Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Teeth Again.

Here's something I can write about. This week, I went back to the dentist, or I should say the hygienist, and she finished cleaning my teeth. And I have an appointment on Thursday with an oral surgeon to have one pulled because the filling has fallen out and it's a wisdom tooth and the hole is close to the nerve so it's easier and cheaper to just yank it. I can't describe the joy this brings me, to know that I'll soon have all the filthy, stinky rotten stuff out of my mouth.

I also feel a twinge of sadness about having a permanent part of my body removed. (Not so permanent, after all.) Being here with my aging parents, I've been thinking so much about getting older in terms of what you give up, the accumulation of loss: the people around you who die one by one, the activities you can no longer manage, the shrinking of your zone of travel, the narrowing of possibility in general, and things like bone loss, memory loss, vision and hearing loss, loss of elasticity in your skin. And the always accelerating contraction of the number of years you have left. All of it.

It's just a damn tooth, but that's how it starts!

Sorting Things Out.

I'm at a loss for what to write about these days. There's lots going on in my head for sure, some of it pretty fascinating if I do say so myself, but most of it has to do with unpacking my neuroses in light of my parents' habits. I would be an ungrateful son, not to mention a rude guest, to paint what would surely seem to them an unflattering portrait of my parents here. What I want to do, what I wish I could do, here and in my brain, is forgive my parents and paint the unflattering portrait of myself.

I've been here for 4 weeks now. It's been stormy on and off the whole time. But enough sun that the spinach Mom and I planted the week I arrived is big and leafy, and I thinned the basil so there are about a dozen seedlings now about 3 inches tall. I saw a sleek, black spider on one of the spinach leaves this morning and was glad that I found it and not my mom. They gleefully kill everything here, smash spiders with newspapers and Kleenex, lure chipmunks into cages where they shoot them with guns, rig the lawn with Medieval contraptions that impale moles as they commute in their tunnels under the grass. And god help the dandelions, the lepers of the suburban plant world. Poor little yellow things. So pretty and doomed.