Monday, March 16, 2009

Pink Monkey

It was bound to happen. After hanging around Stefan for so long, making clothes for his stuffed animals, having pretend conversations where we talk about their health and discipline, their special powers and upcoming challenges, I have officially become a stuffed animal advocate, not able to go to sleep at night unless a certain pink monkey who looks curiously like the cartoon character of Curious George is on my bed, tucked under the covers with me.

Pink Monkey. I think it all started when Stefan left Pink Monkey in my car last week and K seat-belted him in the front seat when she got out, pretending he was real. I drove around for a few days making comments to him about the traffic: "Crappy traffic today, hey Pink Monkey?" or "Nice weather we're having," or "Did you see that guy cut me off!" Pink Monkey sat there nodding her head, keeping me company.

Then I thought, why not take her in the apartment with me, it would be fun....

She started out on the couch, but then ended up on the bed with me as I worked on my novel. She became a kind of mascot. And then she slowly made her way under the covers with me at night.

Pink Monkey is like having a pet and yet not having one. I don't have to clean her cat box or take her for walks. I don't have to shell out money for her food at the grocery store, nor will there be any vet bills. I don't have to spend long hours petting her.

She is my new silent companion. My always smiling new significant other. Is this what happens when we get older and live alone? Don't want the mess and fuss of a trying relationship?

My smiling monkey has cute little soft ears. A sweet little body with a tan circle for a stomach. Soft little arms and legs that flop at her sides. A little V of a nose and a piece of pink thread that stretches wide in her welcoming grin.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Good Day...

Today was a good day, the end of a day when I'm feeling pretty good about myself.

A lot of things came together for me today. For one, I was able to have the talk with S that I have wanted to for the last two weeks. I am in the role of the confidante. Stefan brings his problems to me, problems I don't think he talks to anybody else about. And these problems are huge to him, so huge that he is unable to concentrate on his homework. So I am in the position of being the liaison between my grandson and my son. It is a delicate line that I walk.

I don't want to overstep my bounds with my son. I want him to feel that I support him. At the same time, if Stefan is having a problem then I need to let S know…

Also, I wrote three e-mails tonight that were hard for me. One was to the young French woman who I met on Tuesday. Intuitively, I know that I won't be seeing her again. She hasn't answered my prior e-mail plus there were three ads on Craig's list this week by twenty-somethings looking for someone who speaks French. She is 24. I'm sure she would rather have somebody her own age to practice English with, in the same way that I long to meet someone who speaks French who I could also be friends with.

In the e-mail that I wrote to her tonight I tried to be friendly but also let her know that it was okay if she didn't want to e-mail me back, get together again. I am taking the high road, and not the low road of resentment and that feels really good to me.

The second e-mail was to J, reminding her that I had sent her two prior e-mails asking her if I could go public with the photographs I’ve taken of her. She’s just kind of dropped off the map and I don't know what's going on with her. I tried to be nice in the e-mail and let her know that I will make copies of any of the photographs she wants and that also if I don't hear from her in a couple of days then I will just assume that it's okay to go public with the photos of her.

Note: the photographs aren't as good as I wish they were but then I am just a beginner. I would like to put them on Facebook to store them there and be able to look back at the improvements I've made over time. A few of them I really like, and interestingly enough these are the ones that she doesn't like.

The third e-mail was actually just going through hundreds of my e-mails looking for a piece of information that I needed. I had been putting it off…

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I've taken care of business today and I like the way I've done it. I am trying to be friendly to people even when they ignore me.

Yeah! I received the new Erica Jong book of poetry in the mail today that I ordered from Amazon. The only problem with her books is that I have the tendency to devour them in one day. So I allowed myself to read only two poems, to leave the rest for later.

I used to be so jealous of Erica Jong that I couldn't stand it. She is someone close to my age who has had a successful career as a writer -- both as a poet and as a novelist. I wanted to be her. I wanted to have her talent and her fame. I wanted it so badly I couldn't stand it. I don't know what's gotten into me, but I just don't feel this way anymore. I don't want to be her anymore. I don't feel jealous. I admire her, but I don't feel that ugly jealousy.

I think what's happening is that I just want to be a better person, and I'm also realizing that I'm not so bad myself. I might not be a world-famous writer, but I love my writing. I love what it does for me, how it takes me away into this wonderful make-believe world where I can create things. And this is enough. I don't know why it wasn't enough before -- it just wasn't. I don't know why I'm enough now -- I just am.

I think it's all about gratitude. I'm able to feel grateful. Before I wasn't able to feel this way.

Today I went to the doctor for that friggin blister of mine. It's infected and really really itchy and my toe is swollen and red. Here's the irony. The new strappy sandals that gave me the blister cost around $100. The doctor bill for the blister is probably a couple of hundred at least. Luckily, I only had to pay the co-pay.

Stefan went to the doctors with me. He brought along two of his stuffed animals and tried to weigh them. Together they weighed 1.2 pounds. Stefan weighed 44.8 pounds. I weighed 131.5 pounds. My blood pressure was 115 over 76, or something like that. Anyway, it was very good. Maybe I have the numbers wrong.

Okay, so I'm going to go to bed soon.