Monday, March 20, 2006

An Ordinary Day

I spent most of the day with more gallery business. We are trying to rent a new space downtown and it involves getting a lot of input from a lot of people. With a cooperative, one must be very careful to maintain a sense of common rule. Since I am president, it is my responsibility to lead the charge without forming an opinion strong enough that I can't happily bow to the majority if it disagrees with me. This is against my nature. Well, enough said.

When I got home I took the dogs out for a short walk. They love to go and raced wildly back and forth at the end of their leashes. I frantically switch the handles from one hand to the other, trying to avoid a hopeless tangle. Lytton, the golden boy, has his own retractable leash. Patrick and Benny are strung together on an arrangement whereby Patrick is free to run the length of Benny's retractable leash by means of a short strap, sort of like a tie-out. This works pretty well as long as Lytton does not get between Benny and Patrick, or the two of them don't divide around me from behind. Somehow we manage, though, and three out of four have a good time.

Thelma emailed the other day that she has to be on oxygen twenty four hours a day. I was quite panicky about it for awhile, but Karen, a nurse, assured me that many people live with that inconvenience very well. Today Thelma called, and I was very glad to talk to her, to hear her being her old self. She is amazing in that she is honest about what a shocking thing it is, while at the same time rising to the occasion. It makes it possible to deal with whatever happens to her in a comfortable and honest way. I have never found it hard to talk about misfortune with her because there is nothing artificial about her way of dealing with things. She can be devastated and admit it, and get over it, and feel bad again, and get over that........I know she hides a lot, but she lets people in enough to make us feel we can be part of whatever is happening. That's a gift to those of us who feel close to her.

It is still very cold, though I don't recall that there have been any days this winter when the temperature has gone below zero. I think the fact that economy measures are forcing me to keep the house so cold is making this seem like the coldest year on record. Even the comforter I have brought down from the spare bed upstairs isn't really much comfort. My nose and hands are still like ice as I read or watch TV in the evening. I have taken to spending a lot of time each night in the bath tub, soaking in almost scalding hot water. I relish that time with the steam rising around me and the portable heater humming and glowing red beside me.

Here at the computer I am chilled to the bone, an expression I used to feel was reserved for old women wearing matching banlon sweater sets and a single strand of fake pearls.

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