No, this is not a vacation I’ve been on. It’s not even a declared rest period after we drank our milk, ate our cookies, and took our afternoon nap.
It’s the fun of having real life going like a jackhammer up your butt. It is:
1. The pending severance of a 14-year-long relationship with my Other. She is planning to sell the house and buy an apartment in Manhattan. Whether this is a pipe dream (see famous Magritte image not included here) or reality, I am on notice, and am seeking to leave this place where I have dwelt sometimes happily, sometimes in misery, for over nine years. The End of the Affair my ass. This is more like the sacking of Rome by the Goths.
2. The search for an apartment I can afford in an unaffordable state. Did I mention I despise New Jersey?
3. The hustle-hustle to keep the adjunct teaching work that makes the rent possible.
4. The adjunct work that is sapping my strength and contributing to the stress that is blowing my glucose numbers through the ceiling.
5. Did I mention that the apartments I’ve seen thus far within my price range either have plumbing that is somewhat out of commission or are in buildings that will not accept animals? Love me, love my cat. So far the neighborhoods for that kind of apartment remind me of places I used to visit when I worked for the Welfare Department in New York.
6. I paid about $900 yesterday for a new timing belt and water pump after my car quit in the speed lane of the Garden State Parkway. How I got across five lanes of hostile drivers is beyond my knowledge, but God must have something real special planned for me. Maybe I’ll star in the remake of Snakes on a Plane, only it will be a real plane with real snakes.
6. And I’m still trying to write.
I saw something humbling while waiting for my car. A woman came in leading a young boy of about 12. His head was clean shaven. Clearly this was the result of chemotherapy for a childhood cancer. And without hair it was hard to tell his sex. I did not stare, but thought: this child may not make it another year and his mother will grieve him more than I have ever had to grieve anyone. So my car is laid up. That nightmare I have been spared.
All the same…in the aggregate…Father, if it is your will, let this cup pass from me. But if not, then your will, not mine, be done. And the mercy I ask for myself I ask also for that nameless child. May he live to manhood so he can have a car kack out on him.
Pietà, Signor, pietà. Amen.