Monday, December 27, 2004

snowed in, on a monday

howling winds and drifting snow, beginning mid-afternoon yesterday as my father and i left The Cedars, an assisted living facility a couple of miles from here. we walked through the creamy yellow hallways, along the cheerfully patterned carpets to a two bedroom "unit" that would, as we said to each other later, 'work just fine.' Our tour guide was a woman named Mary Ellen, who looked more like a head nurse than an administrator in a bright blue suit with gold buttons, looked at my father and told him about how the health of the primary caregiver would rapidly and steadily decline, and as we left, she touched my elbow and said 'let me tell you that one-third of caregivers die within the first year of doing what your father is doing.' my father kept laughing as she was talking, the kind of laugh that says, we'll see about that, but she held onto my arm and wouldn't let go until i looked her in the eye. they were red and unflinching. was she about to cry?

against my better judgement, i called JD on christmas eve as i was driving from my parents house over to D & D's to play pool. i missed him, suddenly, after more than a month of having expunged him from my life. thought that i was tougher now, like a caloused heel after too many blisters. our last interaction had been a note saying i wanted my key back and to 'please leave it on the table.' but all of his inadequacies, all of his not being what i want or need, escaped me at the moment when i called his cell. when he answered, i hung-up. later, leaving D & D's, as i listened to his return message, he called again. was, he said, sitting in my driveway. his words were slurred and he was mumbling something about ending-up in a cornfield with a cruiser in pursuit. 'do you have a glass of wine in there or are we going to just sit here?'

he spent the night. he hung around as i scrambled to to cook the whole of christmas dinner which would shortly be transported to my parents house. it was the JD that i like, the JD that sets me back to believing in our possibilities together, that we can break through our separate walls and find a secret garden that will hold and sustain us. and as before, i fly on these rapidly evaporating fumes all through the day, christmas day, with the shakey hope that he will re-appear later that night. when he doesn't, i am relieved to be alone, and angry at myself for taking the backward steps to that all too familiar place of anxiety and insecurity.

so last night, after dinner with my father at the local pub in front of a blazing fire as the snow came down, i trudged back here to wait again, waiting for the dog to bark as JD comes in through the kitchen door in the wee hours, waiting for his shadow to emerge in the wan light of snowy dark in my bedroom.



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