Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hulk in the City

Last night’s entertainment involved cutting and pasting from various versions of hopefully uncorrupted documents. Once I figured out that none of what I wrote would see the light of day because the little beach ball of doom would undoubtedly show up, it became kind of fun. I could do things like For example after a nice story from Galileo about a Hermit killing a cicada in search of sound why not insert the phrase from my new favorite Tweeterer, Feminist Hulk: HULK NOT HAVE TIME TO STRETCH FIRST, PULL MUSCLE WHEN SMASHING BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALISM. SMASH GO WELL, BUT HULK NEED HEAT PAD? And indeed as it turns out a bit of a riff on the Lyra Barberini goes very nicely with LONG WEEK OF SMASH LEAD TO WEEKEND OF LAUNDRY. POST-LAUNDRY, HULK UNWIND, WRITE SONGS ON GUITAR. WHAT RHYME WITH CIXOUS? And a footnote on livery works with HULK SEW "WHAT WOULD ANGELA DAVIS DO?" PATCH ON LITTLE PURPLE SHORTS. This was only slightly more thrilling than getting very excited about hooking a pick up to a viola and then hooking said pick up to an amp and getting completely stuck on the pick up spot. When it looked like we would have to scrape away at the bridge my technical support who is excellent in a lab and in a tree canopy decided I needed a professional. Given my new obsession with the HULK I was looking very forward to making some serious noise.
The 60 hour jaunt to the city ranged from the ridiculous to the fabulous. The ridiculousness started with a cancelled plane, and while I was in a completely inconsolable bratty mood on the phone my friend suggested I get off said phone and get my butt to the train, which left in 20 minutes. Remarkably (and with help from HomeTechSupport [HTS]), I got from running clothes to train in 18 minutes. Note that I very carefully planned the trip for weekdays so that the children would be in school and HTS (Manuel) would have an easier time. But Charlottesville had a serious snowpocalypse of at least 1.5 inches, which kept them out of school for two days. It was clear by Friday early afternoon that if I did not make my way to the StarLight express bus on time I would have a really cranky husband. And lest anyone think I was completely oblvious to snow troubles, my son did call me while I was at MOMA to share a full screaming tantrum about the fact that he did not have snow boots for said one inch of snow. “Terrible things happen whenever you go away….I refuse to wear my cowboy boots. I am not a cowboy…. This is a travesty for my feet….” were a few of the choice lines.
There is no place in the world better for someone who can’t drive than New York or Rome and nothing more delicious for a mother of three small children than a quiet and gorgeous apartment. (thanks uncle earl) I was slightly startled every time I pushed the remote control button that made the tv come out of the bookcase—James Bond. (It was not, however, as startling as the time I was there in grad school and some how traffic from outside set off a light bulb clapper and every light in the apartment went on and my middle of the night sleep state made me think I was being invaded).
But the reason I went was my grandparents and that was also the sad part. I feel compelled to visit them a few times a year although I’m not sure they are always cognizant of who it is. I’m most often confused with my mother. And admittedly I always plan some fun things and some good solitary work time while I’m there. They are at best shadows or shells of what they once were. That they were not much older than I am now when I was born means that I have vivid memories of them in their 50’s. I’m not sure at what point this happened and at what point it became clear that they are simply not really here any more. I know that when Rebecca and Jonathan were born almost eight years ago they were still sentient and able to take pleasure. My grandfather could still walk me to the NICU and express his doctorly wisdom. He could also suggest that the introduction to my Monteverdi book used too many words he did not know. When the kids were six months old my grandmother could still get down on the floor and play with them and when they were a year old she could still come out to our house in Port Jefferson and sit in the backyard while they climbed on her. One of my mother’s friends commented that I am a very good granddaughter. Well, the thing is, they were wonderful grandparents.

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