Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Autumn, Grandma, and that Pensive Brooding Brought on by the Season

Where the H have I been? I'll tell you, it's been no cakewalk here. I've been deathly busy. But I don't feel like going into it, so, sorry, you'll just have to accept that I've been MIA for a while.

Let's see. A couple weeks ago I went to the Southern Festival of Books and I got a T-shirt with a dragon on it. The dragon is reading a book. So, that was cool. I can't really wear it yet, however. I have to wait until I'm not in Nashville, or at least until it's been a month. I saw someone wearing one somewhere and I felt sheepish. The shirt was $10, you can't beat that. I wear a lot of T-shirts and I haven't gotten any new ones in a while, so it was nice to find a cheap one that I didn't hate or that didn't have Hannah Montana on it.

I saw Robin Williams there, at the festival. A friend asked if I touched his butt and of course I did. No, joking. I didn't. I could have, he was that close. But it might have proven awkward. First of all, he's a human being; secondly, my life isn't a sitcom. It would be funny if it was, but you know, life is more than funny. I DID scream and tell him how much I loved Patch Adams. Joke, again. Not a funny joke and I've been using it a LOT when I relate the story. I just think it's funny to imagine me going on about Patch Adams.

But seriously, I like Robin Williams. I really do. Or at least I respect some of his work.

Autumn is here. I love autumn. My top two seasons are spring and autumn. I guess that's sort of cheating, because there's only four seasons and most people are going to say they love spring and autumn because those are the transitional seasons. Winter and summer are kind of tough because you get tired of the extreme temperatures, and they're just not as beautiful as spring and autumn. The transition promises something. Winter and summer are the equivalent of saying, "This is it. This is what I offer." And you have to just take it because there's no other option.

Who knows. There are ups and downs all year long and I guess it's sort of ridiculous to try to parcel your life into a top four or top five list. But it's kind of fun to try to categorize stuff, even though I get tired of always having opinions, and I begin to wonder what's the point? I don't know how I'm going to make it through an entire life having opinions and feelings. I've got to lighten up and learn how to be zen or something, otherwise I'm going to have a heart-attack at 35.

So, my grandma has been having a hard time. I can't go see her because she's in Utah, and when I talk to her on the phone it's only for a minute and then she wants to get off the phone. I guess I'm too real when I say to her, "I know you're trying to die, you silly old girl." Because she is. She's tired of life, I suppose, and every time something happens, like for example when she falls down and breaks her hip, she lays there and waits for the angels to come and take her away, and she's disappointed when her rescuer is instead my rail-thin cousin Ariana, picking Grams up with super human strength and carrying her inside out of the winter weather.

It's humorous and tragic, because I know it's got to suck to be 90 and to have outlived your husband and two of your kids, and most of your friends. It's got to feel lonely and irritating to have to depend on others. I'm sometimes ready to go myself, and I'm just a few months into 30. I mean, the world is a rough place. I know it's always been rough, and I guess that's why people get tired and they're ready to move on at 90. I just don't want her to go, that's all. It scares me because when she dies, I won't have her stories any longer. When I want to know what it was like in 1940, or when I want to know who my great-grandmother was and what she was like, I won't have my grandma to ask. When I want to know what it was like to live through the Depression, who will I ask?

My grandma is my link to the past and once she's gone, I won't have anyone to ask. My mom always says, of late, "'We all become forefathers by and by,' like Dan Fogelberg says." And she's right, and then it makes me want to cry. It's really mind-altering to realize that, to see your mother becoming the matriarch of your family, to watch your grandmother becoming a ghost. It's really really bitchy, sometimes, to think of this design. Life is this way to teach us things and the lessons are hard, but I guess if you let yourself learn, you become beautiful, like my grandma, and I guess that's when you're ready for the next phase of your existence. Something cool like that.

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