Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, September 29, 2006

    Decisions, Decisions

    Ok. The parents are at the airport, the boyos are off playing, and I am typing on my spankin' new laptop from the comfort of my bed.

    I took advantage of the free babysitting and went for my annual exam. My PRN had some bad news for me, though it wasn't really news, since I was expecting it.

    My endometriosis is back in full swing and gaining. For those of you who aren't familiar with the disease, it is endometrial tissue that grows and spreads cancer-like, in the pelvic region. It swells and bleeds and irritates the body, whose defense is to create scar tissue around the rogue tissue. It is very painful, and can lead to all sorts of problems like infertility (been there done that) and damaged and fused organs, not to mention debilitating pain as it progresses.

    So. I've got some decisions to make.

    Should I:

    A) Go with straightforward surgery which is the traditional route but that can leave painful scar tissue, and will have to be repeated in five years -- less if I'm unlucky.

    B) Go with the new chemo treatment, whose side-effects are nausea, lethargy, eye damage, limb weakness, hot-flashes, bone-density loss (osteoporosis) mood swings, depression and other shit I can't remember. Oh, and the co-pay is $140 per injection. I need a minimum of six. And its effects last about 5 years as well.

    C) Go with both, chemo first.

    D) Try acupuncture and herbs.

    Insurance covered the surgery before. But that was under the umbrella of infertility treatments, and the endo was actually an incidental discovery.

    My doc and PRN are pushing for the chemo. Me, I'm not so sure.

    Never tried acupuncture.

    Any suggestions?

    I'm beat. My parents' visit was exhausting. More about that later. I'm not really feeling much right now.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    The Light

    It's the light, this time of year, that helps hold me together.

    All summer, the sun crossed the solid blue sky high and mighty like a god, shining down hard and even and impassive.
    The sun is lower now like it was in the spring,when the light brushed along the new buds and shoots with warm fingertips. Now the light trickles in under the yellowing leaves, touching gently what is about to die.

    The light passes under the eaves and falls across the floor, splashes over the walls in Spanish coin patterns.
    The light comes in, like an old friend checking up between long trips. Soon it will be gone again for months, pale as the old photograph you cherish, the one of him, the one of her, the paper crinkled from too long in your jeans pocket, from too long in your sweating palm, from too long.

    Soon it will be time to tuck the garden into bed. I wanted to keep it going under glass, under snow, under that pale winter light. But I don't think that will happen this year. I had my hopes, but right now it just seems like too much. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow, or next week after my parents are back home, after the store's move is a solid thing underway.

    There is a tightness in my chest despite the wine I drank tonight. There is a spring that won't uncoil, a pressure behind my eyes building for no particular reason.

    De nada.

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    And Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson

    (Because you really don't want to hear the boring details about me running around trying to pull together a party for the boyos, all the while seething inside about Current Family Events, I give you this little escapade from the 15th.)

    Well, that was interesting.

    The boyos have been impossible lately. I don’t know if they are adjusting to school, if their stars are out of whack or what, but it’s been non-stop whining, fighting, yelling, contradicting, bossing and various other things that make me want to pluck out my own eardrums.

    So I ignored them when they yelled downstairs to come up RIGHT NOW.
    And again.
    But I finally wandered up when they insisted there was a man at the door, with a ball.


    Sure enough, I looked out the window and saw an arm holding a tennis ball.
    Turns out it was connected to someone.
    I held the dog and both boyos back as I opened the door.

    “Hi,” he said. “I’m one of your neighbors...”
    *snort* Yeah. Uh-huh. Standard line.
    “…and I want to talk to you about something.”
    I studied him. Tall, thin, boyish smile, dark hair, blue eyes.
    Never seen him before in my life.
    “Well, I’m a student, and I’m trying to earn money to go to Spain next semester…”
    Heard this one.
    …and I was wondering if you’d like to come along.”

    I stood there for a second, looking at my darling, yelling boyos, one dressed and one not because it was a battle I didn’t feel like waging that morning.

    Then I put on my best Nancy Dancehall Demented MILF Smile ™

    “Yes! Absolutely. I’ve been waiting for you. How many magazines do we need to sell to get there?”
    Blink Blink. Smile.
    “They’re books, actually…”
    “Oh, that’s too bad. My husband owns a bookstore. I’ve got more than I need.”
    “Oh…ok…uh thanks.”
    “Sure! Any time!”

    Wonder if it works on Mormons?

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    So It Begins Again

    After much debate, second-guessing, third-guessing, rolling the bones, consulting the stars, the flowcharts, the lay lines and air-eating gurus, the bookstore will continue, and in a new location.
    September 30th is the last day in the old location. After that, we’ve got a month to move.

    There’s a sign above the register that reads: A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move books.
    Boxes of books weigh more than boxes of lead. They really do.

    And, my parents are coming out here next week. They’ll be staying with us, because nothing says “I hate you” like “Would you mind staying in a hotel?”

    Sorry. Stressed.

    As I type this, Jack is actually talking to my mom on the phone. She called twice today, then the third time left a message asking if I was all right, or wondering if perhaps something had happened to me.
    She was dying to talk, because my mother-in-law called her last night, asking a favor.
    Not a good favor. And not asked in a good way.

    Sorry, O.

    Esereth, I’ll write you a story shortly.
    For those of you haven’t visited Esereth’s site, she's asking some damn fine questions about parents. Check out the current post, and the previous one.

    Timing. It’s all timing, isn’t it?

    I’m going off to find aspirin now.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    A Year and a Day

    since I started blogging. Seems like I've been doing this forever; I can't imagine what life would be like without my little shouting space here.

    Thank you guys, for visiting me over 5,000 times. I've written plenty of anonymous brochure and ad copy, but to have an audience respond to my personal essays, my fiction, my rants...I can't tell you how much that means to me.

    Thanks, Popeye, for being the first 'stranger' to wander over here, and thanks meno, for being the latest. Any lurkers -- now's the time to give a shout-out.

    Thanks, Des Moines Girl, for getting me started on this thing.

    And thanks, Lisa, for letting a virtual stranger drive your blog for a day.

    As for the rest of you, I love you all. You're all great writers, amazing people, and I hope to meet every last one of you. Someday.

    Now sing with me: Thank you India, thank you terror...

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Probably Better Left Unsaid

    Snagged from Neil's site, this horridness:

    The Shire.

    I mean, really. And looking at the price list, you have to be Bilbo to afford one.

    Gaaa! I can't stop looking at it. Especially the Sims-like renditions.

    And the suit of armor? In a kid's bedroom?

    Recycled PVC thatch!?!? Home offices that overlook the Shire Commons!?!?

    And they have garages, Mr. Frodo.

    Horrid, I tell you. Horrid.

    So when you die, do they bury you in Harry Potter's Field?

    And you know I'm only ranting about it because I can't beat to death the 12-year-old inside me who's screaming, 'I wanna live there! I wanna live there! I wanna live THEEEEERE!'



    It just gets worse: "Sing in your own amphitheater, discover the homes of the orginal (sic) Shire residents embedded in the hillside..."


    Addn 2:

    And this from the Covenant:
    • Shared creativity, artistic expression, cultural activities, rituals and celebrations.
    • Respect and support for spirituality manifesting in many ways.
    • Shared vision and agreements that express commitments, cultural heritage and the uniqueness of our community.
    • Flexibility and successful responsiveness to difficulties that arise.
    • Understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all the elements of life on Earth and the community's place in relation to the whole.
    • Creation of a peaceful, loving, sustainable world.

    What cultural heritage!? It hasn't even been built yet!

    Addn 3:

    Scroll down to the last picture. Notice the cars. *snort* And I love how the artist didn't color them in.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Four Years Ago

    Four years ago I was big as a house. No; a duplex. I have photos, but they’re not pretty.

    This one is though:

    They were three days old then, my boyos.

    My ob/gyn walks on water to get to her office. She sets all the stars in the sky every night when she’s not keeping unborn babies and moms intact.

    When I told everyone in the hospital I felt good, that I could keep going another week, when I insisted that I would go another week, she was the one who took my hand and explained to me that my babies would be fine, but the preeclampsia would kill me.

    She told me I could stop fighting now. Because I had won.

    And she was right.

    Jack was born first. He sang – from the minute he was born until they wheeled me into recovery, I listened to him sing out little breaths like a bird. Declan was born five minutes later. When he cried, I told them I could tell their voices apart. My anesthesiologist laughed and said, “Only the mother!” But my ob/gyn jumped in with, “Hey! I can tell them apart too!” After which we both gave him a good ribbing until I turned my head and lost the nothing that was in my stomach.

    I swear, he turned up the morphine on purpose.

    I held Declan first, before I got sick. I couldn’t believe he was real, was mine. My little Frick.

    I didn’t see Jack, my little Frack, until hours later, after the ‘recovery’. I’d thought they were in the NICU. I was sure there was something wrong, there was a reason why the woman in the bed next to mine was allowed to have her baby, and mine were not there. But they were fine, their lungs fully developed thanks to the steroids.

    Someone set Jack down next to me. And as I looked at him, I had the vertigo feeling that I was not looking at my baby but at myself. I was in two places at once, on both sides of a mirror that linked thirty-one years.

    They turn four on the 17th. But I wanted to post this early, while I have the chance. They keep my busy, the little darlings. There isn’t much I accomplish in a timely fashion anymore.

    That’s ok. The last time I was early, I won.

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Back from the Dead, or Blue-Eyed Bike Angels

    Marvin Hill -- I Dreamt of a Tree

    Or something like that. More like back from the flu, which made me want to be dead.

    Riddle me this; why is it that now that my little darlings are in school not one, but count ‘em, two days a week, I cannot find the time to write? And when I do, I write clichés like ‘riddle me this?’


    It’s the flu, right? I can blame that.

    Hey…lookie lookie, though. I’ve found an old, abandoned postling that never made it up here. Poor thing got tucked away about the time O’s dad went into the hospital.

    He’s fine now, by the way, thanks for asking. Back home with a portable can o’ oxygen, tired but alive, and wondering at how he beat the odds. 98 percentage points said he’d never make it.

    And O’s beating a dead sale. Seriously. His mailing company gave him an ungreased love-hug by sending the hey-we’re-having-a-sale! letters out AFTER the sale was well underway. The email list however – God love every little bugger I typed into Excel – those people, THOSE people, have shown him their rich, green love.

    So, without further ado, I give you my little abandoned post-thingy, which just happens to be about a specific breed of used bookstore customer:

    The Blue-Eyed Bike Angel.

    They bring their bikes in, after asking politely of course, and lean them against the front table, to nudge against the glass display case of manuscript leaves, scripted and illustrated by their opposites; monks who stayed in one place, in dark, smoky rooms, dedicated to their dogma.

    No, the Blue-Eyed Bike-Angel needs air and sunlight and long roads through cities and deserts and hills. Their dogma is all about freedom, wind-etched on tumbleweeds.

    Blue-Eyed Bike-Angels all have blue eyes; clear and bright and excited. They all have curly hair, mostly deep brown or black, sometimes sun-kissed to a sandy blond. They are shaggy ponies, helmet-free, spandex-free. Blue-Eyed Bike-Angels ride old bikes that weigh more than they do. Vegans they are, to a boy.

    Their skin is clear so you know their getting plenty of sex. And it glows, so you know the sex is heavenly. They break strings of hearts mainly by stumbling over them. They really mean no harm as they roll away.

    Blue-Eyed Bike-Angels will tell you they’ve crossed this continent and at least one other several times now on their bikes. Boulder is their Mecca, their organic produce stand, and their old college roommate’s couch.

    And they love the bookstore. You’ll find them roosting in paperback lit, They sit crosslegged thumbing through Hesse, Steinbeck, sometimes Lopez. You’ll find Blue-Eyed Bike-Angels in philosophy too, but not as often as you’d think. And they never leave without laying their books on the counter and digging through their dusty backpacks for crumpled dollars and eagle-backed quarters, sometimes pulling out a stray peso or Euro. They look at it for a second, bat their eyes at memories of Machu-Piccu sunrises, lavender fields, rain on their upturned faces, the pump and pace of winding roads through cypresses, past warm sleepy cows, tumble-down farms, languages spoken in orange and yellow. Finding love all the same, books all the same, bread, wine, late night conversations, all the same. All good.

    They smile. They pay. They roll away.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want a Blue-Eyed Bike-Angel. But sometimes, I want to be a Blue-Eyed Bike-Angel.