Saturday, October 25, 2008

This Is The Modern World

Today has been a good day. Grady and I slept in—a new feature of his teenage persona, and, for me a sign that I am tired or depressed or both. Being the kind of dude who never slows down enough to question whether my body is tired, I kind of freak out when it's evident that it is. I like to think that I can go and go and go.

All that aside, today has been a good day because Pablo has had a good day. His subjective processing has been blowing my mind lately. Translation: he has been making the cutest, most adorable observations—tons of 'did-he-really-just-say-that?' moments for Jo Ann, Grady and I. My amazement around all this is enhanced by the fact that for months P has not been interacting with other kids and hasn't been in a school setting. I have always aligned 'development' with those two things. It's refreshing to witness all this goooooood stuff in the face of all the challenging bits and bobs we face on a daily basis—and to know that cancer and cancer treatment has not affected Pablo's intellectual and sensory development.

Pablo's sense of wonder is growing by the day. His ability to discern the meaning of a complex situation is growing by the day. He remembers minute details about his medicines, what a doctor said, or a food that he can't eat, even when we forget.

I can wring the good stuff out of any day. Still, I keep anticipating the drop of the other shoe. It feels a lot like an inability to feel joy. But it's not. Which makes it more painful, awkward, niggling. Today, I went out for a bike ride. Mind you, my body wants to do nothing, but my mind is saying we have to get out and turn the pedals. So, I suited up, and hit the road. It was 90 degrees and felt hotter. Riding is no fun when it's that hot unless you've already got 40 or 50 miles on the odometer and you are heading into the second half of your ride, cruising along with friends in the mountains, and having a great time. I was by myself, on Sunset Boulevard, turning up Vermont and climbing it to its eventual end at the top of Griffith Park. The air was thick and pasty, the sun unforgiving. Something was not right with my lungs—or, maybe it was that knotty stomach/full feeling I get when I'm angsted out or scared. Why am I scared? Because every time I feel good or positive or happy, I fear that it's not fair to Pablo. Or that by being happy, I'm going to trigger some cosmic collapse that will result in some bad turn in Pablo's health. On more than a few occasions, I've made plans to be happy / do early morning activities with friends, and Pablo's had a rough night of sleep. Which has put the being happy / activity with friends out the window. On some of those occasions, we've ended up in the hospital. So I'm not crazy. It just feels like I'm headed that way.

While out on the bike, I dropped in at Trails Cafe in Griffith Park. Our friends Shana and Nina were running the Obama phone bank. People were calling North Carolina on their mobile phones (free weekend minutes working for the good guy) while sitting at picnic tables under 50 foot tall trees. It was beautiful for many reasons. When I got there, Hrishi had just left, and Polly was arriving. Shana talked to me in between giving direction to volunteers, handing them talking scripts and phone logs. It was fascinating. I asked her to help get us a lawn sign from the Obama office. She said yes. I have tried to locate the Obama office a few times over the past few months. But after seven total minutes of effort, I came up empty. Thank God for Shana.

OK, Jo Ann and I are headed out for the night. First stop is the Velo Pasadena 20th anniversary party. Second stop is dinner at Lucques in West Hollywood with Jo Ann's lifelong friend Paul from New Orleans. He was her general manager when she worked at the Esprit store on Lee Circle back in the '80s.

Kind of funny to go from the Barack Obama phone bank to Lee Circle. This is the modern world.

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