Friday, February 27, 2015

Riding Alligators And So Very Much More

It's been some day. It's had its up and its downs. Boppy and Lily and Gibson and I went to Owen's school for the Fairy Tale Ball. I dressed up! Okay, I put on make-up. And a bra-like garment under my dress. Shall I tell you about how my slip almost fell off now or later? Okay, now. It is old. The elastic suddenly lost its grip and I noticed that it was hanging about eight inches below my dress.
Ah well. At least they were both black. Who cares?

Owen did NOT enjoy the ball. In fact, I doubt he will ever truly get over the trauma of it. He absolutely hates people watching him do things that he does not feel comfortable doing. Especially people he does not know and there were a lot of people. You can see by the expression on his face in that picture that if, given a choice, he would probably have chosen to have his face drenched in ashes water again rather than participate in the Fairy Tale Ball.
He did dance although, you go. He's the one with his back to the camera at the very beginning.

But hey! At least he wasn't the poor boy who, as soon as he took his position with his princess, immediately needed to barf. Nope. Owen did not barf. He did not cry. He did what he was supposed to for three songs but his face was a rictus of agony the entire time. I wanted to grab him and run away with him. And bring him home to dance to the Rolling Stones in the hallway where we could twirl and whirl with no one watching at all.
When it was over the children were invited to dance with a parent and Owen ran to his mama and she held him and he cried and cried. I told him that he had been the bravest one because he had been afraid and done it anyway. And that I was so proud of him. We all were. And we told him over and over.

By the time the juice and cookies part of the event was over, he was pretty much okay and we let him choose where to go to lunch and as you can imagine, we ended up at Japanica! for more miso soup and sushi and so forth. He was in a good humor by then but refused to discuss any part of the Fairy Tale Ball. 

Right before we got to lunch, I talked to Hank and he told me that a woman we know, a very good friend of his for over twenty years and someone I have felt a connection with for almost as long, killed herself on Wednesday night. 
Such shock. Such sadness.
No one seems to know any details and really- none of it matters now. She had to have been in unbearable pain. She left five children. Our community is stunned. How could we not have known she was so close to the edge? Well, we didn't. And she had moved to a town south of here and so she was not surrounded by her community. Not in the real world way. 
There are no answers to something like this. None. We can only grieve and reach out to each other. 
It's not enough. But it has to be. 
She was unique, that one. I'll tell you that. She was like no other.

And then of course Leonard Nimoy died and he was not part of our community but he was part of the universal consciousness, wasn't he? A different sort of sadness, but still. 
And I found out that a woman whom I have admired for many years, Eugenie Clark, also died. She was a marine biologist who loved sharks and I'll never forget a show on TV I saw about her years and years ago and she was diving with an absolutely immense whale shark to such a depth that when she came up, she said that she had had to force herself to leave the shark and surface because she knew she was reaching that point of euphoria caused by nitrogen narcosis. She was so beautiful, so amazing. She was ninety-two when she died. Leonard Nimoy was eighty-three. 
I'm not sure how old Megan was. Way too young, I'll tell you that. 

Nimoy was famous for playing Spock who adventured into deep space.
Clark was famous for adventuring into the deep seas.
Megan was not famous. She adventured right here on earth in ways that I can't even begin to describe. She was one of the bravest people I ever personally knew. 

Well. We are still here now and despite all, I had a good day with my boys and their mama and we even went by to see Hank and take him lunch from Japanica! Here is his cat, Humbert, on his leash. 

Yes. Humbert goes outside with a leash. Humbert is a very special cat. He may be the most be-here-now of all creatures on earth. And he is so lucky to have Hank and Hank is lucky to have him. 

And we went to the library where Gibson cried and cried to ride on the alligator. 
Which, of course, means elevator. 
He got to ride on TWO alligators.
And Owen hugged me so tightly and so long that I cried a little bit, feeling as if I have never in my life been loved quite like I am loved by that child. 

Life is fucking short, y'all. Even if you live to be 93. Some of us live long and prosper. Some of us dive with sharks and experience that sort of euphoria. Some of us do the best we fucking can until we can't. So let's ride all the alligators we can while we're here. Let's love with as much of our hearts as is humanly possible and show it in every way we can. 
Let us please reach out for help before the pain gets so bad we cannot. 
Let us be brave enough to dance. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I cry for Megan and everyone, including myself who at times has felt so low that death felt like the only option. And sweet, sweet Owen who has such a loving heart that he can make his Mer feel so much. I want to know how one pronounces Humbert. I am sure Siri can tell me, maybe. I am sorry for the loss of Hank's and your friend.

  2. That last paragraph... a million times yes. Thank you for the wise words.

  3. Hum like hummingbird. Interesting name. How did Hank pick that name for his cat?

  4. Oh, Owen. That boy. The more I read about him that more I am convinced he is a Highly Sensitive Child. I think I have sent this link before but I don't remember what I did yesterday so there is that.

    As for Megan. All I can say is I understand that desire for release.

  5. Joanne- Yes. Thank you. To feel like death is the only option. The depthless pain. I just hope she's at peace. I think Hank just named Humbert Humbert because he looked like a Humbert. Maybe?

    Rhanowell- Hello and thank you for being here and thank you for commenting. I think we all know these things. We just need to remind ourselves.

    Birdie- Thank you. I need reminding of everything. I swear. It's not even funny any more.
    Yes. That desire for release. And peace. And rest.
    I wish no one knew it.

  6. Birdie- I just looked at that test and while Owen very much does have some of those characteristics, he absolutely does not have others. Maybe he's just pretty dang sensitive.

  7. Mary, you write so beautifully, and your mind just seems to process everything as you go and you end up back at the beginning in what seems like an effortless way. I am so sorry about your and Hank's friend.

  8. I adore your words. And Owen's tender spirit. And your children's love for their friends. This whole humanity thing has me raw at the edges and highly sensitive myself. I weep for Hank, his friend, her children.

  9. Poor Owen...Shit, as if I wasn't sad enough, now I'm crying...You are right...

  10. Taylor insisted I name him Humbert Humbert, because that is her favorite name from literature. I generally say it with a fake French accent when I am talking to him - 'Umbaer, why did you knock the salt shaker off the table?

    Hell of a day.

  11. jenny_o- My brain works the way it works. Which is to say- sometimes better than others. We, too, are so sorry about Megan. It's one of those things we'll probably never really get over.

    ashley- It is so heart-breaking to be human. Sometimes I wonder how any of us do it.

    e- It's all right. I promise you. Crying is good. I promise you that, too.

    Hank- Like when we say, "Mar-eece." T.S. Eliot was right- cat's have names we cannot know and names we feel compelled to give them. I love you. You know that. But I tell you again.

  12. Oh my god, where have I been? You've posted so much and, well. I think I must have had some sort of spell cast on me because I don't know how I missed all this.
    Anyhow, it's a lot. Death. Alligators. Tears. A Ball. Bushhogs.
    Holy crap.
    But I'm a few blocks from Elizabeth's house right now and I'm going there for her salon. Then I'm going to re-read everything I missed!

  13. Some awesome, wise words at the end there, Ms. Moon. I might let others ride alligators but I can do the other things. Take care.

  14. Umbaer, I love the sound of that!

  15. Humbert Humbert was the famous pedophile in Nabokov's "Lolita," played so amazingly by the late great James Mason. One of the most incredible novels AND movies, I think!

    The rest of your post -- my god. So much sadness. I am sorry to hear of Hank's friend, so sorry. You are right that there are no words, and I love how you said that you can lean on one another. I hope you will and that there is some comfort in that.

  16. Such an aching post, both in the sweetness of Owen and Gibson and the sadness of Hank's friend. You live with your heart so wide open and I think Owen is learning that from you. Gosh, he's handsome.

  17. Phew, what a lot of emotiona to process in this post.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

    Poor Owen. Teenie kids being forced to slow dance? Yeah, I find that a weird too. But also the horrors of Sports Day, which I'll never get over, as a child or parent. Ugh.

    And Leonard Nimoy. So sad, absolutely part of consciousness.

  18. Oh my gosh, Owen looks so grown up and handsome! I don't blame him one bit for being upset. I would feel the same way.

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I am also sad about Leonard Nimoy. I am not a huge Star Trek fan but I was a fan of him.

    Is your Japanica! (Which I always shout in my head as I read because of the exclamation point) only where you live or is it a chain? I always want to try it when I read of your visits there.

  19. The Fairy Tale dance seems silly to me. I hated things like that. But then wait until he is 16 and he will enjoy the time molded with some girl on the dance floor.

    I knew Eugenie Clark. She was indeed a pathfinder, although we didn't consider her a "serious" scientist in graduate school. I look back on that and think that was a foolish thing because she and many others were serious and educated the public in a way the "serious" scientists didn't.

    I am sorry to hear about Megan. No way to explain such depths of despair. I wish depression didn't claim so many. There are solutions other than the final one.

  20. Denise- Oh, I hope the salon is just absolutely wonderful! I am the one missing out. For sure.

    Mr. Shife- Whatever you love to do. Do that.

    Elizabeth- Yes, and that's where Taylor got the name. Taylor is a funny, funny girl whom we adore. Yes. I have a sadness hangover today. I swear.

    Angella- We told Owen that he WAS the most handsome boy there. And he was. Of course, we are fairly prejudiced.
    I think my heart is too wide open. It's stuck in that position. Sometimes I hate that.

    Jo- Some of those kids were having the time of their lives, twirling each other around. It was mighty precious. Owen just did not want to do it. Bless him.

    Kelly- I am not sure whether or not Japanica! is local or a chain. It's also one of those hibachi steak-house places with the knife-whirling chefs. We never sit in that part of the restaurant but dine in a more subdued fashion in the other part.

    Syd- I had a feeling you might know Ms. Clark. I wish I had.
    Megan. Goddam. Just, really. it's too sad. Especially for her children.

  21. Kelly- P.S. After a bit of googling it would appear that there are other japanica's in the country. Perhaps a chain, then. It does not feel like one.

  22. Wow. What a day of ups and downs. The footage and story about the Fairy Tale Ball is really cute and funny -- except of course that it left poor Owen in such agony. I'm glad you didn't get video of the boy barfing.

    As for your friend Megan, I am so sorry to hear it. I'm sure it's like a punch in the gut, surprising news like that.

  23. Sorry for all the sadness.

    Glad for the happy times of the day and delighted to meet Humbert on his lead.

    I feel for Owen but his huge bravery is to be admired. So glad he had arms to run into when he needed to cry and cry.

    I'm crying now!

    Love Maggi

  24. I am so sorry for you for the loss of your friend. And for her children. Now, also lost and alone. Sometimes I think we are all withdrawing and becoming more alone. One can be in a ballroom with a hundred people and still be lonely.

    What teacher in their right mind would make children dance in front of adults when they didn't want to so much that they would throw up? Or be so embarrassed that they would cry and cry? They are too young to know that dancing with girls is a part of their later lives. They are just very scared. That is torture, not teaching!

  25. Steve Reed- Thank you for your hugs. So very much.

    Maggi- Mr. Moon and I agreed last night that this had been the bravest thing Owen had ever done.

    Peace, Thyme- Well. She is at peace, I hope. No one knows how these things work, do they? But still, I hope. I think her children will be raised with love by their fathers. One is grown and this will be so hard on him in a different way.
    And in the teachers' defense, all but two of the children (Owen and the little barfing boy) had a blast and danced like they were born to it! They were highly enthusiastic!

  26. it is sad and shocking when people we know commit suicide but we just don't know what their lives were like. we think they are happy because no one can see pain. it is invisible. but good for Owen for being a brave boy and doing his par instead of leaving his princess shamed on the dance floor.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.