Saturday, 29 March 2008

Greetings from the center of the earth.

    You're so cold
    Keep your hand in mine
    Wise men wonder while
    Strong men die

    Show me how it ends it's alright
    Show me how defenseless you really are
    satisfied and empty inside
    Well, that's alright, let's give this another try

It's Saturday. Another blizzard, another list of errands a mile long. I need some groceries and a new watch strap before I lose my mind. Butterfield wrapped me around a tree last winter, breaking my watch and I replaced my strap and have hated it ever since. Ben has a meeting. Erin is beginning to pull her things together for moving on Monday. Andrew is coming for dinner tonight as prepayment for helping with said move and John will be by tonight as well for a boy's night thing. I'm going to steal away to my room to read, since it's spring and once again I find my night table stacked to the rafters with books I haven't cracked yet.

And last but not least, Joel called this morning to say hello and I answered, from bed where I lay in Ben's arm, pulled tight around me. Joel seemed surprised that I picked up, probably having rehearsed the message he would have left and instead we had a good long talk about life without meds and positive changes and betrayals and it seemed that our justifications and accusations were mirror images, he having chosen the less productive route as well in favor of instant gratification with no thought to the fallout down the road, which is exactly what he accuses me of. I told him life could stand this way if he wanted, since we disapproved of each other and he asked me if I wouldn't have been happier with different choices. I knew what he meant but I ignored that and told him instead to send me his new address information and such so I can send him postcards from heaven. He laughed forever.

And then I forgot my promise and I warned him to be very, very careful with Caleb because he seems like he has your best interests at heart all the while he is taking what he wants from you. Joel said he knew, and he had watched what happened to me and to Ben and that he was immune to being influenced. I pointed out that he was there, wasn't he? He was silent for a moment and then he quietly promised me he would watch out for himself if I promised to call him if I needed him. I repeated that back to Joel and Ben laughed out loud. Joel heard him and said to say hello (graciously, considering) and I passed my phone up to Ben's ear, and he opted to be gracious too.

Hello, Dr. J. How are things in hell?...she's don't need to worry about her...worry about yourself now...yes.........just watch your back, man...k, will do. You too.
He passed me back the phone and I said my goodbyes to Joel and then hung up and I asked Ben if they might have actually made up in that brief exchange. He told me it wasn't important and that we needed to get up and get going if we were going to get everything done before the blizzard hit.

Then he went back to sleep. Because he's not worried about me, and he's not worried about Joel. It's interesting that the earthquakes hit, the shakiest walls are the ones that are still standing. In a million years I wouldn't have picked Ben as the one to stand fast and hold it together but he seems to have done a better job than the rest of us.

It brings a new sort of regret for me on this grey and snowy morning. I wish, over the years, that I had given Ben a little more credit. I didn't and I really wish I had.