Monday, December 3, 2018

Pinecone Hospital

This is my ex, Steve, who’s still my best friend. And me. He’s on the right. It was probably taken in the early nineteen eighties, right after he moved here from Seattle. Our former neighbour sent it to me yesterday and what an aurora of emotions it triggered.
My parents never took photos of me/us. That fact, plus their overall indifference had  me grow up without reverence for souvenirs.
Also, one of my life’s most shocking/painful memories involves photographs. Jeff was blind so he had no attachment to photographs either, but he had several and he lovedpeople to describe to him all they saw in them. When Jeff died, he left absolutely everything to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
CNIB and some of us (Jeff’s friends) cleaned, sorted and priced all his possessions. I was charged with removing all the detritus as we finished up, whilst the others prepared for the buyers to arrive. 
When I returned, the sale was on. I was terribly impressed with the people from the CNIB. They are professionals with the management of tangible gifted estates. Everything was magnificently displayed in Jeff’s apartment, but when I came in the door I was overwhelmed. Everything was backwards.
The TV, about which he was indifferent, was the most expensive item in the apartment. And when I went into the kitchen, they were offering boxfuls of things for sale very inexpensively—yet taste was Jeff’s joy. Without sight, his other senses were heightened and so cooking became his passion. 
The price of each boxful of implements hurt. The price was so low, it felt disrespectful and I started to cry. So I went out onto the porch. And there, on the top of one open garbage can, were Jeff’s photographs. In practical terms, they were worthless. But seeing his life in the garbage gutted me and so I vowed to leave none behind.
I’m not made of stone, however. The photo gave me a thrill.
As soon as I stepped outside my back door yesterday morning, I knew things weren’t right in my head. When I got to the dog-walking group, I asked Regina to walk with me because of how I felt. And sure enough, I had a cluster of seizures. It’s a way of life for now, when I’m around people. 
Ethel is sick and Sheba has an infection in her eye. Sheba will go to the vet today and I will spend the day attending to little Ethel. It breaks my heart to see her so diffused of her energy. Fred’s upset. He keeps meowing and it makes me cry. I grieve to see Fred alone.
I’m going on a dog walk with my peeps and then coming home for the meeting with the arts council ladies before taking Sheba to the vet where I’ll also seek counsel about Ethel. 
I’ve joined the first circle of Hell. I bought my first online game and I love playing it. It’s a word game that’s ideal for someone who loves words and letters. It’s a little like Scrabble and a little like those puzzles wherein you search for words amidst a big square of random letters.

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