Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Two Years before the MaSt.

Hello, campers. If you are reading this, congrats on your literacy! You must not be going to public school anymore.  If you are reading this after 1/1/2013, you're not only literate but stood with the rest of America and peaked over the fiscal cliff to the Abyss below.  And also you've gotten through the holidays once again.  Congratulations on that more than anything.  Politics and the nonsense of our representatives in Washington is beyond our control, except for voting and yelling at them.  But the last two weeks can tough. We all know the routine of forced smiles...



 or good old sullen behavior while thinking "Will these people ever leave or should I?"


while making sure there's enough chips and dip for Uncle Morty, the guy who gives your kids inappropriate DVDs from the dollar store.  "Hey, that's got Jackie Chan in it!" But finally people go home or you do and you find yourself wherever you are, and we can let it all go, or try.

I looked back on 12/31 for a couple of reasons.  Two years ago was my last day at my job.  I said goodbye to my staff, or they did to me, and at 4:30 my day was over. No brass bands. No committee from the department. No party.  There was one worker left, and she was talking on the phone so I gave her a wave, headed for the door, and did what I always do at then end of a 30 year mission. I grabbed for my...
 
and called for a beam out.  Done.  I miss my staff, and we've gotten together a few times for fun and frolic.  But one is retired, one has moved on another job, and others are looking into opportunities.  It's going away.  Even in my dreams, it fades.  I try and stay at my job, knowing I could help, but I either can't find my car, or the people at my old office disregard me or take no notice of me. I'm a ghost.  Two years and one day ago you listened, but not now.  But this is what happens.  In non- dream life, I've visited my old stomping grounds once in the last 24 months, said hello, and got out of there fast.  Faces I did not recognize - for medical reasons and not ("Oh, please don't say hello," I think, "I can't remember your name. Just wave. Yes, that's it. Waving is nice, whoever you are.") made it clear I don't belong there.  I am not that anymore.  On to our next mission, Mr. Sulu.
 
 
So I'm just this now.  Then I think about another New Year's Eve around the time I started my job in the early '80s.  Jackie invited me over to her home for a private dinner, just the two of us.  I tossed on my best clothes, even my white jeans and one inch healed black shoes.  Even my best tan leather jacket....
 
 
which seems to fit that fellow in the picture better than it ever did me.  Anyway, we'll call the evening a success, despite Jackie spilling red wine all over my (did I say white?) jeans - the jeans were still attached to me, by the way.  And thirty years from that night, here we are still.  Jackie made chicken parmesan as she did that long ago winter's evening when two shy people were gradually finding that maybe this other person was the one. This time Jackie used actual chicken breast, and not a fake crunchy chicken patty. It reflected our new reality.  We've taken each other's hand and walked these roads, such as the one to the neurologist today.
 
A new MRI. The lesions have stopped.  We are holding the line. Whatever I am doing, with the help of so many kind people, is working.  Oh, the enemy still has plenty of fight, but we still have time to do what needs to be done, and have a blast doing it before the MSegeddon.
 
This is me now, letting go of what I no longer am, and ready for new orders.  New mission. This one.
 
I am grateful for your attention over these months, and look to continue for a while yet. More to come.


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