Friday, June 6, 2014
June gloom. Slight breeze. We sit, but not for long. It's slow motion musical chairs--without the music for right now. We have cake. We have bagels. Lox. Chips of every variety. We have sandwich stuff and leftover chili. We are running out of pillows because we have Dan propped up every which way to make him comfortable. The phone calls, the Facebook messages and the emails keep coming. People keep arriving. I had this idea that it would be just the immediate family and me when Dan breathes his last--whenever that may be. But I've given way to the tide of love washing over the man who loves me. I think he would like it. So the friends, and old girlfriends, and roommates, the t'ai chi students, and the band mates come. They tell us things we don't know. We listen.
And here is a story for them. A blog post from about 3 years ago called I Could Drink A Case of You:
Saturday night after the super moon refused to show its face, there was more darkness. I pulled the mail out of my mailbox to find a "letter" from my attorney which wasn't a letter at all. What is was was a photocopy of the judge's ruling on my motion to recover attorney fees. Denied, it said.
I'd been waiting since our day in court on March 2nd for the news. I'd emailed my attorneys asking for an update a week after the court appearance. The judge was out of town, they said. So I waited some more thinking I would email the attorneys again after the weekend. Maybe the beginning of Spring would bring good news.
Or not. But it wasn't the bad news about the money that was the worst thing. Instead of days of waiting, I could have used a prompt email last Tuesday when the ruling came down. Or a phone call. I could have used a tiny slice of personal communication--something like, "Dear Denise, We're sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but don't be discouraged, and here's what we'll do next..." I could have used a scrawled post-it note stuck to the corner of the blurry photocopy with some kind missive like "hang in there"--or even a crude little drawing of a frowny face. Nope.
I admit to dark thoughts. I have them. I'd been having them less. But Saturday night the dark thoughts had a party. They wore black and carried knives. They looped ropes over beams. They made tea and reminded me that the deranged husband in Tim O'Brien's excellent novel In the Lake of the Woods killed his wife with boiling water while she slept. I didn't sleep Saturday night. I sat in my bed frozen with dread. I emailed Mr. Ex. I texted him. Then the sun sort of rose--or did what the moon did the night before--lurked somewhere behind the clouds while doing its job in a less than satisfactory way. And that's what I did Sunday. I skipped a good friend's fabulous First Day of Spring party and drank mimosas in my pajamas with M. while we watched basketball. Then I crawled to bed and slept the day away.
When I woke I felt stupid and lazy and realized I had a house full of people whom I love. I cobbled together dinner, took a shower while the chicken was in the oven, then lit the candles and sat at the dining room table like a human being. And somewhere in there I'd talked on the phone with the man who loves me. He was wrestling with his own First Day of Spring demons. "You'll know what to do," he said. "You always do." Or somethin' like that. Maybe not, I thought. And maybe this thing between us could be going a little better.
I was putting the last of the dishes into the dishwasher when the brass door knocker that nobody ever uses announced that someone was at the door. Yup. "Someone's at the door," the daughters said without moving as if they knew it was for me. There he was, the man who loves me standing in the rain with a little cluster of daffodils in one hand and a case of wine hoisted onto one shoulder. You read that right. Not a bottle. A case.
I'm still on my feet.