Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Can you imagine?

Waking up, I'm trying to decide if I should look at the clock or if it might be too early, the key is not to listen to anything that feels like my brain getting wired because that's when it's usually too soon, but really I can’t tell. I went to bed early, but it took a while to fall asleep -- 11 a.m. is the really dangerous time, because sometimes it feels okay but that fades so quickly and then the rest of the day is nothing but edges. If it's Noon, I think I'll stay in bed, but if it's 1:00 I'll get up. That's what I'm thinking, so I pull off the eye mask and look at the clock. 3:17. I lean over to look closer, because sometimes I read it wrong without my contacts -- yes, 3:17. 13 hours in bed and at one point I actually felt calm like maybe this was rest, but now I'm not so sure.

On the fire escape is where I realize that yes I'm right about the trajectory from smoke exposure to sinus headache drill to sadness overwhelming into exhaustion and exhaustion overwhelming into sadness until I can't tell what's going on except I can't tell. I mean how after a week it feels like maybe I'll be okay and then the next day everything’s worse than I imagined. That's today.

But how does it make me feel when my mother says there has to be something we can do, there has to be something -- there's a lot of information out there now about fibromyalgia. First it makes me annoyed like what do you mean we? And: what do you mean?

But somehow it ends up feeling comforting, things my mother is offering -- to pay for blinds, healthcare practitioners, those mold tests you get at the hardware store just in case the results say move out now. I've already told my mother what I want her to do, to create an account that gives me enough money per month to support my basic expenses, something that wouldn't change her financial situation on any level at all. I don't know if that would help me feel better, but it would help me. And then maybe I could feel better.

But instead my mother says can you imagine what would have happened if I couldn't sell the house? Let's review: after my father's death, my mother received $4.5 million dollars, which includes the $865,000 she got for the house, but not the condo she now lives in, which was already paid for. So, can I imagine? Yes, I can imagine that you would have $3.6 million instead of $4.5 million, and you would still have the house.

That's not what I say, because she says I don't know why I'm talking about the house, that doesn't relate to anything at all. I wonder about the house, it never looked better than in the photos the realtor took, with the newly-paved driveway and the freshly-trimmed trees and the fall lawn cut tight to the ground. Welcome to this inviting all brick home situated on beautiful, rolling hills... features a gorgeous new state-of-the-art kitchen with generous cabinet space, glass fronts, corian countertops and stainless steel appliances... comfortable living and entertaining on one level... enjoy the cozy porch for many months throughout the year. Just a quick warning at the end: very well maintained, but sold in "As Is" condition.

I like the way as and is are capitalized -- there's so much to read between the quotation marks. But wait -- look at the inset photo of the stunning lawn, shadows of the branches filtering the grass. Or, back to the red brick rambler with white trim and black shutters, shrubs in the front never before so round and bouncy, is that really a well to the side of the house, wouldn't it be quaint to have well water? Even the shrubs on the side, now twice as tall as the house, even those have been shaped with points at the top like Christmas trees.

Open up the brochure to a half-page photo of the kitchen, recessed lighting and yes, glass cabinets, white white illuminated counters with a quick view through the window of branches delivering green in the yard. A quarter-page photo of the entry foyer with that small, rounded chandelier I always liked, red door opening onto -- yes, the lawn again, one bush standing guard with just a slight hole at the bottom like in an English garden and ahead everything green beckons soft and shimmering. Ten smaller photos with emphasis on the lighting, the doors between rooms and the artwork. Turn to the back and behold be basement within an endless array of knotted pine walls that can't help but hold doom, at the very bottom another photo of the yard where now the trees cast huge shadows.

Those trees were always the most beautiful part, towering spruce trees with an endless supply of pine cones hovering up above, red maples with white daffodils in the shade, oaks with leaves that grew larger each year -- those trees could never say: can you imagine?

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