April 12th, 2007

good mris pic


I...am...better! I am not yet all better -- I still sound as though I've been doing nothing but smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey -- cheap whiskey -- for the last 50 years. But I am audible. I can go downstairs and throw in a load of laundry and come back upstairs and not see little blue dots swimming in my field of vision and have to lie down a minute before I fall over. Yesterday I wore a brassiere and contact lenses and trousers. (And, y'know, a shirt and stuff. But I was wearing shirts the whole time.) Better! Yay!

(Good thing, too, because that load of laundry is not even slightly hypothetical.)

You know, for the last -- oh, heavens, I have derailed myself before I got to the subject of the sentence, because I did the math and it's the last eleven years. It has been over eleven years since my gran died. And it feels like that long, because it was before I really knew markgritter, when he was just one of those hairy argumentative geeks down in the_overqual and Aaron's section. (I was promised hairy argumentative geeks if I attended a small private liberal arts college in southern Minnesota -- an implied promise, at least. I got them. Remember this, kids: pameladean would not lie to you about something important like that. She is not devoid of interest in this area herself.) One of the major divisions in my life is before and after markgritter, and Gran definitely died before I met markgritter, so it must be eleven years.

So I've tumbled my own structure on end here. Let's have another go: when Gran died, part of how you can tell that it was before markgritter is that I was only occasionally borrowing books from people in the old crowd, and by people I mostly mean Rachel at that point. So I was trying to subsist on library books under Library Of Congress system, and I hate browsing LoC for fiction. So I binge-read a lot in college, figuring out an author I wanted to read and then reading whatever they had by that person until I was done and had to find another author.

When Gran died, I was reading Kurt Vonnegut.

Ever since then, my advice to the grieving has been: don't do that.

The thing about reading Vonnegut for me is that I always wanted to treat him like he was about Robin's age and in a Mood. Gently but firmly, with fun things that had a specific concrete end: he could stand on a kitchen chair and stir while you made cookies, for example, and if he was a good helper and did not sigh heavily and say, "So it goes," even once when you put the baking powder in, you would let him lick the bowl. And then you would lift him down off the chair and give him a little push to go play with the toy barn and silo while the cookies baked. That's what I always thought Kurt Vonnegut needed. I think he would have liked the chickens that come with the barn. You can sit them on the little plastic fence and they will stay until you knock the fence over.

This is the sort of thing that made my ex-boyfriend who was around at the time my gran died tell me and anyone else who was listening that I was crazy. He did that a lot at the time; he got over it. But I really do think Vonnegut would have liked the chickens, and when someone is hung up on the unfairness of it all and man's inhumanity to man and death and pain and that, there are worse things than having to make sure they get the baking powder stirred in evenly.