Friday, January 29, 2016

Read this in Six Months

Spuds and his girlfriend have an early fight. I tell them that we will leave the house at 5:30. I wake myself at 4 and notice that there are loads in both the washer and dryer. I fold one load and dry the other and by the time Spuds wanders upstairs at 5:15, all of his laundry is done. “Thanks,” he says. If not for my insomnia I guess he would have either left half of his wardrobe here or lugged a suitcase full of damp clothes back to NY. Spuds is still packing his clean clothes when it's time to leave for the airport and girlfriend cannot find her shoes.

We make it to the airport on time. I help them get their suitcases out of the trunk. Spuds has been home for six weeks. It's the longest he's spent at home for nearly three years. I have to relearn that he loathes mushroom, raisins and olives but unlike his father enjoys brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Even with another fussy eater to contend with and sports blaring on the TV most of the time, I find that after this longer visit it's particularly difficult to see him go. Snarfly, fumbling for Kleenex, I pull away from the airport curb and there's a sudden pounding on the window. Girlfriend has run out into traffic. She's left her backpack in the backseat. It's funny that these kids live away from home around 80% of the year and seem to manage. I wonder if being around a mom triggers some sort of chemical reaction that obliterates life skills.

In addition to helping to plan Richard's memorial my week requires an inordinate amount of document retrieval. Richard, and his iron fist, for years protected me from my own deficit life skills by maintaining an impeccable filing system. I am able to lay hands on decade old tax returns, car registrations and proof that I passed the Cbest test in 1981. Having knocked off early to do some baking and alter my state of consciousness, I realize that a shitload of the documents that Richard meticulously classified and filed are left strewn over my desk. He won't be there Monday morning to yell at me and put everything back in its place. Before I have my first cup of coffee I swear that I will file every single document. Well, maybe before the second cup, but truly if I don't keep it together myself now I am totally screwed. Richard, I file in your honor.

Richard would also know the date of my mom's death. From now on I will have to refer to her death certificate which he'd dutifully filed. I guess she's been gone for around six years but like I said, I'm not at the office. Mom would make a paper list of things that were making her unhappy and file it away for six months. Half a year later she's always find that these problems had ceased to dog her, or at least were less daunting. Perhaps this writing here is my alternative to the six month list although I seldom go back and reread. I know that Mom was right though. In six months the rawness of my recent sorrow will have diminished. And I'll be filing everything and not leaving stuff to accumulate on my desk

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