Decline in Steep Steps

I’ve been avoiding talking about Mrs. Wigglebottom since the ceiling incident, in part because I was trying to convince myself that she was fine, and in part because saying it here is admitting that she’s not fine. I guess those are almost the same thing. I just like to order the world into this and that.

But I knew, almost the second the dust cleared and she stood there, uncertain whether she should come to us, that it was too much for her.

And she’s been antsy. She wants to be with us, but she doesn’t want to be away from home. She turns back on walks. If you won’t let her turn back, she just stops. And waits for you to be convinced that she’s not going any farther.

And she sleeps, almost all the time. Even in the car, rather than staring out the window, she’s stretching out on the back seat and snoring away almost before you get out of the driveway.

And today, when the guys were here working, I just knew she’d bark and be in the way and be upset that they were here. And she did bark some, when she remembered to. And she did like it when the contractor scratched her butt. But mostly, she just laid on the floor and slept or laid on the couch and slept. Even with strangers willing to scratch her butt in the house.

It broke my heart. It breaks my heart to tell you.

She gets old in big steps. It’s not a gradual decline. It’s like one day she minds if strange men are being noisy in the house and the next day? She just can’t be bothered.

I hope she goes easy. Not yet, though. Not yet.

Feels Like Home

Apex always has good stuff, but this month’s story by Genevieve Valentine is something else. I read it first and just couldn’t go on yet to the rest of the stories. I don’t know if I have ever, ever read something so Midwestern. I used to scoff–and still do slightly–at the idea that there could be any such thing as Midwestern literature. But I think this story makes a convincing case for it. Valentine gets at something so fundamentally Midwestern that it hurts my chest. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s the way everyone is concerned but no one does anything, how taking care of something means protecting it from the wrong kinds of outsiders, but not necessarily taking care of it how it needs.

I just want to say whoa, whoa, whoa, until my heart stops racing.

Two Things I Was Determined to Tell You About on Our Walk

Really, people, morning blogging would be so much different if y’all just got up early and came for our walk. I think of all kinds of things I mean to tell and show you that are gone by the time I get home and eat breakfast and get settled behind the computer.

But here are the two things I thought were neat enough this morning.

1. The drywall guy could balance a huge sheet of drywall on one hand while climbing a ladder and fiddling with getting a screw on the end of his screw driver with the other. The first time I saw him do it, I said, “Holy shit!” and he said “Oh, it’s light. It’s real easy to move around.” But people, it wasn’t just that he was holding up a sheet one-handed. It was how gracefully he maneuvered around the living room with it balanced on one hand. It was amazing.

2. There’s something in Mitt Romney’s tax returns he doesn’t want Republican voters to see. I feel like a dumbass for not realizing that before, but that’s what it is. It’s not about taxes, otherwise, seriously, he could have just released the tax returns back in the late winter, when it was obvious he was going to be the nominee, taken the flack for it then, and used his “I don’t pay more taxes than I’m legally required to” line (which I find laughable, but I think makes sense to most people). It would have blown over. And it wouldn’t have hurt him with his base at all.

The only reason I can see to not just release the returns is not that Reid is right–after all, that only reaffirms to Democrats and Obama-leaning independents that he shouldn’t be in office. It’s got to be that there’s something in them that could cost him Republican votes.