What I did this week was get things done. After days and weeks of moping and having a brain dull as an old tennis ball, I just focused on getting stuff done. Meetings, writing, planning, checking things off the list. Just work the list, I always say, work the list. For a person like me, productivity is its own balm. So I got balmed up this week, plenty good.
My beloved Street Angels dealt with a very sick homeless woman who was turned down at shelter because she couldn’t get to the can on her own. In a wheelchair, sick in ten different ways, weak, and living outside, she just was too much for the shelter to bear. I know. They have rules and staffing issues and all that. So Street Angels took said very sick woman to the ER where they kept her for a bit and then discharged her at 1:00 a.m. To the street. My outrage about this and other things this week led me to the conclusion that anger may be the fountain of youth since I’ve never felt more ready or able to go to war.
Yesterday, I stood next to the person who put the peas next to the chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes. We were in an assembly line to put hot meals together to distribute on homeless outreach. She was so careful to make sure the peas hugged the side of the styrofoam container furthest away from the chicken and gravy. “Some people don’t like their food touching.” And I loved that so much, that she would think of that.
Our dog basically lost his balls. There remains a facsimile of balls but it bears little resemblance to what was there. I mentioned this to my husband at the dog park, looking at Swirl’s minimalistic balls swinging like deflated balloons and he said just this, “Better small balls than a dead dog,” he being the one advocating neutering the dog to avoid cancer later. It was our first visit to the dog park in ten days – the recuperation period that long – and it was a sweet return.
When I was in second grade, my mother bought me brown oxford shoes. These were to be my school shoes. My play shoes were $1 sneakers from our dime store. I remember being astonished that she’d bought me little man shoes. They were brown with brown laces, as severe as an old nun’s habit. I wore them with white anklets. I remember to this day sitting at my desk in class and looking down at my feet and feeling such disbelief that those were my shoes. But they were and I just had to learn to live with that reality.