Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bear Bait

An old Joan Armatrading song is playing in my head: "Some days the bear will eat you... some days you'll eat the bear..."  It's not a great song, on the tail end of her classic albums that were the running soundtrack of my late teens and early 20s (along with Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Lene Lovich, and the Talking Heads).  But the sentiment is apt, as I am feeling like a bear's lunchmeat right now.

Chewed up.

Never fear, I am not about to launch into another long whiny post.  I'll keep it brief.

I know you don't believe me.  I do tend to go on and on in ruminating rambles.  I like ruminating; I like rambling.  But the other day someone praising my blog described my writing as "pithy."  Ha!

I liked the sound of that, even if it is not remotely true.  Well, maybe they meant the "meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning" part of the definition.  Certainly not "brief; terse".  We all know I usually land on the "why use one word when twelve will do?" side of the fence.

But in the interests of not proving this fan a liar, I will hereby attempt pith tonight.  (Although considering how much I have just rambled on during my set up here, I'm not feeling very optimistic about the outcome of this little experiment.)

So, the short, essential version of the whine is:

Jacob's cranky, weepy.  He mangled his glasses today and could not tell me where, when, how.  He just kept repeating "I'm sorry" plaintively when he got off the bus.  And that shit?  Breaks my heart.

I am sure he did nothing wrong.  I kept telling him it was OK, they would be easy for Jeffrey the eyeglass man to fix.  And they were.  I am guessing they took flight, maybe during gym class, playing his beloved basketball.  But I'll never know.

The fact that I will never know some things that may happen to Jake?  Opens a can of fear worms that I can not look into right now, but use your imagination.

Right, that.  I'm not going to talk about it.   But it worries me.

Every day.

Also?  I'm cranky, underslept, overburdened.  I'm still not 100% over this cold.

I spent the day schlepping my Mother to doctor appointments and then to see my Aunt Marilyn in a very depressing nursing home.  The smell that wafts into your brain when you read "nursing home"?


Afterward, Mom cried and cried and kept repeating "my baby sister, my baby sister..."  I held her hand.  I kissed the top of her head, gently.  What could I say.

Also?  Ethan's likewise cranky, prone to easy tears today.  He may be coming down with my cold.

If he gets sick, no one will play with him.  I am then looking down the long, cold corridor of 4 days alone with my boys who get along like Tom and Jerry. 

What about my husband, you may ask?  Cranky, overburdened, underslept.  Prone to easy tears.

He is busy going through 70 years of accumulated stuff in his late Mother's apartment, the one he grew up in.  Sorting the wheat from the chaff, awash in memory and sadness.

He is also trying to get all the work done that was shoved onto the back burner in these last all-absorbing months, the black hole of her final decline.

His body is occasionally with us, but his soul is still mostly apart, howling.  I hold his hand.  I kiss him, gently.  We wait for the storms to pass.  What can I say.

We are all cranky.  For a reason.


  1. I hope she meant pithy, not pity! (Could it be the computer ate your h? the bear?)
    What you say about never knowing what happened about some things about Jake put a big black scary hole in my mind. Exactly the same is true with Max - especially as he was non-verbal until recently and is still not a great conversationalist. Jesus that's a scary thought. Hope you all get better and de-grump really soon!

  2. @Sandrine - Thanks for catching that! Fixed it. This is why spell check is dangerous. And blogging tired: a deadly combo. (Of course only a nerdy blogger would consider a typo "deadly.")

    Hey, everyone, the (now fixed) typo that Sandrine is referring to above was (obviously) a missing
    "h" in my first invocation of the term "pithy."

    Also? The bear ate my H, the bear ate my H!

  3. It'd ok to be cranky. You have a lot going on. And this is the perfect place to share it, because we all understand. I know tomorrow will be hard for you too, so know that I'm thinking of you.

  4. Am I allowed to say this one was one of my fave posts??? (giggle) Seroiusly, you do have alot on your plate - every day. Here's to you Varda...for simply getting out of bed - every day. And even if your family may not always appreciate it - we, your fans, do!


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!