Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jimmy "JJ" Walker Danced With Me

One of my bright stars from my teaching days has gone back to school on the East Coast. Another has headed off to rainy Seattle. Another is here on break briefly before returning to study acting at the school she calls “Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass” In case we hadn’t heard of it, I guess.

A pang of envy leavened with maternal pride. Oh to be someplace that has a real fall! To watch the leaves turn and to smell new beginnings in the air. Do you notice how different the air smells at different points of the day? During different seasons? Oh to be signing up for classes, seeing friends you haven’t seen all summer or meeting new ones, moving into new digs ( what an old fogey word!) to be moving into a new crib ( nope, trying too hard) to be squeezing your ratty futon frame through the door of the new apartment (wait – I STILL have a ratty futon frame. I’m so immature.) Oh to see the future as a piece of fruit – ripe with possibility – that you deftly pluck off a low hanging branch.

I love the Bay area but damn I miss fall. All the years of teaching make me think of it as the real new year, the real time for resolutions, recharging and rugelah. I am doing some “resolutin’ “ of my own – adding water walking to my routine (in, not on), trying to finish numerous dangling projects and enjoying time with friends and family. In the meantime I’ll somehow endure 2 more months of glorious hot sun giving way to more slightly cooler glorious sun.

Spoke with the social security office yesterday. Hilarious. Here’s some sample questions , more or less IN ORDER:

Do you own stocks, bonds, other investments?
Do you have a retirement fund?
Do you have a working stove and refrigerator?
Do you have any cash under your mattress?
Do you own a funeral plot or urn? (Carla: not yet)
How many hours a day did you walk, stand, kneel, crawl, stoop?
Did you have anyone working under you (Insert predictable Carla dirty joke here more for Kris’ benefit for having to sit through this than for the intake guy. My answer is immediately followed by:
Do you have mental problems? (Me: Is that a follow up or is that really the order of the questions? Him: that’s just the order. Me: No mental problems.)
Do you take any medications? (Me: lithium. So much for no mental problems sounding credible!)

Yesterday my shuffle was on and up came “Let’s Get it On” by Mr. Marvin Gaye. Now I guess I’ll find out eventually but as it stands now, I don’t know how anyone listens to that song and doesn’t dance. I looked over at my dreaded walker and discovered that I could boogie to the best of my ability within its’ bars. I thought of the elderly neighbor my dad spoke so admiringly of who would pull weeds from her walker and I thought “if Lisa paints this thing leopard print, I could stand and boogie for a song or two.” Then of course I over did it – but at least I know I’ve got one dance in me and I will bust a move as long as my walker ( newly named Jimmy “JJ” Walker) or someone else can hold me up.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i am glad you have spoken today so adoringly today about life and the pursuit of did my heart good. thanks, always, for being the amazing person, woman, mother, humorist, critical thinker, artist, that you are. (i could go on but that's about enough compliments for one day, don't 'ya think?!)

adore you...and will remain anonymous, to boot!

CT said...

I'm writing this on my iPhone while waiting for my beat to come up... betcha I can trade old fogey talk with you. You know why? Cuz you're the bee's knees, toots!

Anonymous said...

I love the Fall as well. It is my favorite time of the year. We don't the varity of colour such as the East coast does but we still have the wonderful maples and chestnut trees which give off glorious hues of red and gold. When I was a kid I walked about seven blocks to school and along that route was a line of chestnut trees, I can still smell them and see the wonderful colour. They would turn such a brilliant yellow that even on dull days things seemed bright and the falling leaves would completely cover the sidewalk, so we would gaily run the length kicking the leaves into the air as we ran. I loved picking up the maple leaves and pressing them between books, some red, some green with just a touch of red and so on. When I think back to those bygone days I think of new friends, old friends, new shoes, new books, new starts. If one could just go back for one day - shut-up Gail, what a dreamer,
now I'm crying.

Anonymous said...

I hope somewhere in your future is a book deal. How special it would be to share the gift of your writings with those who are ill, those who just need courage to face another day, those who have experienced disappointment and hurt in life, those who need to understand honesty in dealing with a child, and those who just need to laugh and at times cry. When I feel sad I turn to your blog and I realize that there isn't time to waste in self-pity and I get on with my day.

I hope to see you in person next month.

Anonymous said...

I completely loathe fall. Which is unfortunate, all things considered.
- Autumn

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! You couldn't ask for a better set up than the intake questions!
Made me snort! I can't remember the last time something was funny enough to do that to me.
Thank you for the smile :) Good luck with that humorless lot! LOLOLOL!