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AnotherMondayforMali: Plan September 22, 2014

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Vermont, New York, New Jersey (sleep), Pennsylvania, Maryland (sleep, sleep), Virginia, North Carolina (sleep, sleep, sleep), Virginia, Maryland (sleep), Pennsylvania, New Jersey (sleep), New York, Vermont.

 

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26 April 1926–18 September 2014 September 21, 2014

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Gordon

(Not my photo, but a good one.)

No Uncle Vanya September 19, 2014

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Wednesday I ran into David, who was just leaving the post office. He carried with him flat priority-mail packaging and a still-packaged glass ornament sporting a dog’s (adorable) face.

I stopped to say hello, of course, and ask about the ticket to Uncle Vanya. In August, David had given me his ticket because his sister was coming for a visit from North Carolina, and he was pretty sure she wouldn’t be interested. But I love that play.

The performance was on a Saturday, and I was to leave for Portland on Sunday, but then things changed abruptly and four days were added onto the business trip on the front end. David was away at his Florida house, so I taped the ticket on the inside of the storm door. We e-mailed, and he said he would see if he could get his sister to go with him.

But when I saw him, he said no, the ticket had gone unused. Tragic!

He then felt the need to explain the ornament he was holding. The face, I think, was perhaps some sort of spaniel—a Cavalier King Charles, maybe? I’m not so good at this. The North Carolina sister has a puppy, and the puppy was however many weeks old a puppy needs to be to get fixed. To mark the occasion, David wanted to send his sister two matching Christmas balls of her puppy’s breed—but he could only find the one.

(And here I was worried that maybe 80+-year-old guys begin to like “cute things” as they age. I was so relieved.)

Quiet September 16, 2014

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I didn’t realize it immediately, but days ago I began to understand that his e-mail of August 31 would be the last I’d hear from him. I’ve been writing something to him most days since—cards, e-mails—but I know that if he receives them, I will hear nothing back. He is busy dying and—according to my Texan partner in mourning—planning his funeral. His wife and daughters are at his side. The interim is theirs, as it should be.

AnotherMondayforMali: No September 15, 2014

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No, I can’t turn on the heat, it’s only mid-September, and no, I’m not ready to switch my closets from summer to winter, and no, I don’t want to put flannel sheets on the bed, and no, I don’t want to figure out something warmer to wear to a beach wedding in North Carolina 11 days from now, and no, I can’t seem to get caught up on my work or these chores or get through these messes, and no, I don’t want to stuff my attic so full of insulation that I lose storage space and a floor I can walk on, and no, I don’t want to think about how to best protect the new wellhead from the snow plow, and yes, of course I want Mali and New Zealand to enjoy warm weather and life-affirming sunshine, and yes, I know it’s their turn, but no, I don’t want to give it back yet. No.

Oysters September 8, 2014

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I used to think I didn’t like them, my sole experience being a surreptitious, teenage-peer-pressured taste on a catering job. A decade ago(ish), I was convinced to try again; I fell unexpectedly in love. For years, upon arriving in Portland, Tim and I would make the pilgrimage to the place of my conversion and split a half dozen with glasses of Gavi. Now, I’m sure I could eat a dozen on my own, but I never have, keeping myself to no more than six. Yesterday Tim and Louise and I split the dozen, four varieties, three ways. Sometimes, when one begins by typing oysters, one ends by typing three ways.

 

oysters

 

Mali has noted that she is participating in Microblog Mondays. I don’t know that I am, but here is a short Monday post.

A Couple of Days Later September 8, 2014

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He wrote:

to: dear friends and all the ships at sea,

Last Thursday, midnight, it was discovered at the ER that my cancer had outwitted my chemo and taken over my innards. I am now at home in the tender care of Hospice, with soothing drugs, for the duration which might last a month or two.

Ever in paradox, we are both quite well where being well most counts.

“It will be brief. The interim is mine.”