thankful that my friends here in the neighborhood are so able to set politics aside and offer up such good cheer and support. Thank you again.
What possible good enough thing can you say about a husband who loves you and holds you and brings you food and kleenex while you weep and carry on about your former lover? For 48 hours FG has heard nothing but phone calls and conversations about his predecessor and he even took a break to come meet my friends and have a beer with us yesterday. Last night I looked at him as I got into bed and said "Thank God I have you" and I couldn’t think of much else to say. We held hands and watched TV and during the commercial I said, "I love you" and he said, "I love you" and I slept soundly and well.