Monday, April 08, 2024

Teaser Tuesday

Here's how to play:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

I just picked up She's Not Sorry by Mary Kubica. It's a thriller, and since I don't want to spoil it for myself, I'm going to tease with a passage from the prologue, when a mother sees she missed a call from her daughter:

Sienna texts from school sometimes, sneaking her phone when the teacher isn't paying attention -- Can I hang out with Gianna today? I lost my water bottle. Did U buy tampons? -- but she doesn't call. My mind goes in a million directions, thinking how, if she was sick, the nurse would call and, if she got in trouble, the dean would call. Sienna wouldn't ever be the one to call.

And we're off!

Eclipse 2024

I didn't think I cared. So many people across Chicagoland were planning where to be at 2:07 PM when the eclipse took place, but I wasn't one of them. Until I was. 

I haven't been feeling well and took today off work. Waking up whenever I woke up made a big difference this morning to my mood and my gut. I decided, belatedly, that I wanted to be part of it. Of course, by today there were no glasses to be had.

So if I couldn't watch the eclipse, I decided to watch others watch the eclipse. On my way to the dollar store, I stopped by the middle school. Students were virtually wrapped around the building, waiting for the big event.

Look at all the heads visible over the cars on the right.

Then I parked myself on a bench and waited for it to happen. I hoped to see shadows grow long or the world to go dark but alas, that didn't happen. Chicago was just too far from The Path of Totality.

But something interesting did happen: Jen from the card shop saw me sitting there and lent me her glasses so I could take a peek at the sky. The sun was a black circle.

I felt funny being caught sitting on a bench in the sun after calling in sick to work. But she said she was happy she got to share this "celestial event" with me.

So we're done eclipsing now until 2045. When I'll be (gulp!) 87 years old. So I'm glad I participated today.

I can't save them all

One of my co-workers at the card shop sent a text to the team. She has to find a home for a 2-year-old black girl cat. In the photo she attached, the black cat is curled up with another cat, so it's easy to assume she would eventually slide nicely into this feline household.

She has bright eyes, like the cat in this stock photo. Staring up at me from my phone. Content and unaware that her owner is about to dump her God knows where. This breaks my heart in a dozen places.

But I can't take her just now. Between now and the end of the month, I'm not going to be home very much. Introducing a new cat into Connie's and Roy Hobbs' world has to be done with care, and I just don't have that capacity right now. Also, I will most certainly have a major home repair coming up soon. I can't in good conscience adopt a third cat if it could in any way compromise my ability to give any of the three the food and health care they deserve.

Then there's this: the woman who is offering this cat up is not someone I work with often and I'm not sure how I feel about her. Helping her out this way -- as I understand it, she's doing this on behalf of her elderly father -- would mean intertwining our personal lives in a way that just doesn't feel comfortable.

Oh, but those bright eyes! Shining out of her calm and unsuspecting face. She's about to lose her home and her kitty sister.* I hate it, but I can't take her.

*Being adopted by another worker in the card shop.


Photo by Anton Ponomarenko on Unsplash 

I miss him so

Letters Against Isolation has hit a rough patch. The portal -- where we all sign up to send letters to seniors -- has gone glitchy again. I started a new (and hopefully temporary) account and found that the there was an urgent need for correspondence in Spanish.

I used my remedial knowledge of the language, as well as a couple online translation sites, to create a pair of notes that began, "No hablo espanol a menudo, pero lo estoy practicando en esta nota amistosa para ti." (I don't speak Spanish often, but I'm practicing it on this friendly note to you.) Yeah, I know it's not poetry, but I'm sure my notes will be appreciated when received by lonely seniors in their Meals on Wheels deliveries.

It wasn't hard to do, but these notes did take longer and writing them was tedious. And it made me miss my friend Henry so much. I longed to call him, to blab with him a bit and then tell him to check his email so he could translate my LAI notes from Spanish to English for me.

He easily toggled back and forth between English and Spanish. He wasn't comfortable with his pronunciation in French and Italian but he could read and write in those languages, too. Languages were his natural talent and he enjoyed sharing it. For years he taught novels in their original romance language at the community college and tutored hotel and restaurant managers in Spanish to help them better communicate with their employees. After his accident in 2018, and until he left Key West last summer, he put tremendous care into translating the lesson into Spanish for the weekly church service. 

I am becoming accustomed to the fact that my friend is lost to me. But I will never stop missing him.