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September 9, 2006

And people wonder why you eat a whole pie.

It's one of those weird dilemmas of being AN ADULT. You live alone. Your grandma just got settled into a convalescent hospital where you spent so much time these past few days you adopted the 36 other people who have no one to visit them. You miss your family. Mr. Hakim in room four is in a wheelchair and can't speak but you know he understands you, while grandma is at physical therapy you tell him about your four cats (he raises his eyebrows) you tell him about how you never thought you'd be divorced, you explain how it is you came to be here and he's the best listener you've met, you hug him as you leave after you've said goodnight to grandma and his one arm hugs you back. He can understand you, you know it.

You try hard not to cry so your mom won't. You become the comic relief, telling stories about the dates gone wrong ("you love crazy ... until crazy LOVES YOU BACK!!!"). You travel back to L.A. on an Amtrak train that's three hours late because it hit a car. The taxi driver who drops you off at your house is telling you all his marital problems and you are so tired you can barely stay awake, you hand him a twenty and say, "Sir, I hope it works out. Please don't yell at your wife." Your best friend has a new boyfriend who she's with all the time, you are jealous of that lovely togetherness feeling and happy for her at the same time, your other best friend is on vacation in Alaska with no cell service. You are alone, but you think you'll get to spend a few hours tonight -- glorious hours -- with just a warm, kind human touch someone's arms around you, someone to breathe near you, be alive, feel like you are not alone, but the guy you were planning to see has all-the-sudden Saturday plans to go to a club with a another guy friend and you're too proud or maybe tired to say, please, just sit on the sofa with me.

So people wonder why you can eat a whole pie. It kind of seems obvious to me.

Oh God.

As if we could just love everyone who needs it. As if no one were alone at night. As if we could live forever. My old man cat has been so sick, you have to force-give him water and I think, yeah, I am a crazy cat lady. But I do this because I love the way he sleeps on my pillow and purrs in my ear, because I am not alone, not while he is alive and needs something. Oh so many people need something.

Puts things into perspective. Does not matter if you are lonely, because you can move both arms and legs! My dad talks to me on the telephone for hours tonight, we just chitchat, I'm sure he's tired but he still stays on the phone. I hate Saturday nights because you feel like you shouldn't be so alone on a Saturday. I'm just emotionally messy from all this, not used to convalescent hospitals, wanting to adopt everyone there, probably thinking wine doesn't go with key lime pie.

Surprisingly good with a nice, solid cabernet.

Posted by laurie at September 9, 2006 7:33 PM