I did a kamikaze journey into town and didn't tell any of the kids I was coming in. I wanted to get things DONE and boy, did I, but I still felt guilty and it still took me five hours.
I felt especially guilty in Costco, wheeling through the produce room without either of my boys who love the "coldy room." They shiver dramatically when we're in there. It is part of our routine. As well as sampling everything to be sampled while today I sampled nothing. NOTHING. I was on a mission.
But I lived through the guilt and pushed on to the Big library, meaning the main library. I got books to read with both eyes and ears. While I was perusing new fiction, I overheard a phone conversation between a homeless guy and some agency dude. I know it was a homeless guy because he said on the phone that he was. It was painful, that conversation, and it hurt me to hear it and of course I couldn't hear the other guy's words but I could hear his voice, droning on, and finally, the guy in the library said, "Sir, Sir! We need to just end this. I'm upside down in the water and I ain't got no paddle or no sail and that's all there is to it."
Agency Guy must have said something at least a bit helpful because the homeless man said, "Okay, okay, why don't you text me that information?" He didn't sound completely hopeless when he said that. Not completely. Oh god. I hope he gets some help.
This is the country I live in. How do people do it?
And what did I do? I made my selections and went on downstairs and checked out.
Talk about guilt.
After the library I took myself to lunch and ate a falafel and pita sandwich and it was delicious. It came with enough hummus and vegetables to make a whole other meal and I packed that up and brought it home.
Then on to Goodwill. I got my first cashmere sweater of the year along with either a dress or a nightie, I'm not sure which, but it's as soft as the sweater and it does have pockets. And a skirt that I knew would not fit me but I bought it because it was so pretty and brand new and I thought perhaps my May would love it.
I hope she does.
My favorite overhearing there was also a one-sided phone conversation. It was an older woman and she said, "She hasn't told me and I ain't asking."
How can you not wonder what was going on there?
The cell phone has certainly added spice and color to eavesdropping.
THEN I went to Publix and I didn't do much overhearing there. I got my groceries and drove home on the interstate where I actually saw a rainbow's ending. I did not notice a pot of gold but did see some trees and a doublewide there. It felt like a good omen, just driving through that rainbow.
And here I am and I just feel so lucky and so grateful. I was okay out in public, I didn't die or fall down or say anything to anyone that was too stupid. I had enough money to buy not only what we need but what we might want. A sweet friend of mine texted back and forth with me all day so that I felt as if I had company. I was not alone. I came home to my beautiful house with my beautiful yard guarded by these magnificent oak trees and unloaded my groceries and my books and my Goodwill treasures and put everything away and collected eggs and repotted my tiny cactus that crashed last night and I have a place to sleep every night which is safe and cozy and cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I have a stove and I am simmering peas from the garden on it. I have a husband who will be home soon. I have a family who loves each other to infinity. I have so much. So very, very much.
And Lily reports that Gibson's rash cleared right up after some Benadryl and a nap.
Which is how it always went with her too, when she was a child.
I wonder what sort of quirks these new babies will be bringing with them?
Whatever they bring, they will be loved with all of the love that such rich people can bestow.
And as Keith Richards said in a recent NYT's interview (thank you, thank you, dear and darling Beth Coyote!), "I know what luck is. I've had a lot."
Amen. Me too.