Monday, July 2, 2007

Dead Sibling Society

My husband is condemned to dial up in a remote part of Ireland where he toils learning the language of his forbears. After years of intensive written study and a lot of formidable translation he finds himself in an advanced beginner level, and feels himself to be at bottom of the class with head awhirl. How I miss my sweet scholar.

Saturday we came together at Mary Beth’s to hang with Iris who recently lost her little brother. The Murphys have been blackballed from MB’s for many years, since my children and Robert Goldberg decapitated every Barbie in the house and it was wonderful to see how it’s been filled with color and feel how full it is with love there and how sweet Barney the beagle has turned snow white and is still a compulsive eating machine. Years ago he raided some little girl birthday party bags and polished off enough colored Tootsie Rolls to leave pastel poop throughout the yard for a week.

Gwenie is on a tear that we should all improve our physical condition and has shamed us all into boot camp with Miss Burke, the gym mistress from Immaculate Heart who has guaranteed to whip us all into shape post haste. Jan Crary and Dianna Gould Saltman, marathon walkers and uber buff broads (although neither has turned 50, just wait) have been voted off the island but as soon as we find a locale where it will be convenient to pick up a post session ice cream cone, gym class will be in session for the rest of us and our weary flabby butts.

I took Leo, Spuds and his friend Diego and Josh to the beach to ride bikes yesterday and Josh is ruled, like Himself, by being a spaced out genius and while thinking deep thoughts he wandered away from us on the Santa Monica Pier. We used our wits and were reunited and then returned for a great Thai dinner with Barry and Elyse. Barry, like me, runs a small business and has worked continuously since childhood as a tuxedo rental clerk, electrician, and now running a large storage and shipping facility for art collectors. Like I’ve always been called to write, Barry’s first love is music. He is an accomplished drummer, and like his son has a beautiful singing voice. Elyse, the animator is aglow post Bar Mitzvah and flourishing illustrating children’s books and drinking in the richness that is life after Disney.

Like dear Iris, who lost her brother Stu, Elyse and Barry (I think within in the same year) both lost brothers so this, in addition to being parents of psycho teens, we are all living children of parents who have lost a child and we have all been, and are continuing to be changed by that. Iris’s brother died the same week she was clearing out her desk, taking early retirement, after 27 years at the L.A. Times and while she gave the situation all due attention, it was physically impossible for her to arrive in Florida prior to his death and she feels impotent and regretful. I made it to Las Vegas and held my sisters hand while she slipped away but it really made no difference to the dead hand who was holding it. I was able to tell both of my parents that I held their broken daughter’s hand while she died which made me a fucking hero but let us aspire to keep our dead and living and broken loved ones close and guffaw at the irrelevance of these stupid fucking bodies.

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