The part of my job that makes my stomach sink is when I’m standing on a patient’s front porch, poised to ring a doorbell. About to enter someone else’s life to talk about terminal illness and death, even though in my personal world no one has died but the very, very old. So what do I even have to say here? What can I tell you about this? About coping? About tragedy? About preparing to lose your spouse? About care giving? About sacrifice? Grief?
On my way to visit a patient last week, I realize I might starve to death if I don’t eat before I arrive. I drive through at McDonald’s. I order two cheeseburger-hold-the-burger sandwiches and a diet coke. The kid hands me my drink through the window. The lid is not snapped on. He lets go to soon, I squeeze the cup, diet coke explosion. Everywhere. All over my car. Mostly in the driver’s seat. All over my ass. I curse. I am kind to the kid, though, it was an accident. He offers me a replacement beverage. I park the car. He brings me a Dr. Pepper. I hate Dr. Pepper. I drag towels from my trunk, blot and dab at my ass in the parking lot and eventually give up and resume the drive, soaking in aspartame and caramel coloring from the top of my ass to the bend of my knee, stuffing bread and cheese sandwiches in my face as fast as I can.
Ten minutes later I stand on the patient’s doorstep having the aforementioned sinking stomach moment. I introduce myself and explain that I have brought this old blue sheet covered in dog hair, and I’m going to sit on it to protect his furniture, due to my ass being saturated with soda. I invite myself into his living room and proceed to talk with him about how he’s going to die.
Aaaaaaand… .. scene.
I haven’t been posting regularly for whatever reason, but I have been keeping a short scrawled list of the things I should be writing about, and it looks like this:
Cat f*cking up window repair
Clearly, I chose to tell you the story about coke ass. It was the best one.
I also have, in another place, a second list of things I’ve been meaning to share here:
1. Uncle Daves.
My brother-in-law and his girlfriend visited last weekend from Indiana. We did the touristy honky-tonk adventure downtown, and a lot of hanging out around the house. Birdy finally warmed up to her uncle, and though she knows other people named Dave, she reserves the plural only for him. It’s awfully sweet.
2. It snowed here.
About 4 inches Friday night, so pretty, so rare. We received an invitation from dear friends Saturday morning to turn the toddlers loose in their giant, snow-covered yard, which we happily accepted. And as the kids were running and falling and just generally causing a big joyful ruckus, a snowball sailed over the privacy fence and hit my brother-in-law’s girlfriend in the leg, sent by the ten-year-old next door.
One snowball over the fence turned quickly into four men in their thirties winging snowballs at two ten-year-olds, and the younger boys responding with war-like intensity. Okay, maybe not war-like. But they were totally into it. And on our side of the fence, the thirtysomethings ducked and crouched and used the deck to their advantage, whining about their sore, aging shoulders, eventually continuing the battle into the driveway and leaving in a hail of snowballs thudding against the cars. We were all on our way out anyway, but I’m pretty sure those kids think they ran us off, which is a victory I hope they hold onto for a long, long time.
3. Bird had a horrible nap on Sunday. Losing an hour will turn a toddler’s life upside down, and having your uncle Daves in town plus going to parents’ night out in your jammies the night before can turn a once-peaceful and welcome nap into a battle of wills. Quotes from that nap include:
I don’t want this baby! I WANT MY REGULAR BABY!
Bird: Stop talking to me!
Me: I’m not talking to you.
Bird: STOP IT!
5. Why I laughed until I cried at work: Garfield. Except without Garfield.
6. What I saw today: Frozen Grand Central.