It has been an interesting couple of weeks. In no special order, there have been cataract surgery, a hamster homicide, a car accident, a concussion, cancer test, and the alcoholic relapse of good friend. On the positive side, my one-act play was staged by the Britches and Hose Theater Company, the car is repairable, the concussion is minor, and the cancer test showed no obvious new tumors, though I do have to go back next month for further testing.
Last night, I was invited to a Hanukah feast by friends, which got me out of my house and slightly improved my knowledge of Judaism. It is warm for the season, which I deeply appreciate as I detest cold weather. There were white-tail deer in my backyard this morning, and I had a freshly baked bagel. The insurance rental car, a compact Japanese rice-burner that is so quiet I can’t tell if the engine is running, is a lot easier on the nerves than either of my 30-year old vehicles. My furnace works; it is a toasty 70 degrees in my home, and I have eight new pairs of excellent socks, bought by moi for moi for Christmas. I plan to perhaps have sushi for lunch and finish raking leaves the rest of the day.
It is difficult for me to focus on the good stuff. It’s in my nature to see the downside of things, to anticipate the worst and be smug about it when it occurs. I imagine this is a trait inherited from my mother, whose basic philosophy of life might have been stated (in French) as: (1) Don’t get your hopes up and (2) They’re going to screw you. The ‘they’ was never fully identified; it was generic, a wide sweep of the arms that encompassed both the inanimate and animate, the willful and the accidental.
Perhaps this is why I’ve been really shaken by my friend’s relapse. I fear the worst. It is churning at my core. She’d been sober almost eight years and when I went to see her yesterday, it was like visiting an angry zombie. She was buried in her bed, irate and ashen, and I reacted poorly to her antagonism. I spent many years working in drug and alcohol rehabs, so her reaction to my presence wasn’t surprising, but my reactions to her reaction were. I’m angry; I feel betrayed. I’m scared as well; I’ve known this person fifteen years and driven her to detox and emergency rooms countless times in the past. This part of our relationship was supposed to be over and done with. Don’t get your hopes up.
But I have new socks and my feet are warm.
I’m going to rake leaves.