Sunday, November 11, 2012

My birthday

Martinmas, World War One Armistice Day, Veterans Day.

A sad year in many ways.  I had to give my sister a hard shove I didn't feel like giving. But when I was sick for over year,  walking around with a  pre-surgery Foley catheter up my penis causing a series of bladder infections preventing me from having prostate surgery or finding out if I had cancer,  I received  nary a personal e mail or phone call from her asking after my health & situation. Didn't need her money, her home or even a personal visit.  Coping  with one health problem for so long caused a bunch of others I'm  still dealing with, or haven''t dealt with. I wasn't attending her contrived party / sibling reunion. I gave her a chance to say  "I understand you don't want to travel, it's o.k."

Then  the first girl I ever loved died, early onset dementia.  My  oldest brother Joe  reads the obituaries, remembered her & left a message on my machine. That allowed me to remember & grieve in my own way while her family was mourning her.

The man who brought me on to WFMU, & one of the most companionable  of friends until he moved away, also died.  He had colon cancer surgery, I had long phone chat with him prior to the operation, not a clue that the disease  might be terminal.   Bruce's death was a little easier to take because I was one friend among so many he had on the East & West coasts. I knew his last decade was probably the most contented of his life, part of a real community, making fine poems, & spending the solitary time outdoors observing nature  he has always loved. Not a flawless man, but he had more than integrity than I have.

Then my friend Carrie went down for awhile, too much shit going on in her life for the past few years. She has her own story, but I relate completely. You keep pushing the boulder up the hill & one day a part of you says, "Let it roll, baby." You've heard that voice before, but this time you do it.

Just recently, an historical  hurricane wrecking misery & destruction from the Jersey shore to  New York City to Long Island, some beloved boardwalk landmarks destroyed. The first time I had to get by with no electric power for more than 24 hours.

In the midst of the storm's terrible aftermath, America rejected bigotry by reelecting Barack Obama.  Not by enough to make me feel at ease. But it was an emphatic Electoral College victory, no disputing it.  Just the thought of how angry & dumbfounded  my few white male Republican friends were on Tuesday  night, so self-deluded were they, will keep a small smile in my heart through Inauguration Day. I don't need to rub it in.

Life's a bitch. Sometimes we are "up" and sometimes we are "down."

I'm so glad I've had the opportunity over these years to know you.
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