Leave it to my mother, the daughter of Irish Catholic Republicans from Pittsburgh, to move our small family to Squirrel Hill in the 1950s.
“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.” “100% certain.” “As sure as I am talking to you now.” These statements, from a victim of sexual assault, will be forever remembered as the words of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Two bald eagles, one green heron, a blue heron and an egret, a flock of geese, several jumping fish of indeterminate type. This was the visual haul of a two-hour paddle down the Delaware River on a perfectly beautiful Labor Day, the result of a chance encounter between friends at the farmers’ market in Callicoon the day before.
“You look wonderful!” a friend exclaimed, seeing me at the NACL festival recently. That friend was a founder and former artistic director of said theatre company, and she was looking pretty good herself. “What is it?” she wanted to know, imagining who knows what? A lover, cool-sculpting, a facelift?
The first sign was the feeling of tiny blisters through my silk nightgown on awakening. Now, the rash is hot. It itches constantly. Blisters cover my back from neck to hip. It has come early this summer.
In May, the lilacs bloom, trees are in leaf, and the lawn wants its first mowing. Eagles are busy hunting, feeding their hungry hatchlings almost constantly. A parade of brightly colored migrant birds stops at the feeders. Ducklings follow their mothers around the eddy, learning to evade the eagles.
Packing up your life to make it look better to other people is one of the dreariest of jobs. Also back-breaking, irritating and illuminating of things you don’t want illuminated.
“Everything makes me sad,” I said, as we drove through the city on our way out of town on a recent Saturday. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but I felt its effects. We are making plans for the move I have wanted to make for nearly 20 years. To our home in Narrowsburg, NY, as full-time residents. I should be gloriously happy.
It was getting to be too much for us. Even the thought of February made me shudder back in December. So it was against frugality we made plans for a week in Costa Rica again. It was something to look forward to in the darkest, coldest months.
We are actors in a break room in an office building on the far west side of Manhattan. It could almost be any city bordered by water for all the new office buildings going up around it. I hardly recognize my hometown anymore, especially in neighborhoods that once lay fallow.