The other day I was talking to a friend about whether or not people have a right to food, clothing, shelter and medical care. My argument was that government exists primarily to defend me from hostile international forces threatening my life and/or liberty. Driving home Sunday evening I listened to a professor of sociology explain his theory that American citizens in the 'have' category are against nationalizing health care because they fear losing medical benefits they currently have. My father currently falls into the 'have not' category; his unemployment claim was rejected because his supervisor asked for a letter of resignation when my dad told him he could no longer perform his job related duties. Thursday night I asked my dad if he would get his laundry together and pick up copies of his medical records that I had ordered. Friday morning I drove out to see my dad. My plan had been to go to the park with the girls but rain kept us indoors for most of the day.

Circumstances beyond my control had me running late Friday morning, when I asked my dad about the medical records he told me he had forgotten to get them. Saturday morning I went back over to my dad's. I spent the rest of the weekend helping my brother and two of my sisters establish order out of the chaos my father feels comfortable living with. After going through my dad's retirement account I've determined that he has less money than I'll earn this year to last him the rest of his life. If we start withdrawing from his retirement plan early my dad will incur a penalty. What happens after that money is gone is something I would rather not be discussing with my dad since he doesn't seem to understand how money works. Another thing I'm really not looking forward to is taking away my dad's credit cards which he's been using to finance purchases.

Strangely helping my dad has brought me closer to my sisters. In the past familial support hasn't been there for us. Now we're forming our own network of support and I'm starting to see that my family does love and care about me even if they don't know how to express that affection in a way that makes sense to me. Earlier I argued against the government providing for people's basic needs yet I am grateful for whatever social programs our family can utilize. My dad has worked hard his entire life, he would still be working if he had the strength of mind and body to do so. Right now things are the way they are. Ranting won't change them and neither will yelling. Action changes things which is the message I want to share today. Act as an agent of change. Stay positive, keep motivated, force your conversations to be strategic and move forward. It's better than the alternatives.

***

Currently I have no idea what's going to happen to my dad when he runs out of money or how we're going to pay the bills he has. My dad doesn't understand how dire his situation is partially because my sister Susan has offered to help offset some of his expenses which are not her responsibility. None of this is our obligation, we have people around us telling us to let our dad be but that's not the way any of us were raised. Thankfully my sister Beth has access to people familiar with goverment systems. I'm glad I have financial experience and I'm glad my dad is being as cooperative as he is. That may not sound like much but through this I've noticed that maintaining a good attitude is vital. No matter how bad things are a bad attitude makes everything worse. I can't do anything about most of this but I can support others by not complaining about what I've been asked to do regardless of how much it sucks.

Stormy, windy, travelling. Coffee. At other tables people speak intently, a mash of conversations backed by schmaltzy music, coffee machine and the clatter of passing shoppers. I am learning to find some core quiet in crowded spaces but, still, fragments break through.

In the bus on the way home, many gardens, including the wonderful Loch Ness Monster at 338. I think of day lilies, and what it must be like to be pregnant with a new self every morning, watching it grow with grace in the sunlight, and folding it away gently, wrinkled and spent in the evening. Hope, joy and grieving in a day.

Last Night, I got a phone call.
I didn't want to answer, because I was already sleeping, also, I was having anĀ ecstatic dream; but I opened my eyes and saw the caller's ID. It was him.
I pushed my phone's green button and said a faint
YES ?

I found out you were back in the city.
I asked you if you wanted your lies back. Your favorite ones, that is.
I didn't realize that I was on auto-pilot and playing along a part that's no longer mine. I got so used to this, that I didn't synapse faster to stop such non-sense from happening.
Luckily, you know me better than I know myself, and told me, that this time, I'm lying for real.
So I guess Jo was right.
Or not?
I'll see when we meet, I guess then I'll know what my heart is thinking. I don't have my heart inside my brains, nor logic does my heart follow.

I'm drunk with the whole world and I'm so anxious for 9 p.m. to come!
I'm leaving then for the city. I stii don't know which is causing more nervousness :

  • Seeing the guys and frolicking in laughter rivers?

Or

  • seeing us two embeded in each other's beings?

I had two distinct, very strange dreams last night. I can only remember the first.

The first involved Bruce Springsteen as a tall, spindly devil chasing me down an impossibly tall bridge. This bridge was somewhere over the water in my dreamworld New York City*, and appeared to resemble something out of Super Mario Brothers; it had no structural support and parts of it would fall into the water as soon as I stepped on them. I could run faster in this dream than any human possibly could.

This scene was intercut with scenes from a nonexistent Bruce Springsteen video. I was in his band, and we (well, super-deformed caricatures of us) were all standing on top some enormous amusement park swing. I was playing some weird electronic harp. At some point I jumped off the swing, at which point my harp reconfigured itself into a guitar and I started playing a Helmet song.

* In my dreams, along with plane crashes I sometimes experience consistent alternate geographies for New York City and Providence. Last night's bridge had signs for US Highway 20 which doesn't even go near New York City, and the complicated interchanges south of Boston had been transplanted to some place high above Manhattan and had their own subway station. Yes, this means you would need to walk along an elevated highway to the subway. No, this does not make sense. The rest of New York City in my dreams consists primarily of an endlessly repeating grid of brownstones on a gentle incline, so that you could ride a skateboard downhill forever.

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