Friday, January 22, 2010

Abigail on the Classics

There was a time when falling rain would bring to mind all the things about my life I wish I could just wash away. That time is lost to me now, thank goodness. As I sit here and listen to the steady rhythm of water from heaven, I am only reminded of how beautiful the hillsides will be this spring because of it.

I am beginning to think I may not be here to see those hillsides in bloom. The menace within me has begun boiling a brew inside that will eventually kill me. I don't know what the doctors call the fierce amber fluid that the cancer produces and which they insist must be siphoned off. I don't want to know what it is called. It is enough to know that it seems to materialize from nothing.

Wait. That is not entirely true. My own body is producing it. Lauren would tell me, no, the tumor is producing it. But who produced the tumor, Lauren? My body did. My own body has turned against me. It's the most inane thing. It will consume itself, my body will. It will win. And it will lose.

Lauren has reminded me these last few few days that a new body awaits me in heaven. She is being brave for me. I can sense her fear, though. She knows I want to stay in my house until the end. She knows it might come more quickly than we thought. She knows Mercy's gallery won't be done by the time the cauldron inside me has its way. She often shows me photos on her digital camera of the work being done. The construction workers have done nothing the last few days with all this rain. Nothing for five days. Five days lost to me.

So I amuse myself with the architect's drawings. They are beautiful - the drawings. There are people strolling about the drawn-in grounds and birds in the sky and a brilliant sun.

And on every exterior shot, the hillsides behind are in bloom.

The rain is quickening its pace now. I believe I just heard thunder. I think it's time for a cup of tea.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ask Clarissa

It was a little strange returning to Santa Barbara after the holidays knowing I am now in in my last semester at UCSB and that these next few months will be the ones where everything will change.

Lauren and I will graduate from college, and Abigail, who is starting to show battle scars from the war the cancer is waging against her, will graduate to whatever kind of paradise awaits her on the other side of this life. I won't be living in a dorm and I won't be living here in Abigail's house after May. I am most likely headed to LA to go get my MBA wherever I can, wherever I can afford it. It seems like I will be starting all over again. Just when I got comfortable with my life.

We don't really talk much here in Abagail's house about what the future holds. It's just the three of us now. Ryan got an apartment with her sister - unwilling, I think to live in a lovely house where someone is dying - so it's just me, Lauren and Abigail after Esperanza goes home at the end of the day. We've started another book in our little book club of three, not Pooh this time. We are reading Sonnets from the Portuguese from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Abigail's choice, course. Love poems. After all these empty years, Abigail is in love with love.

John Beckett took me to meet his parents over Christmas. I should rephrase that. I didn't go to meet his parents. I went to a party at his parents' house in LA and they were there and I met them. When he brought me back home, John told me he'd been gone the month of January on a business trip to Tokyo. And he asked if perhaps while he was away if I would not see anyone else.

"See someone else?" I said. "You want me to keep my eyes closed for a month?"

He drew me close. "You know what I mean."

I did.

I kissed him this time.

Abigail met John Beckett that night. She told me after he left that he suits me. I reminded her that she just met him. She told me, "Yes, but you've been living here in my house all these weeks since you met him. He suits you."

Dang it all. I miss him . . .