Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Feel Bad About Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron died today. At least according to the NY Times and many other news agencies. For me, Nora will never die. Her intelligence and her humor and her ability to laugh with and at herself live on in film and in my heart.

Like Nora, I Feel Bad About My Neck. Like Nora, I Remember Nothing. Like Nora, I survived divorce and emerged from the ugliness with renewed hope and stories whose goodness is based on their fundamental awfulness.

Nora's work entertained; her attitude inspired. She rose above. She illustrated living well as the best revenge, especially when you no longer need or want revenge.

As Nora aged, the geese she once loved began to annoy her. She turned her attention to hummingbirds, saying, "I love to watch them because they're so busy getting the most out of life."

Like Nora herself. Reading stories of her life and loves, I think, I'll have what she's having.

Blessings to you, Nora. And to all you love.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hope Floats

Checked the air in my tires before riding the beach path this morning. A man in a park services truck stopped to tell me the guys in the maintenance shed had air and would help me. I have no trouble using my hand pump with its built-in gauge, but the man was so kind, I felt compelled.

At the shed, another very kind young man checked my tires and asked how far I planned to ride. "Good for you," he said. "Don't give up. Riding your bike is very good exercise. You can do it."

Half a mile down the road, an extremely handsome man about my age pedaled up. "Look at you!" he said. You're going 12-and-a-half miles an hour! Good job!" We chatted for a few minutes before he picked up his pace and pedaled away. "You're doing great," he said. "Don't give up!"

A young woman wearing rollerblades cautiously stepped onto the path. Made-to-order boobs. Fully extended, bleached blonde hair. Eyebrows arched into permanent surprise. Kewpie doll lips shellacked with Kiss Me Kate pink gloss. A bikini top covered with turquoise sequins peeked from beneath a neon-pink t-shirt sliding off her shoulders. The front of her shirt read, "Wild Chick."

Another rollerblader on the Venice boardwalk. Black socks, black shorts, black t-shirt. Black and silver hair past his shoulders, hanging beneath a "cowboy hat" made from Jack Daniels cartons. In one black gloved hand, he held a clear plastic cup aloft like a torch. Pale amber liquid sloshed back and forth but not a drop spilled. "Breakfast! Breakfast!" he yowled.

At the end of the road, a homeless man lounged in the shade of a recycling can. Matted hair of an undetermined color. Plaid shirt and khaki shorts stiff with salt, sweat and sand. Layers of battered silver duct tape held the soles of his black Vans to the uppers. A clear plastic bag filled with hundreds of aluminum cans supported his back and another filled with plastic bottles cushioned his legs. Lips moving in silent rhythm, he traced the lines of a racing form.

Don't give up?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why You Always Got to Be Running?

Dad's been in the hospital since Sunday. Pneumonia. Good news, though: He's better and ready to go home tomorrow.

After talking to someone who recently read big chunks of this blog, I re-read many, many posts last weekend. So many are about Mom and Dad and the sweetness of their relationship. On Father's Day when I couldn't reach Dad and then found out he was in the ER and then being admitted to the hospital, those posts haunted me.

Talked to Dad today. He's thrilled about the hospital room he's in. It's so comfortable for Mom, he says -- almost like a small apartment. It's not terribly important this time, he thinks, but he's glad to know she'll have these luxuries available when he's hospitalized for the final time.

Walking to my car later, I passed the jewelry store. Tears streaming down my face, I asked those watches, "Why you always got to be running?"

Couldn't hear their answer but felt every tick, right through the plate glass window.