Seeing Eye Bitch
This weekend, I was invited to a homeschooling parent's house cooling party. That's right. House cooling. As in, the festivities were held in the house that was being left behind.
The homeschooling mum and I chatted for a while at the party, over margaritas. We had initially met each other months ago at a homeschooling teen meeting. At the meeting, we were visibly unhappy with the weirdos there, because, let's face it-- they're weird, and make life difficult for the rest of us. Exhibit A of weirdness:
Very uptight homeschooling Mama ("VUHM"): "Oh No, No, NO. We should not and CANNOT go public with the fact that we're homeschoolers!"
Me and house cooling mama: "Huh?"
VUHM: "We shouldn't. The truancy police will be after us if we publicize what we do too much."
House Cooling Mama: "Girlfriend. Don't you know that those fundamentalist Christians have been blazing the trail for us? Because of them, homeschooling is a fact of life. We're not supposed to be underground. It's time we are out. As in, O. U. T."
Me: "I think we should have t-shirts. It would be a good fundraiser."
House Cooling Mama: "I think so, too."
VUHM: "Erm, I think we should wait."
House Cooling Mama: "Until when? The next millennium?"
Anyway, that is how me and the house cooling mama got to know each other. We demanded respect and recognition for our hard work without wanting to be obnoxious, and we wanted to replace the sense of the "underground" with "legitimacy" instead.
So here we are, doing margaritas at the house cooling. And house cooling mama says:
"LaMai, it's time you find a husband."
And she is right. It's simply time. And I know I am ready because I've been doing all sorts of housekeeping. Getting the life insurance policy in order (I am tweaking a few things here and there), calling the attorney about the trust, ensuring that we are putting money away in a savings to which A will be entitled, and then there is my private worry that I do not wish A to be alone in the world when I am gone. Our family is a little too compact.
So I finished my last margarita at the house cooling and went home. I had much to think about.
The following day, we watched Everything is Illuminated, directed by Liev Schreiber, who we will be seeing this summer Shakespeare season. In the film, there is the running joke about the "seeing eye bitch," a temperamental she-dog which the grandfather in the film adopted to help his blind condition. The dog is in the film hysterical. But what is discovered is that neither dog nor grandfather has anything to do with blindness. It is about finding solutions to loneliness, and filling spaces. A remarked, "This movie makes me less afraid of dying."
Today, as I walked off my train in Times Square to switch to another, I saw a man with a white cane and that tell-tale little red strip on it, accompanied by a black dog sporting a handlebar, standing on a busy stairwell. Bodies and feet ran up and down the stairwell, but the gentleman with the cane stayed put. I am not a rocket scientist. I knew he was lost and no one was offering him any help, or he might have asked, but perhaps could not be heard. "Where do you need to go?" I asked him. "The uptown 1 train. I am not used to this way. Is this the right way?" "It is," I told him. "It's just a different way. I'll take you to your platform. Take my arm." With that, he and his seeing eye dog followed me until we reached where he needed to go.