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Monday, May 31, 2010

Thomas Wolfe was better at titles, etc. Part 2

#7 Sheets

Friday morning, Greg's mom--his adoptive mom, not his birth mother, so keep up--was headed to a bandage change, a stitches removal, and some physical therapy. I'd called Greg Thursday night and offered to help out Friday morning. I'd done this because I love Greg, and because I felt bad about the conversation we'd had Thursday morning, where-in I blamed his entire family for planning his mom's surgery so Greg would be home to take care of her. And for saying his mom had decided to get the surgery specifically to prevent Greg from meeting his birth mother.

When I arrived at Greg's mom's house Friday morning, and her house was in a pre-fab, rules-are-rules, cookie-cutter subdivision beside a golf course so it was difficult to work out which house was actually hers, I saw that Greg was shirtless, sweating, slightly dirty, and that the ladder to the crawl space above the garage was down.

There were boxes stacked waist-high in the middle of the two-car garage (there was also a car in the two-car garage). There were shelves against a wall, and on the shelves were golf shoes, cleaning products, strange figurines, buckets, potting soil, etc.

I arrived, assessed, kissed, then asked: "What the fuck are you doing?"

"Mom wants the attic cleaned out." Greg flipped hair out of his face. "This needs to go there. I need to get this from there to there."

"Now?"

ANYway. The sheets. I'll skip forward, to the sheets.

Greg took a shower while I sat with his mother--only I didn't sit with her. I got her water, I tried to encourage her to forget about putting on a wig to see the doctor, I tried to wrangle Waffles, who was in a new place and still not sure of his safety (golf carts flew past the windows every few minutes, and Waffles didn't like that). Greg's mom, her left arm in a sling because of the surgery, spent a lot of time gesturing with her right hand, then explained that the sheets on her bed were making her feel itchy. Understandable. Who wants to be stuck in bed for a few days with the same sheets?

Except these were no ordinary sheets.

"I'll wash them for you while you're gone," I told her. "Where are more sheets? I'll put them on the bed before you get back."

"These are the sheets," Greg's mom said with a straight face. "I don't have more."

No ordinary sheets. These sheets were the only sheets Greg's mom owned. Right.

"Well then I'll wash them and put them back on the bed."

Greg's mom thanked me for the offer, then added, "It's a two man job."

"What is?"

"Putting those sheets on the bed. It's a two man job. You'll need help." The sheets, btw, were the type which had a loop at each corner, to hook under the mattress, in addition to the elastic of standard sheets. I suppose the hooking loop might defeat even the most determined man.

"I'll manage," I told Greg's pain-medication-addled mother. "They're sheets. You're not wearing them out on the town or anything."

[silence]

#8 Waffles

We're back home now, and Waffles still hasn't eaten anything. He didn't eat much for the four days in AL, and he hasn't eaten anything since we got back. During our time in AL, I was constantly embarrassed for the concern and attention Greg and I pay to this dog, and the caution we have for both his safety and his comfort.

Example: Thursday night, the night Dad had Alex's graduation party. Waffles was overwhelmed with new people, new places, new smells. He was barky and bitey. Anxious. He'd just spent a day in a bag flying over a thousand miles while drugged up on sedatives, then a night in a house with a woman who'd just had surgery and lived by a golf course with golf carts flying past her window. G and I spent a good portion of the evening handing Waf off to one another, or squeaking toys, or sitting with him in empty rooms.


#9 Florence Library (cont'd)

Saturday. Top kill was killed. I devoured my ice coffee and then explained to the young woman behind the counter that March of Dimes continues to collect money in May. "March is more of an action here than a month," I said.

(cont'd perhaps 9 more times)

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