Saturday, January 21, 2012

unbirthday party

Woke up this morning to a mini-icestorm. Paper thin sheets of ice covering deck and driveway. Skip went out to get the paper, but came back exhausted from the effort. Some friends are supposed to be coming for dinner tonight. I have no idea if they'll actually brave the cold and slippery roads, but I put on some Coltrane, made espresso, and began marinating chicken for a lemon-olive tagine in case. Now my fingers are yellow from turmeric and saffron threads, and I keep an anxious window-watch, waiting for the sand/salt truck to come. Very quiet outside. Much too cold for the yappy dogs who usually vex my Saturday mornings. No wind--just grey, still, cold.

It's been an interesting transition back into the rat race of teaching and service that marks the beginning of every spring term. My classes are fine, although I've already had at least one discussion that troubled a number of students. Luckily, they talked to me about it, so I can do some damage control before the next class. Mainly it's been hard to get a handle on my class prep schedule. Find myself struggling to keep up with the reading-- even more so than usual. Probably because my "other" world-- the world of Skip's illness--always shimmers in the background. I imagine it like a stage scrim-- a sort of ghost world separated from my day-to-day distracted life by a sort of reflective skin, a permeable membrane. Easy to get caught up in memories and, sometimes, raw emotion. Lump in my throat the other day while talking to a student about theater theory, because I mentioned a play Skip and I worked on once. Not sure how in the world I'm going to be able to discuss Artaud with him without sobbing.

Skip's doing well. Back at work in the studio after a very fatiguing and fatigued post-chemo week last week. One more good week before he gets hammered with another treatment. He's reading On the Road, and understandably dreaming of open spaces. Says he keeps hearing Kerouac's voice as he reads-- slowly, slowly-- through that crazy stream-of-consciousness prose.

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