And Just Like That
7/ 28/ 14
And just like that, I’m sure to crack your ribs,
To leave you short of breath
Both now and later.
I’ll suck instead and puff, implode your chest,
Flatten your heart and lungs
While bystanders expect better of me.
It’s probably for the best; they change the rules
A lot—add compressions,
Subtract respirations, hone-in
On infant pressure points. The Heimlich
Is the same as ever—squeeze
The bejeesus out of the wide-eyed,
Asphyxiant; still, the bystanders expect an expert
Launch, a near-comic vector to feel safe
With their own maraschinos and steaks.
And just like that my wife, Adrienne, hitherto a superbly qualified caretaker in matters of my oligodendroglioma (seizures, for instance -- easing me into the terror, calming me throughout,easing me out of the terror. During aftershocks and persistent tremors . . . abiding, patient, faithful with a cool rag and quick to dim lights), got promoted to GBM responsibilities without corresponding compensation. What she lost in bargain . . . a sous chef with a decade of experience, a fair-to-middlin house-cleaner, a hoister who knew to bend at the knees, a co-converser specializing in articulation and audibility . . . the list goes on but I’m already blushing. Yep, what a guy I was yesteryears when our only worries were my drinking, my gambling, my intermittent ability to keep Hamburger Helper on the table . . . oh and my oligodendroglioma. Yes, a regular, regularly neck-bearded, gentleman.
Hello, my name is Jonathan, and yesteryears, I was a liability.
[whisper from the chips and dip] Poor SOB, don’t he know . . . once a liability, always a liability . . . [crunch-dip-fingerlick-crunch-dip-fingerlick-thumblick-smack]
[whisper from the chips] Poor SOBs don’t know they’re almost out of dip [finger-swipe-suck] yessir, that’s liable to do it.
Let there be no mistake about it, she is the sacrificer-in-chief. When I get tired, I take a nap. When she gets tired, she goes about her business baking pies, knitting baby otter sweaters, watering foliage . . . honestly, I don’t know, I’M taking a nap. She is the contributor-at-large -- making the bacon, bringing home the bacon, cooking the bacon as God intended (who would I be to argue?) -- floppy in the middle with a minimum yet absolutely necessary salty crispiness along the way to fatty, practically raw lobes at the end of each dripping slice.
She is CFO. She keeps the ledger, the receipts, the positive outlook; I keep the smile upside down.
She is the COO and I require increasingly cumbersome move-about machines. Bear in mind that someone needing move-about machines in the first place is usually not fit to assist with their most cumbersome aspects -- their stowage and assemblage and general moving-about of the move-about machines.
Of course, I am CEO. I wear the pajama pants in this family.
Beyond my dependency, there’s that of the teenager who needs rides hither and yon, and just like that, thither and back. To places like death-defying locales to climb mossy rocks with teenaged friends and then, on the spur of of the moment, to an alternate locale at the request-via-text of a girl whose own mother does not want drive so far as all that, could they re-route mallward to loiter among random punks. ;), give momma a chance to rest ;p?
She, Adrienne, I mean, (I have no real idea what tired momma does in her spare time but I suspect she has an impressive cache of toenail polish and is running perilously low on cotton balls, could her daughter stop by Walgreens on the way home?) is my pinch-voice when pills run low and Walgreens needs to be made aware, my designated distributor of pills into their respective cases, and my search captain when the time comes, as it invariably does, to comb through the carpet in an effort to recover invariably camouflaged pills.
So here I am, in the nictatation of a frog’s eye, before you can “say mallward to loiter”, just like that, feeling (in some far less ridiculous ratio, of course) like this:
On the Intergalactic Distribution of Talents
Light echoes star to star.
Time groans deeply in worm-
Holes like a tuba.
Five years to tie my first laces.
Hydrogen huddles and breaks
Into everything. Particles fox-
Trot, waltz and tango.
Six months and I manage a two-step.
Perennial Maypole of spiraling
Suns. Earth wobbles but never
Yet my jogging days are over.