Sunday, April 27, 2008

On the Road Again

They should be in Acworth, GA by now.
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It was a nice visit. The beast did not surface, although there were a couple of time that there was a stirring and roiling of the water, as if, suddenly, he might.
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Mike's mother writes. She sent a portfolio of e-mails she wrote during Mike's last trip to Florida. How strange that she would think I might open doors for her. Anyways, last year, Mike went there because she couldn't help him. He lived there in an apartment with another friend. Dad set them up. It made her happy to see his father struggling with what to do with Mike. Mike came back to Michigan because 'Prozack' was making a movie. It was called 'Blood, Screams, and Killers' or some such thing. He wanted Mike to star. Mike's mother was happy. She did not want his life to be 'woulda, shoulda, coulda'. The movie was delayed three times and then abandoned, because 'Prozack' had recorded another album, and had to tour. Brianna explained it to Cara. 'Prozack's' style is a combination of rap/screaming heavy metal. He was having a hard time finding people who liked it. Mike stuck around his mother's house, making money by doing odd jobs. According to his mother, you cannot pay him in advance, or the job never gets done. She related her trials with him in a very humorous way.
I did not think any of it was funny.
It made me a little sickish.
I wondered.
Was the sheaf of e-mails sent to me because she considers me a 'successful' writer'?
Or as a warning, so we knew what we were dealing with?
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Brianna is thin, with alarming circles beneath her eyes. Maybe they look worse because of her goth hair and make-up. Mike is a big guy, with a gruesome tattoo, some sort of beast. His head is shaved. He wears baggy shorts, a tank top, a red bandana on his head. He tells Brianna that he feels as if he is Gandolf, visiting in the hobbitshire. We are short folk here. He seems like a personable fellow. Brianna is glad to be home. We all talk politics at the Bob Evans. Laugh. Have a good time. They both eat heartily. For some reason this makes me glad, and sad. "We are traveling on the cheap," Brianna tells me. They have makings for sandwiches, and cheese crackers. Lots and lots of cokes.
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They sit up downstairs until 4:30 AM watching videos. They are driving at night. They stay up because they want to stick to the same schedule. This time Brianna has a valid reason for sitting up all night watching TV.
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The next morning, as they sleep, I make homemade pepperoni rolls. I knead the dough.
Thump.
Turn.
Fold.
Thump.
Turn.
Fold.
Thump.
I find some amount of peace in this.
I know how to make bread.
I know how to feed people.
I can pack nice snacks for the trip.
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Tim takes their car for a spin, comes back and replaces the water pump, the spark plug wires, fixes the turn signal. I did not ask, but
I am sure that he finds some amount of peace in this.
He knows how to fix cars.
He can make sure the car gets to Florida.
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And when it is time to leave, I stand at the open door, waving, and watch the car pull out. As always, there are tears.
***********************
It was a nice visit.
I'm glad they stopped.
I'm glad I had my 36 hours.
Now all that is left to do is pray.

2 comments:

jeanie said...

Oh Deb - just catching up on your last half-dozen posts. Lots of hugs that you deserve but possibly don't get because of the little nigglings of that beast.

Just because your baby is grown up, just because you have been through it many times, just because you hope and hope doesn't make it any easier.

I hope that your daughter finds some stability. I hope it is with Mike because it would be hard to go through more pain, but if not I hope the pain is not too intense for her. It sounds like his mother knows the road you travel, as she does with her son. Not saying he has the same diagnosis, but the lifestyle and illness do go hand in hand.

You cook and Tim car-cares. Its what you CAN do to try and see the journey off as smoothly as you can. Maybe they will find a little spirituality along the way.

debby said...

The hardest thing is that I simply find, sometimes, that I am inconsolable, especially after a visit. Tim tries to comfort. So do others. The grief is just enormous. Unlike grieving for the dead, you can't comfort yourself with glowy pictures of an afterlife. You deal with death by slowly building a new life. How do you deal with mental illness? And always, beneath it, runs the niggling thought: 'What could I have done differently? What did I miss?' It will get better, but this day, it is too large for comforting. I'll be patient. I'll wait. It will pass. Life will resume some sort of normalacy. We will begin to find joy, and to be grateful, and we will wait uneasily.