Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Post-X-Mas Hysteria

At last the torturous onslaught of X-mas music is over. I had an appointment this a.m. and I overheard a nurse say, "Thank God we can listen to regular music again." Regular music had an extra special quality landing on the ears today because it's been so rare. I heard Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night" and King Harvest's "Dancin' in the Moonlight" in the waiting room and they were very satisfying.

I'm thankful Christmas is gone, and deeply thankful it's been so beautiful outside. Perhaps because it was so damn cold and windy last week, this week's weather has seemed positively tropical. Yesterday morning I took a very pleasant walk downtown, where it was eerily deserted and quiet. I like downtown best like that.

Back at the parents' house in Booneyland yesterday, the fields around their house are covered with soybean stubble, which makes for easy walking. Wyatt and I attempted to mitigate the effects of too much persimmon pudding by taking a stroll just before sunset. At one point I heard the familiar cluck of starlings in flight and looked up to see a thin banner of them heading north to southeast overhead. A few minutes later a smaller flock of birds with light bellies marked with a rosy patch flew against the line of starlings, making a brief X of birds in the sky. The weak western sun glowed golden on their undersides.

We called Uncle Felipe while we were there. He's in the hospital again and I could tell he was hurt nobody's been to see him since he was admitted on Monday. We all felt bad about it, but the hospital's about an hour and a half away and God knows the week of Christmas is a clusterfuck of gotta do this and gotta do that for everybody. It sucks but he's been in the hospital so much over the past year we've all gotten to the point where it's not such an urgent band together and visit all the time kind of thing anymore. But it is for him. He's lonesome up there.

Felipe was supposed to be discharged last night. My parents wanted to wait to open family gifts until somebody could go get him, but Wyatt and I had to take his mom home. Her health's not good either. I think my brother and Dad went to pick Felipe up, and hopefully he managed to get home and see my nieces before they went to bed.

Last night I dreamed I told Felipe he's got to start taking better care of himself because his mom is too old to do it for him and the rest of us have a lot going on in our own families. Then I went back home, which happened to be a cabin I stayed in at church camp when I was 11, and a woman came by and told me I'd made a big mistake having that conversation with Felipe. He can't handle that, she said, and your relationship with him is never going to recover. I was saturated with remorse and woke up glad it was all a dream, but I still feel bad about it. At the same time I have resentments about every time I've seen him eat fast food, over-salt his dinner, or consume caffeine. Or wait too long to make a doctor's appointment because he's feeling bad.

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