Howard, my ill friend, is out of intensive care. I went to visit him on Saturday, driving the hour to Boston on a hot and hazy day. He looked terrible, but my friend Michelle says it is a vast improvement. I think there is good news in that the infection has not spread to his bloodstream, which was the big fear. But he is still in rough shape and the pneumonia doesn't seem to be improving. Your continued prayers are appreciated.
I am claustrophobic, so Boston is now, officially, a drag. The Big Dig has resulted in a completely subterranean highway system. Route 93 snakes under the city, with exits oddly branching off like tunnels to nowhere. You can't really see anything until you have emerged, and even then, the closeness of the buildings, especially around Mass General, leave you wondering where on earth you are. To make matters worse, the parking garages are all underground too. So, in order to park, I drove down 4 levels into the earth and had to take an elevator to the surface. I was so wigged out by the time I got to Howard's room, I was bordering on panic. But when I got to his room I collected myself, donned a gown and latex gloves and managed to stay for a couple of hours. I read him a book about God creating the world through the letters of the Hebrew Aleph bet. And held his hand while he slept.
On the way out of the garage, in my best robotic post-apocolyptic voice, I kept repeating to myself "please keep to the left. There is no exit. Do not stop. Please keep to the left. There is no exit. Do not stop..." I was in a sci fi dream of bloody sputum and bisque colored concrete walls, windows that overlooked smoke stacks and yellow hospital gowns. I crashed when I got home.
In other news, my parents left for Newfoundland on Friday morning. I had a kitchen tools gig on Thursday night, so I didn't get to hang out with them much before they left. I was sorry that we didn't get to spend more time together. I keep wondering if there will ever be a time when we get to just relax and hang out. The long distance thing sucks. It is just that simple. Nguyen and the kids and I went for a walk in the beautiful Audobon wildlife sanctuary in Seekonk, Mass today and I just kept wishing that my parents could see it. Of course, now they have a dog and wouldn't be allowed to bring him, so they wouldn't want to go there anyway. But it IS beautiful. We heard bullfrogs in the little pond and saw all kinds of birds and insects. Watched a chipmunk stuffing it's cheeks with maple seeds. And I am dying to get a field guide to wild flowers because I find new ones every time we walk.
And finally, Nguyen opened the pool today. It is an odd phenomenon that in our neighborhood, most of the houses have above-ground pools in the yard. Ours came with the house when we bought it and for all these years, we have had a love-hate relationship with it. Love it when it is hot, hate the expense and upkeep. We have NEVER gotten the thing open before the end of June before. But this year, Nguyen was determined to open it on the classic pool opening day: Memorial day. And sure enough, the kids are out there right now, swimming happily in frigid water. Our neighbors haven't opened theirs yet. We are worried that our promptness somehow signifies the end of the world as we know it: rabbits and dogs living together, highways built under the cities, the Nguyens have the pool open before July....
you fill in the rest.