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The logic of optimism


This has been a crazy year.

And not in a “oh ho ho, cray cray!” head-shaking thing that you do over missed appointments or weird coincidences. I almost can’t talk about every that has happened because it’s almost like words themselves don’t carry enough meaning, like I should reduce everything down to interpretive dance followed by firmly grasping of your forearm and perhaps a strong look complete with massive eyebrow movements and then some gutteral sounds followed by wordless keening that lasts approximately 14 hours.

I’ve been told that I sound optimistic when I talk about things to come. I suppose I do. I seriously have to believe that things are going to continue to improve. Esteban is now up and walking around. He’s still tragically unable to get adequate or even anorexic nutrition on his own. He’s undergone several more procedures over the summer to improve his ability to swallow something as negligible as mashed potatoes – including a procedure late last week, which won’t be the last – and is losing weight at a striking rate.

Interjection: It’s always such an odd moment when people remark upon his weight loss. Our culture has been conditioned to understand that being fat is evil, that all fat people are absolutely trying to lose weight through whatever means necessary. They don’t understand that his visible bones and decreasing waistline is evidence of his ongoing starvation due to what happened to him in May. I know that they earnestly think they are paying him a compliment and have no idea that all we can think is “Would you understand that this is not even slightly okay and wipe that fucking grin off your face?”

But I’m optimistic. He’s alive and able to laugh and sleep in a bed and he no longer has tubing sticking out of him anywhere. We should be able to financially support ourselves despite the fact that I no longer had a stable income a few days after Esteban got out of the hospital. We’re making it work.

Things really are so much better than what they were even last month. Already we’re seeing improvement with Esteban’s condition and have hope that another procedure or two will make this situation markedly better for him.

And we moved into a new house! It’s really really big! And now, really filled with boxes. We have deer that visit our backyard every day and somewhere on our street, there is a band of roving turkeys. Apparently our yard is deer territory, though, as I haven’t been able to coax the turkeys back here, but I have a turkey decoy that I’m going to put in the woods so hopefully some desperate turkey will ba-cock over here and try to make sweet sweet love to this hunk of foam and then realize, hey, there’s a pretty sweet deal here behind the Bix Chalet and maybe stick around. Because pretty much all I want to see are turkeys and deer and bald eagles and maybe a great white shark in my backyard. Is that so much to ask?

One thing that has come out of this crazy year, however, has been a really impressive perspective. I feel like this perspective is what you normally get around year 70, and if so, I’m really grateful to have a glimpse of it a few decades early. It’s the kind of perspective that allows you to be happy sitting in a rocking chair, holding hands, and knowing that you are loved. It’s the kind of understanding that this is the only chance we got so make it count. It’s the kind of realization that the only thing we know for sure is today – and even that isn’t guaranteed. So you start doing it – whatever your “it” is – and don’t even stop for a moment to question it because the moment is going to be gone. All we have is now. So when a friend invites you to visit or you have a choice between a snuggle on the couch or checking email, you need to figure out what’s going to still be there tomorrow and choose accordingly.

I’m still trying to figure out what really matters, but I think I’ve got it in my sights.


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  1. Jackie wrote:

    Love. To you and Esteban and the chalet and the animals and the optimism.

    Monday, September 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  2. Laura wrote:

    I commented already on FB, but I had to visit again when this entry popped up in bloglovin’ because it’s just that awesome. The mute interpretive dance sentence is mind-blowing.

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  3. Erika wrote:

    Here’s to the turkey of health!

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  4. Bev wrote:

    I hadn’t read your blog in years but saw your recent FB post and had to go back to May to get caught up. My dear, what a terrible year you’ve had…and how relieved I am to hear that things are finally improving. I will continue to monitor your posts now, remembering how much I enjoyed meeting you in San Francisco, and caring what happens to you and Esteban.

    Big hugs.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  5. Kbee wrote:

    I, too, have been following you for years (so long, in fact, that I have no recollection of how I first found my way here) and am now all caught up. There are no words for the year you have had. Sending nothing but positive vibes to you and Esteban. Well, vibes and what can only be described as an interesting, hope-inspired, interpretive dance.

    Keep swimming.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

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