Over the years I’ve come to grab onto 7 Quick Takes like the drowning person I felt myself to be on a particular day 18 years ago. By the end of the week it often feels like the vivid and alarming dream I had the morning that my grandmother died. I was driving a red sports car too fast around a mountain bend and so of course I lost traction and skidded and the car flew up in the air turning many summersaults and then silently and elegantly gliding, in slow motion, into the crystal blue water below. I swam (I might have just seen that ghastly movie the Piano) around under the water, still in slow motion, trying to recover all the things that were floating out my basket–keys, pen, book, writing paper, hope. I woke up unglued, with the famous words of my father on my lips, “Cheer Up, things could be worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.”
I mention this because stupid Facebook reminded me this week that they care about my memories and asked me if I wanted to repost the picture of my grandmother and great aunt I put up the day my great aunt died, two years ago. Thanks Facebook, thanks for all the death memories. That was a similarly unmooring day. There was no dream to set the tone, just a hideous phone call and me left standing in my kitchen realizing that the Only Way I had made sense of living here was that I had “family” two hours away in New Jersey. “I have an aunt,” I would say to myself. “There’s family here in the east. It’s ok for me to live here.”
So when yesterday Eric Metaxas…..THATS RIGHT, Eric Metaxas asked me over the phone why I live up here in, where is it, Binghamton, I had no answer to give. Tune in sometime next week, or better yet, wait till I paste it all over everywhere, to hear my stumbling and incomprehensible answer.
I take comfort in the fact that my grandmother, and my aunt, like my own mother, would have had no idea who he was. My own mother, My Own Mother, said, over email, “Who is Eric Mataxas?” and I was left feeling as lame as the moment I turned in my two weeks notice for my fire watch job–that’s right, I wandered around an Oregon lumber mill at night with a hose and a hard hat, looking for fires–because I was going to be coming out east to Cornell (because, I gritted through clenched teeth, I had family). “Is that like a four year school?” the boss inquired incredulously and I backed away and whispered, “I believe so.”
Didn’t expect a trip down Memory Lane, did you. No One Expects This Trip. It just happens to you because of Facebook.
Matt is horribly sick. It’s entirely his own fault. I’m not kidding. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. He Literally Sat in our own living room last week and said, and I quote, “It’s so weird, I haven’t gotten sick this whole winter.” His tone was one of smug complacency. I shouted across the room from my prone position on the sofa, “WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT.” Then the fear entered his eyes and he slouched back, realizing his grave and terrible error. Now he is in bed, unable to breathe, and I am left alone to clean all the things.
Still, I am feeling much better. The command of the endocrinologist to the thyroid to, “Heal Thyself,” seems to be working. I have more blood work tomorrow but I think they’re going to find that whatever they’re looking for is greatly improved. I can stand up for whole minutes at a time, and I can face stairs without feeling like I’m going to crumble and roll all the way down, and I don’t get so cold and then so hot as before. It’s pretty exciting. Pity Matt had to get sick so that we’re still one man down. Imagine Two functional adults in this household. Maybe it’ll happen sometime in the spring.
And now I will arise and go look for some breakfast. There is school to do, and luncheon to organize, and the Eric Metaxas show to listen to with nails bitten and brow furrowed. Oh my word, I wonder if it went ok. However it is, I’ll post it on Facebook and in a year Facebook will tell me that they ” care about my memories” and I’ll have to relive it all over again. Go check out more Takes and have as nice a day as you feel like having.