Friday, August 14, 2015


Whining about the heat. You all knew that was coming. We are in the belly of the beast of summer heat, looking at nearly 100 degrees this weekend. My mom was trying to understand why this heat bugs me so much more than the humid heat of the east coast.

It’s the light. And the lack of trees and buildings breaking up that light, so the light and the heat just beat into you. A relentless, blinding barrage of intensity. And then there is the ugliness factor. The graceless mini-malls and hopeful small businesses set in those largely unvisited mini-malls. On this side of town, it all adds up to a sort of brutalism.

As far as I can tell, and clearly I am a medical knowledge idiot, rapid onset dementia is an unusual thing. My mom talks about dying every day. Tonight she wondered what will happen to her cat, Ariel, if she dies soon, which she rather thinks she might. Or she says she doesn’t know.

I don’t know if this premonition or reality calibration coming from someone who thought they might live forever. Her MRI came back normal for a person of her age, some brain atrophy, some neuro-vascular degeneration. We see a neurologist on Thursday.

I am just in some kind of shock at how fast this degeneration is manifesting.

My response was to sleep a lot today. I feel terrible about my tomatoes, and my newly planted Blue Lake string beans are largely scorched, but other than watering, I just couldn't do much. I turned on the little air conditioner in this room and slept and watched Netflix and read and slept more. I did manage to do my little job, but I am nearly as spacey as my mother.


Every day that their sky droops down,
they shrug before it can harden
and root for life, rumpling along
toward the green part of the garden.

Every day the moles' dirt sky
sags upon their shoulders,
and mine too sags on many a day,
pinned by heavy boulders.

We get tired, the moles and I,
toiling down our burrows.
They shrug dirt along their way,
and I rumple on through sorrows.

— William Stafford, published in The New Yorker, August 12, 1950

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