Monday, April 5, 2010

Such a Good Afternoon

Yesterday morning, I cleaned out the cat litter for the first time since early February (K. has been taking care of that detail, along with laundry, shopping, encouraging, etc...) and vacuumed my tiny living room. On the other hand, I threw up from the morning medication and then peed in my pants just as we were going out. (What's happening to these internal systems? Damn! And don't tell my daughter this. She can't stand me giving so much, too much, information. I have long since given up caring about what was once, when I was younger, a  humiliating accident, since I can't do anything to make my body behave.) (Once I was walking about Avenue B toward our tenement, have had a colitis attack a few blocks before, when some guy came along and said, "Hi, pretty lady." All I could think of was, "Can't he smell me?") So, I was pretty discouraged and also hungry, having failed breakfast and lunch.

We'd been invited to an Easter dinner with L. and K. They have such an interesting set of friends, some of whom I know well...and our Thanksgiving dinners there have always been so much fun. So, worried that I was, I was really looking forward to being there and to testing out whether I could pull sentences together with any cogency.

On the way over, we stopped at Wholefoods (also known as Wholepaycheck) and for the first time in months, I was walking through a (glorious, glorified, rarified) market, wheeling a basket, picking out food. Amazing. And picking out some food that I could possibly eat for dinner, knowing that my diet is too restricted to find much from offerings for mortals. I was so hungry that I had a small preliminary meal -- noodles that were too spicy (they tasted so good) and some beef! C. had noticed it in a nearby case and the woman behind the counter carefull chose two lovely, reddish pieces that actually tasted wonderful. (I ate a small piece, savoring it.) K. picked out a chocolate easter-egg cake to take along with us, a far cry from the homemade strawberry short cake, the apple, cranberry and raisin pies that others had brought. 

We got there early, actually, and had lots of time to sit in the back and talk to various people. Ten or so years ago, Bogie was the inspiration for Rosie's purchase, and he really loves going over there to visit, though I have no idea whether he has any particular passion for her. They have their own busy ways, going in and out of the house, sitting by our respective feet, wandering around. Another large, beautiful black and white dog came later - Oscar. He managed to create his own world, not bothering too much about them.

This colitis smack-down seems to have changed me. At least I hope it was. A conversation with P.,  a bubbly, talkative woman who has decided to accept the strength of her past experiences, no longer measure them against profound losses of a number of years ago, to live with mellowness and cheerfulness, was really inspiring. Then overhearing M's fascinating description of volunteering in a hospice, how much he gains from the relationships he develops, lead to a continued talk in the living room -- comparing notes on what we've both learned, far more than we've given, in volunteering -- may lead me in other directions toward more volunteering. It was such a relief to talk with both of these people, as it was to find someone who was studying at MIT just a few years after I stopped teaching there. She's a film editor, working on an engrossing project now, the best friend of the bubbly woman.

I generally failed food again, though the chickens that L. roasted were delicious and proved my hatred against chicken is unfounded. It just has to be organic. The food I brought tasted awful, but the sweet potatoes P. made and a hard boiled egg resting on the seductive asparagus (no, no) were good.

It was so nice to have become a real person again -- to have been able to take in these conversations, to enjoy the hospitality of L. and K....   K. and C. were, as usual, perfectly at home, talking and laughing. 

What a nice day! Thank you....


  1. Good for you, eating again, in a manner of speaking. And I wouldn't worry about 'too much information', I'm sure we can take it.

    One of my daughter rails me about this too. Funny how the tables turn. We bring up our children, teaching them limits, and before you know it, they're telling us how to conduct ourselves.

    It's great though isn't it? At least they have some sense of what's okay and what's not, even if our parameters have broadened.

    Thanks, Melissa.

  2. what a good outing, melissa. i like what you say about the possibility of change from this horrible bout of illness. not that i think you need to change, but that the long process has added an extra dimension to how you see the world.

  3. Hi Pretty lady,

    I hope this good direction continues and you can soon eat and more with the best of them.

    I've closed my blog but will let you know when I reopen a new one, it's a housekeeping thing.
    I always appreciate your stopping by.

    love, dd

  4. How great that you had a fine social time on Easter Sunday. We had a lovely family brunch.