Thursday, June 16, 2016

She towers in beauty, in the night
   of airless condos and overtaxed ceiling fans;
And all that's best of pre-cut shrink-wrapped produce
   Placed on her shivery shelves of fresh delight:
Illuminated by her single bulb
   What heaven to my tongue delights. 
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One fine day, I came home and on my way up the 37 stairs, I stopped to fetch the mail. In the pile of AARP applications and hospital bills was a small envelope from an old friend.

I got upstairs, opened it up, scanned her note and my eyes-which to my recollection have never bawled-even once during this whole extravaganza-got immediately damp.  There was a check enclosed. 


"Well, there it is, then", said my wicked evil internal voice. "Actual proof that you're a failure." 


(Can you imagine the leaps I have had to make to get even anything noteworthy on my resume with a rotten internal voice of that caliber? Do you know what it said when I got the initial 'You have a Cancer' call? It said, "Well. Maybe at last you've found a way to lose weight.")


I shoved my friends envelope into a folder. I was just. Overwhelmed. 


I peeked at it every so often like a backwards Close and Play. I didn't mention it to anyone. I needed time to decide where to put it. I wanted to get something equal to the magnificence of the person that sent it. Monumental even.



Here's something they don't teach you in cancer school: While I completely understood that the only actual vacations I'd be going on this year were lived vicariously via Facebook posts(I had a fabulous time in Italy, thanks.) The rest of your obligations don't take a holiday. You just fall further and further down the hole. 


The fridge was dying. Everything in the freezer was mush. 'Is that red stuff last years rhubarb?' we asked at the sight of torrential goo. "Ya know" I'd say picking up some half-frozen, frozen dinner "I hope I'm not getting botulism-after all this." 


So the house, has been upside down getting ready for the delivery. (And it's not even a house-it's a one bedroom condo. How do you lose a 38 pound corgi mix in a one bedroom condo?) And that's how the toaster ended up under the bed.  


She arrived Tuesday. Miss Frigidaire. Between 1 and 3:30 which is a fancy way of saying: 3:33. In her first 15 minutes of new life, Grantley and I were sitting here and our heads turned when she made herself a whole new noise we did not yet know. 


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