Friday, August 31, 2007


It's been hellishly hot, and I mean that as literally as is possible. So hot that, when I left Starbucks at 3:30 this afternoon, after putting in about an hour and a half of work while sipping a tall iced decaf Americano with two pumps of vanilla, the display panel in my car registered an outside temperature of 116 degrees. One-one-six. Eighteen degrees higher than a normal human body temperature. No wonder they talk about killer heat waves. How can anything LIVE in heat like this?

To be fair, the car had been sitting in a parking lot without a stitch of shade for miles around. Once I got it moving and air flowed over its sensors and we dipped into the shade of the occasional tree, the temperature dipped as well...all the way down to 106. Much better, right? I guess. At least that's a temperature that would only hospitalize an adult, rather than kill him immediately. (Why yes, I am a glass-is-half-full kinda gal.)

What I'm trying to say is, it's hot. It is summer in the City of Angels, of course, which means that to expect it NOT to be hot would be to display an intense amount of stupidity. T.S. Eliot was not an Angeleno, or he would have known that it is SEPTEMBER that's the cruelest month. Still, this hot is noteworthy. This hot is different from the normal September hot. This hot doesn't go away when the sun goes down.

I'm spoiled. We've lived here in the foothills for five and a half years now, and this is the first time I can think of that, for more than just one or two isolated days, sunset hasn't brought immediate and major temperature relief. I'm typing this out on my back deck at nearly midnight on Friday night, and it's still in the low 80s out here. And this is the coolest of the last four nights. It's crazy. (Crazier still is the fact that we don't have central air, but in our defense...Oh, never mind. It's a long and boring explanation, and really, if I haven't already run you off by talking about the freaking weather, the death knell of almost any conversation at any time, talking about how the architecture of my house and architecture of my bank account make central air well nigh impossible at this time would just be cruel and unusual.)

If you're waiting for a joke, a punchline, something to tie this all together, I'm about to disappoint you. This is all I have for you today. One hundred and sixteen degrees. One hundred and six in the shade. I ought to write a book.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Green, first off, I'll NEVER complain about a comment. I want comments. Hell, I LUST after comments. Nothing would make me happier than to get 73 bajillion comments on a single post, like some people I know [coughJanecough]. I'd be happy even if some of them were to piss me off. Which yours DID NOT. So, not to worry. Promise.

Kristen mentioned a possible language processing disorder being behind what I've been calling N's pragmatics problem. I started looking at that possibility, and hit the same old wall that I always hit when talking about N: The kid is an enormous mass of contradictions.

The initial reason we started worrying about him was his social skills (or complete lack thereof), and so we had his school district evaluate him, when he was almost 4.5 years old, to see if he might qualify for any kind of services. On the Batelle Developmental Inventory, he scored in the FIRST PERCENTILE on peer interaction. You can't score any lower than that. BUT, he got a 75th percentile score on adult interaction, putting his overall personal-social percentile at 30, which is in the normal range, thus allowing the school district to say no to services.

All of that is water under the bridge, and he did ultimately get some social skills therapy, and he'd probably score a lot better in peer interaction if tested today, though it's clearly still an issue. But my point is: contradiction. HUGE contradiction. First percentile; 75th percentile. It's not just that there's a difference in these different skills; that's to be expected. It's that the difference is so HUGE.

Same thing with his motor skills. This is a kid whose gross motor skills are, at least in some areas, not just fine, but remarkable. This is the kid who could throw and catch a ball at nine months, though he couldn't roll from front to back until *18* months of age, well after he was walking and running. Bizarre. This is the kid who could hit a pitched ball at age 2. This is the kid whose golf coaches are almost literally drooling over him. And yet, this is the kid who, at 6.5, still can't draw, has a hard time coloring in the lines, and whose scissor skills are pretty poor. Contradiction? To some degree.

And so it seems to be with processing. Most everything I'm reading seems to lump language and auditory processing together. In many ways, N's auditory skills are awesome. He's never had a problem understanding what is said to him, never had a problem following instruction. I also THINK he has a fairly advanced ability to take information and generalize it or draw conclusions from it--the problem is in his ability to express those generalizations and conclusions in a way that is understandable if you weren't the one to give him the initial information and thus know where he's drawing his seemingly bizarre sentences and phrases from.

In addition, his vocabulary is quite advanced for his age, even if he can't necessarily say all the words in an understandable form.

I dunno. I'm trying to find a speech and language pathologist in our area who would be covered by our insurance, at least for an eval, as you guys all suggested, both publicly and privately. I'll bring along the posts I'm collecting, and I'll also bring along the old reports, including the one from the developmental pediatrician we saw after the school district denied services--the one who seemed to think the social issues were secondary to language issues, and whose opinion I at that time pooh-poohed. Ah, hindsight, you 20-20 darlin'.

In looking it over, two years later, I can see that the same issues I'm talking about now were in evidence then: "N does not describe his daily experiences in logical sequence in any depth without significant prompts," she wrote. "He sometimes will ignore a question and talk about something unrelated to the topic at hand. N will often retreat into speaking 6-8 different babyish voices, more so at home or in the parents' presence than at school...N also demonstrates a somewhat immature speech pattern and exhibits some frustration when he is not understood correctly..."

I would make some "the more things change the more they stay the same" comment here, except nothing has changed. So...onward.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pragmatics, Part II

"I'm changing the channel," N says.

"Why, don't you like this show?" I ask.

"I do, but I don't like this show. I hate it a lot."

This is what I'm talking about: I do, but I don't. The repetition of "I don't like it/I hate it", by the way, doesn't mean anything. Tomorrow, he may tell me he loves this show, or that it's his favorite. But that, I think, is a more common issue: N changes his mind all the time; he's totally arbitrary. But when you contradict yourself within the same sentence...that seems to me to be something else. Something about not knowing how to say what you mean.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pragmatics, Part I

I'm gearing up to push, this year, for someone, somewhere, to start helping N with some of his language problems. His pediatrician wrote a note to the school recommending a speech evaluation, and several of my very-learned-and-astute-in-this-arena friends have strongly suggested the same.

My concerns are that, in a school district that has ignored me at every step, his literal 'speech' issues are not serious or severe enough to warrant speech therapy or other services. But that's only if you ignore, as school districts tend to do, language (focusing only on speech) and pragmatics (focusing only on diction). Because, MAYBE, if he's in the mood to speak clearly, you can understand most of what he says...if he's reading words out of a book, say. But when he speaks on his own, half the time it's not the sounds that are the problem, it's the words. Or, rather, it's the sentences. They're mixed up and backwards. Sometimes they're outright inside out. Most of the time they require you to either know the context of what he's talking about, or to know his speech the fact that he sometimes mixes up opposites, so that yes can literally mean no and vice versa.

But it's impossible to explain this without examples. And it's even harder to explain it to a school district or, if that doesn't work out, a private speech therapist. Which is why, a while ago, I started keeping track of some of these 'quirks' in N's language; I was making a list of solid examples that would make my concerns clearer. Except, um, I seem to have lost it. Don't ask.

For the next little while, then, I'm going to try to write them down here, because I can't lose the internet, right? (Well, I probably *can*, but I'd have to try a lot harder than I did with that yellow pad of mine.) So, if you're not interested in the weird language quirks of a 6-and-a-half-year-old about-to-enter-first-grade boy, feel free to ignore any and all future installments of this sort of thing, which I'll call Pragmatics (so I can find it more easily).

Here is the sentence that prompted me to do this tonight, right now; the one he said to me not five minutes ago:

"What time I want to brush my teeth?"

(Translation: When do I HAVE to brush my teeth? Not only is the "What time I want" part just clunky and awkward and missing the word 'do', but the 'I want' is 'wrong'; he was trying to find out if he could WAIT to brush his teeth, because he didn't want to brush them or, more specifically, to go to bed, which is what directly follows brushing. He was very much NOT saying he wanted to brush his teeth. Except, of course, that's what he DID say. And, because I knew this, I was able to just answer, "You have to brush your teeth right now." Almost anyone else would have just stared at him in bewilderment.)

So that's today's installment. To those of you still here, thanks for listening. And deciphering. And caring.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ten Today

She gave up on birthday parties last year, choosing 'special excursions with special friends' instead. And yet tonight--after all four of us went to breakfast at IHOP, made a trip to the movie theater to see Hairspray (again, for Em), and feasted on barbequed ribs (though, frankly, they sort of still win the rib-off, Mom)--somehow there was an ice-cream cake from Baskin Robbins, and somehow there were six neighborhood kids in my house, only two of them mine, who were eating it, and somehow there were presents. Somehow, it felt like a party. Without the work and the expense. And she'll still get 'special excursions' as well. Pretty cool deal.

But, frankly, she deserves it. She's an awesome kid. I imagine that she's a ticking adolescent bomb, and that she will go off in the not-too-distant future, but for now I'm basking in how much fun she is, and how easy she is, and how smart she is, and how mature she is. Now I'm basking in the fact that everyone in New York who spent time with her just raved about her. Now I'm basking in the fact that one of my mom's friends was so impressed with her that she wrote me a letter, just to tell me so. I'm planning on pulling out that letter and reading it over and over and over in about three or four years, while I wait up to see just how far over curfew she plans to stay out on a weekday.

(above: Em at 1)

Ten years. A decade. A decade of motherhood. A decade of being a family. A decade of Em.

It seems like yesterday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My kids are destroying my marriage

I'm not going to go all universal on you all, because hey, maybe having kids actually made your marriage better, and who am I to say it didn't? (I mean, it didn't. There's just no way. But if you want to believe it did, who am I to burst your bubble?) Over here in the land of the Temporarily Confused, however, not so much on the better as a result of the kiddage.

And so I state: After nine days of just me and Baroy--after nine days of candlelight dinners at home where I got to try out recipes the kids wouldn't consider touching, after nine days of sex in places without a bed and movies and talking and just sitting together--it's quite clear that, at least in my household, the kids are destroying our marriage.

This isn't news to me, mind you. I'd always pretty much assumed that was the case. I often talk about how Baroy and I didn't have a single fight--not even a single significant argument that I can think of--until approximately three weeks after Em was born, which has become known as The Night When Baroy Threw Me Out of the House. (The story, in case I haven't told it ad nauseum: I wouldn't let him try to soothe a crying Em, because I knew I could calm her down more quickly and every single mommy hormone in my body freaked out whenever she he screamed at me to let him take care of it, put my car keys in my hand, shoved me out the door and locked it behind me. I drove around for 40 minutes, bawling my postpartum eyes out, but came home to a sleeping kid. I realized how right he was, and what an ass I was being, all SuperMommy and condescending, but I never really have forgiven him. Especially after he admitted to me, a few weeks later, that she'd cried for 37 minutes of the time I was gone and had only JUST passed out, exhausted, when I walked in the door. I'm sure she was permanently damaged by the experience, even if she does seem to be nothing but fabulous and brilliant and sweet and such at the moment. I'm sure there's a psychiatrist in her future who will back me up.)

In the ten years since, there have been too many skirmishes to count. Which is not to say we have a lousy marriage, because we don't. And it's not to say that we despise each other, because we don't. But it wasn't until somewhere around Day 5 of No Kids In The House that I realized...not only do we still really like each other, but when we're childless, we STILL don't fight. Because there's nothing to fight ABOUT. If Baroy wants to sit down in the front of the TV from the time dinner's over until the time he comes to bed, what does it matter...if there are no kids around whose baths need supervising or whose homework needs checking or who need a parent to help them floss, read them a book, tuck them into bed. When there are no kids, neither of us needs to give the other one a look that says, "Why are you being so hard on them?" or "Why are you being such a doormat?" or "What is WRONG with you? That's not the way to handle it." The bottom line: Neither of us needs a break from the constant demands of parenting if there is no one to parent. And that is what we fight about most often. Or at least it's what *I* get pissy about most often. I won't speak for Baroy.

But even the "we don't fight except about the kids and things related to the kids" wasn't the most interesting revelation about life in a kidless house. The most interesting revelation was how much TIME we spent with each other. On purpose. Because we wanted to. As if we enjoyed each other's company.

Frankly, it was almost creepy. Except for how much I enjoyed it.

So why don't we hang out together when the kids are home? Because there's tension. (See above.) But mostly because there's no alone time, and alone time is the most precious thing in the world to me. So, instead of hanging out together, we hand the kids off to one another. I'll take them to the park to give Baroy a chance to do whatever he needs to do, then come home and expect him to watch them while I go for a walk. Or he'll leave them with me while he goes running for a few hours, and then he'll take them to the movies while I catch up on some work. We do stuff as a foursome, but not as often or as enthusiastically as I would have assumed in my idealistic pre-kid world. And when there's down time at home, well, it's every man for himself. The first person to say, "Keep an eye on the kids while I..." is the one who gets to take a nap/watch an inappropriate movie/run to the store without taking a kid with him or her. Do stuff together? Well, sure, it sounds fun in theory. But in reality, it usually means that there's one more parent around than absolutely necessary, giving up the chance to work on his or her book/read/watch something the kids aren't interested in on TV/do crafts/fix stuff around the house/make some phone calls/send out some resumes/run errands/get in some exercise/etc., etc., etc. And that stuff is so precious. Even if it does make me a Bad Mom to admit it. I love my alone time. More than I love my kid time, quite often. There, I said it.

Which is not to say that I'm not deliriously happy to have my kids home. I am. Truly. Deliriously. I love those kids. They rock. They crack me up, and make me feel needed and important, and I love watching them live their lives and grow and learn and all that cool that's-why-I-had-kids stuff. It's worth it, even if my marriage does suck, relatively speaking, because of them.

In the end, here's what I realized: Despite all the doomsday psychologists who proclaim that if you neglect your marriage, there will be nothing left when the kids leave home, my marriage is doing fine...even great...despite the neglect. It's just not obvious right now. But when the kids are gone, and the nest is empty, and I'm desolate without my babies to cluck over (and trust me, despite it all, I will indeed be desolate), I have time with my husband to look forward to. We'll do just fine as empty nesters, in terms of our relationship. In fact, desolation aside, I'm looking forward to it now, having seen--in just nine days--just how nice it can be.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Bath

Now that the kids are back home and my irrational mommy-paraonia isn't on High Alert (if I tell people they're away and I'm not with them, they'll...they'll...something bad will happen, I just don't know what!) I can tell some of the stories from the nine days that N and Em were away (well, Em was away for three weeks preceding that, but that's another set of stories). It was high drama and pathos, let me tell you. And yet, I'm going to start with just a silly little story from last night that made me laugh ever so hard.

[Warning: Poop talk ahead.]

Part of the high drama and pathos was the fact that N didn't poop for the first eight days of his nine-day excursion. This was somewhat to be expected, he being prone to constipation most of his six years to date. But eight days? Oy.

So there were measures taken. We started with small guns, then moved up to larger and larger ones, until finally the dam, as they say...well, none of us wants me to finish that sentence, do we?

There was, as there often is when you've been loaded with laxatives, some spillage in the first 24 hours post-dam-breakage. Ew. Yesterday all had seemed well on the eight-hour (with layovers) trip back home. Once N was in his very own house, however, with his very own bathroom where he's comfrotable pooping...well, there was no dam. There were several making-it-into-the-bathroom-but-not-onto-the-toilet incidents, requiring an unbearable amount of poop cleaning. Let's just say that more than a gallon of bleach was used in the post-poop disinfecting stage and leave it at that, shall we?

Anyway, during the second major clean-up, I had N in the bathtub and was cleaning the poop off his legs (and feet and back and...URGH) when I said, "You know, I should probably just give you a bath when I'm done with this. When was the last time Uncle gave you a bath on the trip?"

"He didn't," N said calmly. "I didn't have a bath at all on the trip."

WHAT? Now, there are things that my brother-in-law (a gay man in his 50s) doesn't know about child care, and he was sent on this trip with a ridiculous number of "don't forget to"s and "you have to"s regarding both children. But baths? He had to have known that nine days without a bath was NOT appropriate. Did I literally have to tell him everything? I was...I was...I was. Speechless, that's what I was.

After deciding against the bath at that very second (realizing, rightly, that there might well be Poop Incident #3 on its way), I went storming in to Baroy to complain about his brother and his lack of hygiene. "I mean, really! No baths for nine days? What is WRONG with him? How could I have trusted him to take my kids all over the east coast? He couldn't even be trusted to BATHE them!"

Em, who was sitting beside Baroy on the couch, listened to me rant and rave. Then, her face betraying only a hint of a smile-at almost 10, she has as much an appreciation for the ironic as do most adults--she said, "It's true that Uncle didn't give N a bath the whole time. But he did give him three showers."

Oh. Um. Showers. No baths. Showers. Um. Never mind.

Damned literal-minded kids. All N did was answer the question put to him. All I did was look like an idiot. And laugh for a very long time afterward.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bipolar Blog Update

In the past two days, I put up two new entries on my bipolar disorder blog: the first is a post about Us magazine's report that some idiot therapist has decided Britney Spears is bipolar (yeah, I know, you're rushing over to read THAT); the more recent one is a eulogy/post about my Dad's death (because I haven't written enough about it yet, right?). These entries are supposed to post once a week, but my editor and I have not yet gotten into a rhythm, so...two in two days. Hey, whatever.

Your link, madames and monsieurs: LoriO's Bipolar Blog

(Oh, and as to the numerous bugs you've seen and will see on the site? They know, sayeth my editor. They're fixing them. The main, relevant one is the fact that you have to be registered and logged into the site in order to comment on the blog...and it helps if you're using IE. Don't ask.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fooled Again

I didn't even realize that Tuesday, when I posted that picture of Em, was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 69.

Nice segue, that, into what I wanted to talk about: All of the emotions I've been dealing with, which have been hitting me in incrementally stronger waves over the past couple of weeks, over his birth certificate, the one his girlfriend handed me after his memorial service, along with a copy of his death certificate.

Why the hell is his birth certificate upsetting me? Shouldn't the DEATH one be the one causing upset? Well no. But I can explain.

First of all, I swore, many years ago, well before he got his bipolar diagnosis, that I was done with being taken in by my dad--financially and emotionally. No more handouts. No more putting my faith in him. Nothing.

I stuck to the financial vow--well, frankly, I didn't have a choice on that one--but after his diagnosis, I became less and less vigilant about the emotional stuff, the believing in him, the believing him, period. I should have known better. I mean, I know how hard old habits die...and for my father, lying was the oldest of habits. He lied to make himself look better; he lied to get himself out of trouble. He lied...well, it would be hyperbole to say he lied every time he opened his mouth (though here my Mom is protesting, "No, it wouldn't be"), but let's just say he and the truth were not close friends and leave it at that.

"TC," you are saying, "this is interesting and all. But what the hell does it have to do with a birth certificate?"

Well, remember that story I told in the post about my dad's memorial? The one about how he came to be named Jack after being born Chaim? Here. Here's a closeup of the name line on his birth certificate.

Yeah. It says Jack. Or some Germanic version thereof, possibly. Certainly not Chaim. Not even close to Chaim. (It also seems to have a z thrown into the middle of the "stein" portion of my maiden name. Sztein. Or maybe that's just another of the calligraphic flourishes of the day? Because I'm pretty sure that i that looks like a j is just a flourish.)

It's a little thing, this name thing; it's a stupid thing. But it makes me unutterably angry. I believed him. Again. He first told me this tale after his diagnosis, after he'd been on meds a while, once I was beginning to think that maybe he was stabilizing. So there's that...the proof that I was wrong to trust him. And trust him, on this one little thing, this one little story, I did. And this is my reward. Not only did I fall for his bullshit, but I fed it to other people, many other people, you guys included. Which makes me look all that much more foolish now. It's infuriating. Won't get fooled again? Not so much. I don't even want to KNOW about the rest of the 'escape from Nazi Germany' tale. I don't want to know what is true, because then I'll know what isn't. And each 'isn't' is going to screw with my head just that much more.

I know that, when it comes down to it, this is my problem, not his. And I'm overreacting to it. I didn't base anything in my life on this information. I didn't name one of my children Chaim after him. It's just a name. It's just a birth certificate. What the hell does it matter what he said his birth name was?

But the truth is, I'm totally, cringingly embarrassed. I just feel like an idiot. I think that's the source of most of my anger, actually. I hate looking dumb. I hate feeling dumb. Plus, it opens up that whole can of worms--a can which I have no hope of closing--about why he lied about such things. I mean, seriously. WHY? Why did he need to tell me some cock-and-bull story about his name? What did it do for him? What part of his fantasy about himself, what part of his grandiosity, was satisfied by telling a tale about a name change that never was?

When his girlfriend handed me that document and I saw what what was written there, I looked at her and said, "I'm gonna kill him. He lied to me again. I'm gonna kill him." Even she, one of the few people who was really his champion to the end, who really DID believe in him, looked at me with pity, and said, "What did you expect? That was how he was."

That was how he was. How stupid of me to have forgotten.


Of course, if you divorce yourself from my private little poor-misled-me fest, this document is utterly fascinating. And bone-chillingly scary. Check out this close-up of the bottom left of the birth certificate, with the swastika-betailed stamp and the location of his birth, given as Berlin, Israel-somethingorother. (Dang old, many-times-over-photocopied documents.) I've gotta guess it was a ghetto. I don't know. But I can't imagine that, in 1938 Berlin, that was just a place named Jewishly by happenstance. A birth certificate marking him as a Jew. That's drama enough, name change or no name change. Every time I look at it, it just makes me shiver.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My American Girl in NYC

Every year, as part of her pre-birthday yay-I'm-in-New-York-being-spoiled-by-Grandma celebration, Emily and my Mom go to the American Girl store, aka Pre-Teen Nirvana. My mom's friend comes along, and brings her granddaughter, too, and the girls each usually walk away with either a ridiculous number of clothes and doll accoutrements or, more often, a new doll. I'm fine with it; there are definitely worse addictions. And I'd much rather a house full of well-made AG dolls than one filled with Bratz and Barbies.

Today was The Day, and my mom took photos. Em is the blonde, the one on the right, sporting not only a new doll, but an outfit bought specially for the occasion with the Limited Too gift certificate my aunt sent her a few days ago. I might as well give up on trying to do something special for her birthday. There's just no way for me to compete with This Much Fun.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

No one is gong to die today

Well, at least not at my hands.

Welcome, Aunt Flo. Welcome, once again, some semblance of sanity. And, as Po said so aptly, damn you, perimenopause! (Also, Po? "Wanting to rip out the heart of the person standing next to you and stuff it down his freaking throat"? Bingo. Even got the gender right.)

God, I despise PMS. Bring on the fall of estrogen. I'll take the hot flashes if it means I can shed the worst of the mood swings.

Hey, Baroy. It's safe to come out of the bushes now.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I could not be in a shittier mood

Well, that was fast, the fall from anxious-but-happy to really-why-won't-you-all-just-disappear-and-leave-me-alone, with "you all" meaning anyone who breathes within a hundred yards of me. Especially my kid. Poor N. His summer was humming along pretty well until Em left. Now he's stuck here with a mother who just wants to scream--and sometimes does--every time she hears the words "I want someone to play with me." Especially when she's trying to work. Which she has to do all the fucking time, just to keep up. And still she can't keep up. And she also can't keep her kid happy. And her husband? I have a husband? Oh, you mean that guy hiding behind the bushes to avoid my unfocused anger?

Of course, I'm premenstrual, so that explains a lot. Or nothing. It is what it is. I yam what I yam.

I have this vision of my father's little bipolar ghost--morose, irritable, and only half transparent--having spent almost no time wandering the earth before slipping into my skin as if he'd been here all along.

And just so you know: The first person to mention meds to me is not going to appreciate the response. I do appreciate your concern, and I know. I get it. I will. But also? You (and you, and you, and you) should know better than to assume that that's going to be the answer. Since when have meds been the answer? A bandaid, yes. And certainly a bandaid is better than getting blood all over the place. But it's not actually going to stop the bleeding. I used to think it might, but now--four years and at least nine different meds and combos thereof later--I'm a little less enthusiastic. And a lot fatter.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

An email from my brother-in-law

[Alternate title: My brothers-in-law are all better writers than I, and it makes me sad...when I'm not laughing my ass off.]

Here, uncommented-upon, in its entirety:

I had to work late tonight, after 36 high-pressure hours. When I got on the elevator, the first person I saw was a youngish blue collar guy carrying two heavy cartons and looking even more stressed than I felt. The only other person in the elevator was one of those oblivious anorexic 20-something twits with a cellphone glued to her ear and a loud nasal voice that felt like razor blades slicing right through your tympanic membrane.

At around the 8th floor, the guy let out this ripping fart--the kind that all men would have been eminently proud to have fathered. He immediately turned to me and said, "Sorry"--but he didn't even acknowledge Miss Cellphone. By then the stench was beginning to rise, so she pulled the phone away from her ear long enough to whine, "That's disgusting." Whereupon he snapped right back at her, "If I gotta listen to your shit, you gotta smell mine." I was so hysterical that I high-fived his right shoulder.

I have no idea who this man was, but I think I'm going to write a play about him.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Back To Life (Mine)

I am having panic attack upon panic attack guessed it...panic attack these past couple of days, but it doesn't matter. I'm home. I couldn't be happier.

The past week couldn't have turned out any better. Not a single one of my worst-case scenarios came true. I spent time with family--both relatives I hadn't seen in years, and relatives I see whenever I can but still don't see enough of--and enjoyed every second of it. Still, today, after trudging down the hill to the local supermarket, running into one of Em's friends' moms and chatting for a couple of seconds, getting my usual Starbucks iced coffee for the climb back up the hill, having no fewer than three cars driven by people I know honk at me in greeting while doing that climb, then spending 50 cents to get a cup of fresh lemonade from the kids on my block...I was positively joyful. This is my life. Mine. There are pressures and stresses galore, and by tomorrow I'm likely to be thigh-deep in my habitual blackness, but for now, I can't see past the lovely feeling of fitting in, of being where I belong.

My life. It's ridiculously good to be back to it.