6:35 p.m.: Kathy and I are in the kitchen, listening to Scott Pelley tell us that terrorists may smuggle ingredients for explosives onto planes in toothpaste tubes. If airlines forbid passengers from bringing toiletries to the Sochi Olympic Games, lots of athletes and fans are going to get funky. But maybe they won’t get blown up. Who knows?
Kathy nursed ten patients today. Tired, boss. Dog tired. While I stare at the anchor’s face, she has the obituaries spread out on the counter. “Oh,” she says. Silence, then again, “Oh.” She’s cared for them, heard their stories. Compassion and science haven’t yet eliminated cancer’s mad attrition rate. Damn it!
What to do? Mercy’s gravity draws Kathy and me into a hug, a long one. We sway, almost dance. Breathe in, breathe out. I rest my lips on her hair, receive thirty-three years of home.
That’s what this hug is: home. Shenley Drive and Erie are great, but they’re not my earthly residence. I’m at rest here, in Kathy’s arms, her graying hair against my cheek. Explosions and funeral arrangements are white noise. Where two or three are gathered . . . yes, the Holy Mystery shares our breathing. Hosanna! Save us! Shamatha. Abide in calm.
A minute isn’t enough, but it’ll do. “You should go sit in bed,” I say. “Rest. I’ll get dinner.”
So Kathy goes upstairs, and I make meatloaf and sweet potato fries and listen to Leon Redbone: “Ain’t Misbehavin’”; “Mr. Jelly Roll Baker”; “My Melancholy Baby.” Come to me, my melancholy baby. Cuddle up and don’t be blue.
We eat in bed and fall asleep early, blessed to have house and home. We wish the gorgeous, dynamite world around us grace and peace.
Love Redbone. I once saw him strolling down the street in Boulder, CO, nattily dressed in a white linen suit. He had his walking stick. I stopped and reveled in his cool.
Yeah, Leon’s a hip one, isn’t he. When I listen to him, the world slows down a little for me and feels more polite and civilized. Good karma!
I’ve never seen (or heard) that particular hug described so well…Thanks!
Thanks, bro. I kind of figured you were a connoisseur of hugs!