Wednesday, October 18, 2006

'It's like being stalked by an army of Hummels'

So said I in response to an e-mail that was forwarded to me today that depicted "cute" kitties, puppies, and assorted snuggly-wuggly critters all reminding the viewer to, essentially just "hang in there." The bonus was the psalm at the end of the email. I forget that people still find these kinds of things inspirational. Me being cynical too much of the time, I tried at first to read this treacle with a clarity with which, I soon realized, I am not blessed. By the end of it, as I said to Lesley, I wanted to put my head through a plate-glass window. And then she referred to it as feeling like being shot in the face by a rainbow. I think that's how she phrased it.

What a long strange few days. Not bad ones, either... from watching Tim in a movie that premiered at a gallery in Chinatown to Jessica's bday in Hollywood to a housewarming in a small house in Culver City with a huge yard filled with every imaginable fruit tree (including persimmons)--I've been all over L.A. and have talked to more people I don't know than I think I have in the last month. I even got some time in to visit Hopper, my cat that still lives with Wayne even though I don't live there anymore. It sometimes feels like visitation rights with me as divorced dad, and, when I leave, I actually get choked up, but the cat still remembers me. I can tell because he actually lets me pet him and purrs before turning mischievous and biting me in playful mode. Sometimes bites are the best kind of love you can have.

I may just be in a sentimental stupor thanks to a non-cold that refuses to fully materialize, but I actually have been thinking of love a lot lately, prompted not by the email of kittens who keep reaching for the stars, but by my sister, who still, 4 weeks on, is coping with Bell's palsy and having half of her face paralyzed. We went to the gym over the weekend, and though we didn't talk much, there were small moments when watching her lift weights at a machine next to me, I realized how lucky I am to have had 8 years of living in L.A. near her.

She'll move to Oregon next year and these moments will be gone--for now. No more easily accessible holidays, barbecues, and excursions to Shoe Pavilion. Looking at her this weekend, in awe of how she copes with this temporary paralysis, I couldn't help but think of 16 years ago, when I first lived with her in L.A. When I went back to Portland later that summer--a summer in which her friend became my first boyfriend, I might add--I thought I'd snap in two. I didn't want to leave that special time and place, despite all the horrid heat and underemployment. Looking at her at the YMCA, I realized I never have to feel like that again. Some people never have anyone in their lives, let alone their families, with whom they actually connect. I get a funny, fiercely intelligent woman who not only has a PhD but manages to make an eye patch seem totally normal.

Maybe the kittens were trying to remind me of familial bonds today. Then again, maybe they really are just examples of the most cloying pop psychology. Nevertheless, if being stalked by an army of Hummels makes me feel a bit more appreciative of who I have in my life, I can endure it ... briefly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hang in there :)