Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Not-So-Fun Thing for Losers to Do on New Year's Day:

Barf repeatedly.

I spent the first day of the new year curled in a fetal position in a nest of sorts made out of bathroom rugs piled under my toilet, with my head smashed against the tub, in between bouts of sickness spewing from various orifices. What I kept thinking is how you can really see new kinds of dirt from that perspective. Specifically, I was wondering how on earth black dog hair gets piled so thickly along my baseboards when my dog won’t go in a bathroom.

He was a rescue dog who had clearly been locked in bathrooms a lot as a puppy in his first home. Almost 13 years later, he still won’t go into a bathroom. But clearly, his hair will.

Anyway. It was a gastro-intestinal virus and not a hangover, I swear. I feel sort of ripped off. I’m really not a drinker these days. At first I’d thought it was my shrimp contribution to the dinner, but everyone ate some and no one else got sick. Plus the friend who hosted the get-together assured me that “stomach flu” is going around and her son had it not long ago. Bleah.

My dog was much more concerned about me than my daughter was. He even stopped by the bed several times to check my breathing by sniffing my nose and mouth with a worried look on his face. Big shock to open your eyes to a cold dog nose. Then he came and squeaked toys in my general direction. I couldn’t tell if this was a celebration of some sort or an assumption that I should play with him as long as I was breathing and all.

Today I can cross my house to put in a load of laundry without having to stop and lie down on the floor to rest several times on the way.

Here is what the Magic Eight Ball said, by the way. I did not drop it from a step ladder, but it still managed to be too bubbly to read the first time. I am for some reason compelled to shake it like it’s a can of V-8, even though as a 3rd grader my daughter instructed me in proper Magic Eight Ball consultation. “You have to wave your arms,” she said, “like this,” and she demonstrated a grand flourish. While doing this, she told me to say (with equal grandeur), “OH, Great Eight Ball! Please answer this question…!”

I consider it a good thing I couldn’t read it the first time, because I’m pretty sure the first word was “Don’t,” and that just doesn’t sound good.

So I tried again without shaking it up so much. This time it said, “Ask again later.” Wimp.

So I did. The third time was indeed a charm, especially since I’d recalled the proper procedure by then. I drew the words out and gave them lots of feeling, just as she’d taught me. “OOOHHH Great Eight Ball! Will 2009 be a good year for me?!”

So, it’s definitely official. 2009: “Outlook good.”

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