Saturday, June 27, 2015

When Pigs Fly

Tonight we walked through an alley full of art. Sanctioned graffiti. A man sat on a curb next to a dumpster; the dumpster smelled so horrific my son visibly gagged. The man played the trumpet. The music was mournful. And beautiful. The alley reminded me of what it was to be human; ugliness and beauty tangled together, dancing.

We gave our daughter five dollars to give to the musician. She didn't do it. She was too nervous. The trumpeter didn't have a defined receptacle for donations. She didn't want to offend.

We wandered further, admiring the art and plugging our noses. The trumpeter closed his case and followed. We stopped to admire the pigs. Then we were following him. 

He had a key for a chocolate shop. He went inside and locked the door with a definitive clack. I wondered if he was like Vianne Rocher from Chocolat. Would he blow away when the winds changed? 

Tonight we walked. And we went to dinner. We talked about the Supreme Court's decision to allow gay marriage. We all agreed -- why not?  Our family is our family. Nobody else's family or values or decisions can harm our foundation, our core.  Love is love. 

And then the conversation segued into my job and what drugs I used at work. Which further segued into a general conversation about drugs and what kids were doing what. This. This honest conversation with a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old. This is the reason we pile into the car and drive for miles upon miles. Hot and sweaty, air-conditioning on the fritz. To Utah of all places (who goes to Utah?). To have these conversations. To forge these bonds. To see the ugliness and beauty that resides within us all. To love. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


I sat in the doctor’s office for two hours and got five different injections. I had to wait in between shots to make sure I didn’t die. There are two large round lights in the exam room. I think they are meant to emulate the sun. Instead they looked like large white glasses, as if I was being studied, as if I was a specimen in a jar. 

When I got home there was blood on my sleeve. It seemed pointless to change. Just more laundry.

When my husband does laundry (my husband does laundry!) he washes it on “heavy load”. I wonder what he is trying to say about the task at hand. When I do laundry I wash it on “whitest whites”. I wonder what I am trying to say. 

I am not a good patient. I am supposed to live in a bubble. I imagine myself in my bubble, a clear plastic dust free zone. I see myself rolling about town, like those people who jump in gigantic balls and bumble down hills for fun. 

I hope my bubble has gloves, like an incubator for premature babies. You could reach into my bubble and we could hold hands. I could pretend I was still from this world. 

“I thinks it’s all the pollen,” my doctor said, “we’ve had high pollen counts this year.” What he meant to say was I was not compatible here. During my manufacture I was built for a different environment. But someone messed up the delivery. 

The other night, at 3:00 am, a middle-aged African American man walked into our clinic. He did not bring a pet. His eyes were red and he was jumpy, he talked too fast. He said he’d been in to see us before, with his dogs. He asked us to look him up so he could prove who he was. We found his file. He said he worked nights and went to school during the day. He said he didn’t sleep much. He said he was trying to get home and was out of gas. He asked for five dollars. He said he’d pay it back. 

I had five dollars. I gave it to him. He went on his way. The next morning my receptionist asked why I didn’t call the police. Why would I? Five dollars is a simple price to pay for peace. 

Yesterday, when I came to work, there was note attached to a five dollar bill. Thank you, thank you it said. Sometimes there is good in this world.  Sometimes we can be the good in this world, even if we were built for something else.