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Showing posts from November, 2009

Becalmed

A baked ship on a listless sea lies limply on the waves.  White light tramples on the splintery boards as the vessel rocks in the glare of the sun.  Deck is bare and sail is empty; the lonely helm creaks as the weak current catches the rudder.
I stumble up on deck, a bottle sloshing in my hand.  My eyes are unable to focus; puking over the side helps the hangover.  And I look over to the wheel from the railing, remembering the storm that drove me below decks.
The storm came quickly; I had not been scanning the skies for the hints. Suddenly the rain had begun; a gust pummeled the sail as the tide kicked at the rudder beneath.  I clung to the wheel, already straining to breathe, to stand, to steer.  I lashed the wheel as another of the storm's tantrums pounded down upon the deck with heavy waves grasping at my shoes.  I battled over to the mast and fought to furl the hysterical sail. The salt and the raindrops stabbed into my bare hands, as the storm's shrieking began to grow.
Loud…

We Dying Immortals

A few months ago, my boss took everyone in the office out for drinks to celebrate a new big client that one of the lawyers had just signed on.  We cheerfully paraded out of the office at 4:30, ready to drink to the occasion.  The evening sun sparkled through the tall bar windows on my glass of rum and coke as we swathed ourselves in a haze of laughter at the corner of the bar.  A few stools down the other legal receptionist, a middle-aged Southern blonde, politely declined the appetizers because her husband was already at home cooking dinner for her.  One of the lawyers joked that her husband was trying to get her in the mood; she replied with a smile and quickness, "He doesn't have to work that hard to get me in the mood."  We all laughed.

That laughter has gone.
At the beginning of October, she called off work one Thursday.  She had taken her husband to the hospital the previous night with severe abdominal pain, and the doctors couldn't identify the cause.  After sev…

Normal

Normal is underrated.

Three weeks ago, I had a cyst removed, and for the next week I was in post-scalpel misery.  Even while popping painkillers like Pez candy, I was rendered virtually immobile.  I couldn't lie on my back.  I couldn't walk.  I couldn't sit.  Not without pain rocketing throughout my body.  While lying on the floor with an oversized pillow and watching bad TV drama to distract from the throbbing, I often thought back to before, when I stupidly took those normal actions for granted.
Those times without are when we understand the value of normal.  It's when I'm at the bottom of the deep end that I realize how sweet air is.  It's when I'm too busy to eat lunch that I get to dinner and remember how good food tastes.  Normal is a delicacy we've become accustomed to dining on.
Being married to and loving Dave feels so normal now, almost alarmingly normal.  Telling him I love him is part of my daily routine.  Watching him sleep while I get ready f…