14 September 2006

What Next?

This has been a weird week. Or, maybe I just feel weird this week.

Sunday was our first night of this season's league bowling. Usually my average is in the mid-170s. But, as I so often like to do, I started this season off with a bang and set my average at 200. Can we say, "no handicap"?

Monday, September 11, brought the barrage of "it's been five years" video recounts of our nation's tragic terrorist attacks. And with this windfall of emotional reminders I remember being stuck in Istanbul, desperate to come home, on September 11, 2001. As I have mentioned on this blog, my partner of 14 years is a flight attendant. On this same day the Today show demonstrated what flight crews are trained to do in interest of air safety. Yet Doug Steenland/NWA calls my guy a "glorified vending machine", cuts flight attendants' pay by 40% and suggests that they dumpster dive to make ends meet.

Tuesday, my baby sister had a hysterectomy. It's not something that she wanted to do, but it was necessary. Complications from a previous surgery required it. When I called to check on her, I got her husband, Dan. We weren't on the phone long before he asked if I wanted to talk to my mother. We talked a bit about Tina. We discussed that my mother was enjoying chicken livers from Kentucky Fried Chicken. (I don't understand why all KFC stores don't have them). During the conversation I mentioned that my friend Eric told me, "tell her not to grow a mustache." I guess I was ignorant. I thought that the hormone therapy would keep things pretty normal for Tina. Especially after she and I joked before her arrival at the hospital about her not having to go through menopause I figured it would be OK to try and add some levity to a heavy situation. So I told my mother Eric's joke. Let's just say it wasn't funny.

Wednesday, I took our friend Jerry, who was boarding a plane to Seattle with a one-way ticket, to the airport. (He was between jobs for about six weeks and stayed with us the majority of the time. Even though space occasionally got tight, I really enjoyed having him here.) As we approached the interchange between Democrat Road and entrance to the airport we saw what must have been about 15 police cruisers blocking all access to the interchange below us and a few officers crouched down next to a guardrail. We couldn't see any wreckage. And at 4:30 AM it was creepy. Driving home, I got a better look. I saw a man dressed only in shorts, lying on his stomach on a blanket next to the guardrail. No shoes. No shirt. I couldn't help but think about how he was there, away from his family, alone. Vulnerable.

Back at home, during the traffic report the newscaster only mentioned that it was a motorcycle accident and suggested that drivers steer clear of the area for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. He could have been on a wreckless joyride. Or, he could have been leaving his job at the FedEx hub that's about a half-mile away. That's about the time hub workers would be heading home.

Last night Cameron called to tell me that his schedule had been changed and he wouldn't be home for our anniversary. And knowing that she was one of the people I have admired most, he asked me if former Texas governor Ann Richards had passed away. He had seen some retrospective of her life but not the entire story upon arriving at his layover hotel. I didn't know. So after we said our "I love yous" and "sweet dreams" I went to bed and turned on CNN. Anderson Cooper was reporting from Afghanistan about Mike Spann, the CIA agent from Alabama, who was the first American casualty in that country. And at the end of his report I learned that Ann Richards had died at her home at the age of 73. And that Larry King Live was going to rerun a show from 2004 when Ann was the guest. While I watched I was reminded of why I adored her. I plan to read her book, "I'm Not Slowing Down."

So, it's 8:27 AM, Thursday, September 14. It's our anniversary, but Cameron won't be home. I am grateful to start year 15. I should be at work, now. Doris is outside barking. I need to feed the koi. Maybe I'll feel better after my 1:00 presentation. I hope.

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