The tentative date for DSL installation is October 5, which has turned into a day of dread actually being that it might mean another two weeks of technological support hell to figure out why it won't work on my phone line since that's why I called Eart-Link in the first place. A failed DSL.
Today, however, I have dial-up service through Verizon. At first I thought Charlotte at the billing department was just being a nice girl when she promised I wouldn't have to pay for the first 30 days considering all the trouble I went through, and she did that without ever putting me on hold, but then I realized that was just Verizon policy - you don't pay for the first 30 days. Not bad policy, but still. I'd been hoping for more personalized Princess treatment. You'd think they do SOMETHING for me, right? But why would they? Considering I'm a blip in their system, not even a blip, less than a blip. I'm a dot. Just a dot in a series of billions of black or grey dots on a blank white page, or on a tray of emptiness. Anonymous without the beauty or mystery of billions of lighted dots in a night sky.
We are far less than the breathtaking vision of infinity.
Where have I been? I've missed my fellow bloggers. One peek at one website and I learn life changes have taken place for some. I’m standing in the middle of a stream, feet sinking into a rocky sand-bottom, life’s water rushing past me.
Last night a friend of A’s called, near seven at night. The friend was bored, wanting someone to play with, and called A, his best friend. Since J was out and the house was quiet and D and I were feeling relaxed, easy, we said sure, go on over. Play video games a couple of hours. We’ll get you at ten.
We’d never been to the father’s house before but we’ve known the dad a long time, having seen him at open-houses over the years, having met him when picked up his son at our house from parties and play dates. The mom doesn’t speak well of him but we knew that was politics. He’s a homeowner and doesn’t pay child support, but he does support his son. They are all rather…rough around the edges. Feeling relaxed, we said, sure, go on.
Later, A called, asking to spend the night, and he sounded happy and I said fine, sure. Then I talked to the dad and he said the boys were having a blast, playing video games and all was well until the dad said in his inimitable way, “Well if they start acting up, I’ll just tell them to shut up. I’ll just tune ‘em up a little.”
I’d already said yes. All my comfort and relaxation fizzled away into a blast of paranoid conceptualizations. Swallowing hard, I countered, “Hahaha…I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
When I hung up the phone, I stood in front of D, chewing my nails like some the freak I just knew the dad to be, “What have I done?”
“They’re fine, honey. The guy’s a mechanic from the underside of Irwindale – of course he’s going to say odd things. Not everyone is as fortunate as you to be born to a U.S.C. professor and self-educated mother. He’s not a child killer.”
“You must drive there now. You must drive by his house and be sure that everything is copasetic.”
“You want me to drive by.”
“Drive by, park, and peek into his windows to make sure he’s not molesting and killing my child.”
With a sigh, D dragged himself off the couch and got into the car. I stood at the open door of my house as Sassy dashed past me onto the dark street, running like a greyhound. I screamed, “God DAMNIT,” and ran, too.
Things were fine. Certainly, D had to duck and avoid a police car driving slowly with a spotlight shining into the bushes, but things were good.
“They’re playing video games and are happy and loud. Things are fine.”
Needless to say, sleep was rocky, transient, dark dreams rolling within, scraping my insides. There in the silence of the house, as I half-slept in my bed, my mother came to me, laughing open-mouthed from the floor of a mountain creek. She wore leopard underwear and lay in the chilled water, grass and vines and trees hanging low, close to her. Water cascaded over grey and brown rocks and she was delighted with her circumstances, alone in springtime, her long legs kicking the water, her body rising and falling with the current. She looked at me and said, “Mija, come in, how cool the water is! How exciting!”
I said, no, standing as I always did during her life, waiting on the shore, waiting for her to get out and watching for poisonous snakes in the bushes.