Sunday, November 11, 2012

and playing the role of Anne Sullivan...

Just to keep you up to date, I have this eye thing - apparently, at some point I injured my eye, and since I have dry eyes to begin with, I have whats call a recurring corneal erosion. Basically, that means every once in a while, since my cornea never really healed correctly, it catches on the inside of my eyelid and tears open. Which sucks. A lot.
A couple of weeks ago, at around 5:00 on a Tuesday morning,it happened again. The eye doctor who I have been seeing told me that if it happens again, I should just go right to Wills Eye in Philly instead of coming in because there wasn't much more they could do, although I suspect she was just getting tired of seeing me. So I stewed about it for a while, put on my work clothes, and by 8:00 gave in and decided to go. I made the 8:41 train, and rode into Philly all red eyed and weepy.
It was a relief to be there, to be honest, because eye pain blows, and I just wanted someone to fix it. When I finally got in, the doctor peered into my eyeball for a while, put some eye drops in, and poked at it. "so the reason your doctor told you to come down here," she said, with her two fully functional eyes, "is that the way we treat this is with a pretty short procedure."
"Yaa! I love eye procedures!!! Can you do it without painkillers? Can you use a knife covered in smoked salt and lemon juice?", are a bunch of things I didn't say. It turns out, the plan was to cut off the injured third of my cornea, so that I would grow back a new one instead of trying to have the flap of torn cornea just reattaching itself. Which sounded terrible. To make matters worse, she started pulling all sorts of probes and tweezers out of the drawers. "OK, ready?".
Um, no, not really. I assumed, I guess, that she would have strapped my head down to something, and had a crash cart at the ready. But no, she was just going to cut that baby out of there and go on with her day. "OK, lets chop that be-atch out. I'm meeting my college roommate for Ethiopian food at noon."
She didn't really say that. In my head she did. In my head I was saying a lot of things to her too, the majority of which I won't repeat. Regardless, even though my left, working eye was sort of squinted with a look of scepticism and annoyance, she dove right in. Well, it wasn't really a dive, it was more of a slow calculated poke - and to spare you the spine tingling details, she put in some numbing drops and spent the next ten minutes cutting out a piece of my eye while I got to watch, really, really close up. It just sucked, and sucked doesn't even really cover it, but I can't come up with a better word for it. To add to the joy of it all, when I was done I had to sit in a dark room and wait for another doctor to come and look at it while the numbing drops wore off. Finally, in a new an exhilarating sort of pain that started on the tip of my eye and went all the way down to the tiniest little hairs on my toes, they let me leave.
So I walked out, into the day, and immediately knew I was in trouble. In the dim light of the hospital I was coping pretty well, but out in the world, with the drops worn off, I was an orphaned baby squirrel.
The first thing I noticed, as I walked out of the shaded overhang of the building, was that I was almost completely blind. My right eye was completely useless, and my left eye was dilated and tearing out of sympathy for the other eye - and the sun was so painful I had could only open it the tiniest bit. For a minute, I wasn't entirely sure what to do. I didn't really want to go back in, and I figured I could find my way to the train station since it was only three blocks up and three blocks over... So I casually stretched my hand out, found the side of the building, and started walking. Easy.
As soon as I got to the first intersection, I discovered the flaw in my plan. Walking along a wall was one thing, but when I got to the first intersection I ran out of wall, couldn't see the traffic lights, and couldn't see the oncoming traffic. I could see, however, the butt and legs of a guy in front of me waiting at the intersection, so I just waited for the butt and legs to cross, and figured if I got hit by something, we'd get hit together. This worked for the first few intersections, until I got to the fourth corner and found it empty... I toyed with a few ideas, the most plausible of which was trying to blindly construct a zip line out of the items in my backpack, when I noticed a skirt and some dark blue high heels come into view and walk quickly into the road. I followed, thinking the whole way that whoever this person is must have noticed me keeping my left eye glued onto her ass as we walked into the street together.
I made the six blocks unscathed in about half an hour, but by the time I got to the train station, my right eye was tearing so intensely it ceased being tears and was more like a running faucet, which left a growing wet spot on the front of my shirt (and a couple of strategically placed wet spots on my crotch) and gave me a runny nose. In my limited field of vision, I noticed that the normally indifferent crowd in the Market East station had started to move out of my way as I passed, I assume because I looked like a new brand of crazy they hadn't encountered yet.
Two escalators down, I made it to the track level, and remembered how many trains come through there - mostly because it occurred to me I didn't know what time to get on what train... and I couldn't read the lit up train schedule board, the tiny print of the train schedule, or the lit up screen on my phone. Like I said, baby squirrel. Luckily, there is a service desk down there, so I went up to find out my train info, but couldn't seem to get that out either, because what I said was something along the lines of "Can you tell me when the R5 comes and what track I should get on, because I got a schedule, but I can't read. Well, I can read, but I just can't read right now. I mean, I can always read, but I just had this eye thing and now I can't see. I mean I can see, because I can see you, but I can't read because I can't really see. I can usually read."
Apparently, this sort of thing happens all the time, because although I was rambling on about my extensive reading experience with my runny nose, one mostly closed eye that was letting out a constant stream of tears and the other eye still so completely dilated that for the brief moments when I actually could open it, it looked like you could stare directly into my colon - she seemed completely unfazed. "1:41 on track 4," she said, "you just missed it. The next one is on track 4 at 2:12. Please stop crying on my desk."
Miraculously, I made it on to the train without falling on to the third rail, and found a seat that wasn't someones lap. Someone on the train knew me too, which was nice, because at some point a six foot tall blur said to me "Joe! Nice to see you, it's been a long time!". "You too, buddy," I said, "we should totally get together, give me a call..." So far, I haven't gotten that call, so they may or may not have been talking to me.
But I made it home, successfully found the right key and opened the door, and here I am. It's better, I'm a little blurry, but that'll change. I have a new appreciation for pirates, Sandy Duncan, Peter Falk and Sammy Davis, Jr. though. And cyclops.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lone Callery Pear

I've written and erased this post so many times, I feel like there are dozens of old posts shining through this one like weary faces of pentimenti. I don't know why I can't get it out, or if I'll hit the post button before I go to bed, or this will be just another layer, but here goes.
What I'm afraid of writing is what I see every year - hollow, trite expressions of grief, or silence, or nothing. What I want to do is write something down so that Sam and Lily know who I was, and what I felt... but I'm afraid, every time I start this, that it'll never be quite right. More than afraid. I know. It will never be right.
What they're already learning in school is what happened, from 8:46 on... and some day I'll tell them where I was and what I was doing, what I saw and felt, and everything they won't write down in a textbook.
What I want them to know, if they do read this years from now, is that I was sitting in a dark grey hand-me-down desk chair with a faded tweed seat when I disconnected from our dial-up internet service and the phone started ringing. I wheeled the chair from our spare bedroom in the southeast corner of our second floor apartment into the living room without getting up, and turned the TV on when there was only one tower left standing, and watched, all the while thinking "I could have sworn there were two", until the other one fell and I understood. I took calls, mostly from Sara trying to find a way home; and made them, trying to find everyone else. Sara walked toward home, and found a bus that covered most of the 18 miles between here and there, and after a while, everyone I was looking for made it home too. The TV was on and I didn't turn it off for days and days, I don't know why. I watched all day, and kept it on while I slept, left it on when I went out of the house and saw every unedited bit.
We left the house on the 12th, went to Valley Forge park under eerily quiet skies, and climbed to the top of Mount Joy without seeing another soul. I wrote in the trail book at the top with a blue ball point pen that had lost it's top, in small enough print to leave years of empty space for others to fill, and we went home.
What they should know, is that even though I found everyone, I was broken. I had a freedom and safety in my heart that I have never felt since, and the intensity with which I watch over them was made, in part, by that day. Eleven years have gone by since then, we've had two kids and watched them grow before our eyes. I've lost friends and dogs, spent money, gotten drunk, made coffee, taken long meaningless walks, and made life changing decisions. But still, I dread this anniversary with all my heart because I can't shake the feeling of helplessness that creeps back into me, and I'm not sure it will ever leave. So I wanted to write this to get it out of my system, and so they know. Hopefully they'll be a time when I can find a way to write something a little better than this, but for now, this will have to do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Team Raspberry

We went to Washington this summer and met up with my parents, my sisters and their families, so there was a big flock of us invading the Pacific Northwest. We were in Seattle for the first couple of days, and if you haven't been, you really should. There are San Franciso-ish hills everywhere, though, which make my kids constantly mutter in the background "can't we drive?", make the native's calves look like gigantic sinewy drumsticks, and force the overweight tourists to settle into the lowest points of the city. (To be honest, I found myself in a mass of tourists on Alaskan Way who were exhausted and trapped at the bottom of a hill... I completely sympathized with their predicament, and only decided to move on when they began to discuss forming their own government and permanently settling there so they wouldn't have to climb back up into the heart of the city) But it's an amazing place... beautiful, vibrant, caffeinated, and the constant winter rain seems to have weeded out all of the people who are high maintenance, which is awesome.
Oh, and they throw fish. I know this is a touristy thing to watch, and Seattle residents who've seen enough airborne sea life to last a lifetime shop at other places, but I find it relaxing. Matter of fact, if I had the money I would buy a nice comfy lawn chair, sit in the back yard all day, and pay people to toss fish back and forth. I don't even think I would need cocktails, just the gentle breeze and slapping sound of haddock being tossed back and forth would be enough to lull me into a peaceful afternoon slumber.
In the middle of the week we went to stay at La Push for a few days, and since its such a long drive out, made some cool stops along the way - some scenic overlooks, a little fishing/lumber town, and best of all, a raspberry and lavender farm.
And best of all, a raspberry and lavender farm. I'll pause to let that sink in.

"But Joe, how can that be?" you might ask. You know what? I don't know, it just is. There is something about standing next to a wheat field, sun-warmed raspberry that didn't make it into the bucket in my mouth, with a subtle hint of lavender in the air that is pure, unadulterated decadence.
La Push was amazing too... once I got past the temperature of the sea, which the Quileute Tribe actually measures in kelvin. The first day we wandered from our cabin all the way down the beach to the first jetty, and next to an abandoned fire pit someone had written "La Push - discovering solitude" in ash on a tree trunk that had washed up on shore. It was goofy, I'll admit, and I'm sure would make perfect sense when you're stoned - but it was close enough to right that I just let it sink in. It's the sort of place that man makes sacred.
And there were cousins, which was great, because when they're together it seems like they have a plan - some sort of unspoken, fluid hierarchy that keeps them happily moving from one project to the next. Oh, and they exhaust each other, and any day that makes you sleep like the dead when it's over is a good one.
Back in Seattle at the end of the week, I caught something and felt absolutely awful. It's been a long time since I've been sick with anything, and I almost forgot how crappy it is. Aside from the painful congested sinus, ear popping flight home though, I wouldn't have changed much about the trip... It's funny, I forget how different we all are, and how much we're the same.
Ah, shit, that's what I should have written in ash on that tree trunk...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

then I go out and paint the stars

Father's Day was a perfect day to get wet, so I had a great breakfast courtesy of Sara and the kids, and got ready. Lily had been asking to go for the past few days, and thankfully the weather was good, because I couldn't get it out of my head. I woke up thinking about the walk, thinking about what was going to go in my pockets and where we should leave the path. I pulled a pack from the attic, ready with a folding saw, some half rope and a knife - I put water and kids in the car, and we were off. It isn't a hard walk, and if you go slow enough won't even break a sweat. But by the time we got to the white 21 trail marker the sound of traffic was long gone and we went down the bank and into the river. I haven't been since the fall, and all the winter rain and downed trees changed the path of the water in parts - since we're far off the trail, there are places that look brand new even though I've been through this stream dozens of times. As we go up the hill the river becomes more familiar when the ground changes from dirt to river rock, tumbled granite and mica. This is the best place to find salamanders and crayfish, if you're taking notes, and we always get hung up building dams and wrestling creatures out from between the crevices.
After an hour or so, the polished rocks give way to pages of grey slate, that make the ground look like someone left a great iron book open under the earth, and the water that is a gentle tumble further down the hill splashes and chirps around the jagged rocks... this is my favorite part. I'm always worried that the kids will fall here, and tear their knees open on one of the sharp edges, but since there aren't any places to look for animals along the solid river floor, they tend to be a bit more focused. There are yellow birch and sassafras trees growing along the bank all along these slate twists of the stream, and the roots that can't penetrate the rock stretch out in red tendrils into the water, like the sea urchins we've seen with Jeanne and Julie on the Pacific shore.

We pass by bridges, groundhogs, and deer bones washed white by sun and stream... and climb out of the water three hours later with wrinkled toes and dirty fingernails to make our way back to the car.  Back on solid ground the walk back is quicker, and chipmunks dash out of our way on the path into the tall grasses and Serviceberry tangles. All I can think to myself is that I can't imagine a better place to be, and just like every other day we're in these woods, I have to fight back the urge to get feet-wet, and start all over again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Miranda in the Storm

A friend of mine asked me a while back if Lily would like to be in a fashion show. If you know Lily (even if you've only met her once) it's sort of a stupid question. I said yes, of course she would, before I even asked Lily. I asked her when I got home though - she said yes before I even finished the question... and I backed away from her a little bit, because she looked so excited I didn't know if her tiny seven year old self would be able to contain that much emotion, and I was afraid she might involuntarily punch me in the face or throw up or something.
If I've learned anything as a parent, it's that the desire to do something and the ability to do something are two completely different things. I was happy that she wanted to do it, but since she was committed, I was worried she would see the crowd and freeze up... especially since she was going to be the youngest person in the show. We had someone come to the house to take her measurements, and she was fine, but that was easy. Next came the walking part... we had to rehearse. A couple of days before the show, we met up with my friend who was coordinating the show, and got onto the runway. Runway? Catwalk? Why do both of those sound wrong...
Turns out, it was a little more complicated than we thought. There was a back lit white curtain at the top of the runway so she could hold a pose so her silhouette would be the backdrop for the runway until it was her turn... then she had to walk, pose halfway, go to the right front, pose, the left front and pose, back to the middle and pose, and walk off behind the curtain. I did it first, to show her how to do it. I looked fabulous.
After a couple of tries she got it down - not too fast, stop at all the right points, smile, etc. She was on fire. We had two days of 'on fire' though, because it's all she talked to me about. All. She. Talked. About. On the day of the show, we dashed around a bit - the kids were at school, we worked - and I darted home to get her off the bus so she could start getting ready. We drove over, and when we went in to the prep room she was pulsing with energy. There were hair and makeup stations, a place to get changed, and most notably, dozens of high school girls chattering and putting on makeup. Thank god she slipped right into line to get her makeup done without asking me to stay with her, because the high pitched fashion show dressing room chatter was as pleasant as having someone draw spinal fluid while you're jogging, and I desperately needed to get out of there. It took about an hour to do all of the prep, take pictures of all the dresses, and do a final run through before the show - and she kept scooting from one place to the next behind the older girls while I watched from the safety of a nearby table.
Even though she was following the crowd, I was a bit nervous underneath it all... I half expected her to get on the stage and freeze up, to get hit by the spotlights, see the crowd, and lose her shit... but it was a little late for all of that. She was dressed and ready, and there wasn't a heck of a lot I could do about it, so we went on the floor and grabbed a spot by the runway.
The lights dimmed, the music started, and they started coming. Funny thing is, I never really watched a fashion show before (and never really thought I would... I mean I've seen them, just never really paid attention) and it was pretty cool. Ever person had their own thing - some were awkward and clunky, some blew kisses and twirled their dresses as they walked by, a few looked slightly constipated - and then Lily's silhouette appeared at the top (I started to sweat a little).
Now here's the thing - I think my kids can do anything. They have their flaws, I know, but they're smart and persistent, and that goes a long way... but I'm not gushy about it, and I'm sure they'll be the first ones to tell you this. I don't like helicopter, overprotective parents. I don't like parents who act like their kids are god's gift to the earth, parents who compliment their kids at every turn, and parents who really and truly believe that everyone thinks that their kids are as wonderful as they think their kids are. Because they're not, and chances are, if you're that kind of parent, your kid is probably a dick. But I digress. When I saw her silhouette, I quickly reevaluated myself as a parent. If she trips, I thought, or freaks out, or rips her dress, or falls off the runway, or pees, farts, sneezes, laughs, forgets to turn, or god forbid someone laughs - she'll be devastated. It's stupid, I know, it's a fashion show. Nothing more. But it's the first thing in a while that she's been this excited about, and I can't help getting sucked up in it.
But I know, from her first step, everything will be OK. She comes out from behind the curtain poised and perfect, with a look of Blue Steel. She walks like she doesn't notice the crowd and the lights, her eyes pan the crowd as if they bore her - just a little. She hits all of her marks, turns her head and gives up a little smile, and it occurs to me as she drifts behind the curtain that I am utterly and hopelessly in love with her.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Career Paths

In a marriage, you do things for each other. Some things are awesome, some are ordinary, some dreadful, and some just plain dull. Actually, things start off as dull, but lately nothing ends up that way. I pass by our pharmacy on the way home, so Sara asks me to stop and pick things up once in a while. The other day, the doctor was supposed to call in a prescription for her, so I wrote myself a note and stopped there on the way home. One of the reasons I don't really mind stopping there is that no matter who you are in life, sooner or later you have to stop at the CVS for something. You just can't avoid it, and at our CVS smack dab in the middle of the Main Line, billionaire socialites, hungover Villanova students, middle class Joes, and garden variety lunatics are all at the same level in life while standing in line waiting for our pierced and transdermally implanted checkout clerk to wait on them.
When I got there, it was almost empty, just a few stragglers in the aisles. I got in line at the prescription counter behind a woman who looked to be in her 60s... Well dressed, rotund, and pulsing with energy. I sort of tuned her out while she rattled on about a prescription she was waiting for, but the more she talked, the less I could ignore the conversation. After a couple of minutes, it got interesting.
"I found a dollar in the parking lot", she said to the pharmacist. "I found a dollar."
My ears perked up. The pharmacist, I guess because he couldn't muster up the correct response to this, stared blankly at her. This was completely unacceptable, apparently, because she fished the dollar bill out of her jacket pocket and waved it around in front of him. Then, to hammer the point in, said "it was just blowing around out there!"
In my head, I had so many sarcastic answers to this conversation that I started to mentally categorize them into lists - mean funny, sarcastic funny, well golly gee funny - you know, lists. Before she had put the bill back in her pocket I had devised a complex story about an elaborate dollar bill tracking system that I had developed in high school - and how by taking the temperature of the bill I could tell how long it had been out of someone's pocket. Then by taking into account average wind speed and direction, adjusting for the friction as it tumbled across the asphalt, I could pinpoint the exact spot where the bill had first been lost. These calculations, coupled with the CVS security camera footage (which I'm sure I could get access to) might just show us who was walking in or out of the pharmacy when this tragedy occurred. The rest would be easy (I would confidently explain) because I could use some basic facial recognition software to identify the person, and with the pharmacy records, simply refund the money to their debit card from the woman's bank account and she could keep the dollar, and everything would be even-steven. "Unfortunately," I thought I would say, as she peered lovingly into my eyes having solved her grand dollar bill dilemma, "although my lost bill tracking algorithm is flawless, it costs several million dollars to fire up the Cray supercomputer I have in my trunk and run through all of the calculations. I hope you have your checkbook."
Still, the pharmacist had nothing, and he continued look at her with a blank deer-in-headlights sort of stare. Luckily for him, she turned and walked away, and he went about shuffling the prescription bags on his shelf. I was next in line, and when he turned back to me and said "can I help you?", I mustered up as straight of a face as I could and said, "yeah, hi. I think I might have lost a dollar in your parking lot."
You know what I got from him? Nothing. Not a smile, not a giggle, nothing. I was sure (in my head) that it was a pretty damn funny thing to say though, so I gave him a good 20 second pause.
still nothing... so I moved on... "I'm here to pick up a prescription for my wife" I said, and gave him her name. He picked through the prescription bags, then looked in the computer.
"Are you sure she had something waiting?" he asked.
At this point, I was still running through dollar bill identification jokes in my head, so I wasn't really all that upset I was going to walk out of the CVS empty handed.
"Well," I said, "she said the doctor was going to call something in for her, but maybe she's insane."
And you know what I got from him? No, no you don't, because in my wildest imagination I could not have come up with a more boring, white toast of an answer. He turns to me and says, "I think it's more likely that the doctor didn't call it in."
As if I was implying that she was actually insane. Really. In his head he must have decided that this was the most plausible answer, given the options I had presented him with, and that's what I got. She's not insane. Gotcha. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm not a pharmacist.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Rules Of Tajweed

Usually, Sam ends up in the hospital. I do too, sometimes, but not nearly as often as the boy. Lily and Sara seem to have been spared whatever gene it is that causes the two of us to injure ourselves in spectacular and life altering ways, and they just seem to get hurt like regular people. I know, deep down, that Sam’s injuries are some sort of karmic retribution for all of the times I
made my way back home covered in blood and turned my parent’s downstairs bathroom into a triage unit. I’m OK though, I’ve accepted it as something that the universe wants, and I have gauze and splints at the ready. The dog injuries are a bit unexpected though, and it seems like they’re a bit more than I deserve. When we had kids, we found a good pediatrician and a nearby hospital, we stocked up on medicine and band-aids, and we always have plenty of ice. When we got the dogs, we got chew toys and a bed – when we should have been shopping for things like those head cones so they can’t chew on themselves. We’re on our third and fourth dog though, and we should know something will happen eventually. This time it was Steve… we had a regular day, filled with regular stuff, but after the kids went to bed Steve swelled up to twice his original size. Why? Who knows. I thought it might have been the bit of sea bass he had with his dinner, but the vet seemed to think it was a reaction to some sort of bite. I didn’t go to the vet, mind you, I know better. I called the after-hours line and had him call me back, because our emergency 24 hour vet service looks at your net worth before they agree to treat your pet… it’s cheaper to get counseling for your loss, have a taxidermist preserve your old pet, and buy a new dog… Anyway, our vet called back, and from the sound of his voice I could tell he was in his pajamas. I described what was going on, and he hemmed and hawed for a minute, and said, “How much does Steve weigh now?” "
“180 pounds”
“Did you say 180 pounds?”
“I did. I mean I guess, last time we weighed him he was 170 pounds, and he’s
a lot bigger…”
(slight pause in the conversation)
“OK,” he said, “ give him 200mg of Benadryl tonight, and let me know how he
is in the morning.”
Do we have Benadryl? Of course we do. Can I find it at 10pm? Of course I can’t … so I look in every cabinet. While I’m looking, Steve keeps getting bigger. His eyes are swelling shut, and his jowls (which hang down as it is) look like two porterhouse steaks attached to the side of his face. Finally, I find a bottle of liquid bubblegum flavored Benadryl, which I’m sure he’ll eat because
he eats everything… Everything, it turns out, except bubblegum flavored Benadryl… Luckily, I finally find a stash of pills - so I count out eight of them, put them inside a piece of bread with some peanut butter, and hand it over. At this point though, he’s either too swollen or too distrustful to eat it, and I spend the next 10 minutes prying his mouth open and shoving little
satchels of Benadryl sandwich down his throat (which, conveniently, is the same size as my arm). All the while he’s conveniently ambivalent to the whole situation, and when the Benadryl kicks in, he lazily rubs his paws on his eyes and walks in circles around the living room.
Since I'm up all night, I'm mulling things over, like how Sam is finally embracing his injuries. He’s still getting hurt as regularly, but he has seemed to accept it. Lately he comes home from school with some bruises and cuts, shows them to me, and moves on with his day… as opposed to asking for band-aids and ice packs. It’s been sort of a gradual change, and I didn’t really notice until basketball season started. He isn’t the best basketball player, but he’s good. Plus, he plays hard. Hard enough to get in the middle of things, to dive, to wrestle for the ball, and to hit the floor if he needs to after he takes a shot. During a rough game last week he tore a chunk of skin off the underside of his arm, and got a bruise the size of an orange on his hip when he was in the middle of a scrum. I saw him get slammed onto the floor, saw him slide, and winced… but he got up running, and just kept going. After the game he was pretty sore, but during the game, he was relentless. The thing is, I’m not sure what the proper emotion for this is… pride? I was proud of him. I was. It felt sort of wrong though, like I should have told him to go to the bench if he needed to, should have gotten him some ice…
But it makes sense, in a weird sort of way. Sam is intense. Lily is dramatic and hilarious, but Sam is driven. When he wants something, he makes it happen…. When he wants to learn all the words to a song, he listens to it over and over, Googles the lyrics and prints them out, and memorizes them. When he wants to learn something, he learns it – and when he wants the ball, he gets it. It's like he has a set of rules for himself, and once he decides there is something he has to do, it's hard to peel him off track.
Lily, on the other hand, lives to be peeled off track. She has this thing that I don't think many other people see, this sense of humor that she doesn't share with everyone. I can't really figure out why though... maybe she's self conscious, or maybe she doesn't think she's funny, I have no idea. But she has it, more than most people I know. She has good timing, and really honest delivery. There have been times when she has made me laugh so hard that I can't breathe, and there aren't many people that can do that. On purpose, anyway.
... so I'm up all night with Steve, and he's alternating between rubbing his face, pawing at me to pet him, or pacing anxiously around the room. All the while I'm thinking about the kids, Steve, and the blog. I'm thinking about how much I dread writing a post when I feel like I have to, and how much I miss being in front of the computer when I have something to say. I think about how nice it would be to gracefully close Tickle, Cook, Breathe since it's lived a long life. And after a long night of fits and spurts of sleep interrupted by the dog, I'm sitting on the couch when the first rays of sunlight spill over the windowsill and I think to myself "the first rays of sunlight spill over the windowsill. I should write that down."
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