2. Blurry eye syndrome
3. Disturbingly frequent need to blow nose
4. Slight, but encroaching, deafness in one ear
5. Unsettling inability to come up with, among other things, sought-after words, titles, names
Every day is a dark dive through the winter hours. Seemingly ceaseless rain speckles the window. At work I bubble like a watched pot; people lining up outside the glass front of my office, pacing 'til their turn. One needs an article proofread, another an HTML created, the phone rings and it's the creation of emergency animated web banners on the line. Deadlines approach, LOOM, fly by—ready or not. Below the surface there is the sly sidle and jig of office politics; I try and stay above that dance, peering over the edge and occasionally getting my toes wet but rarely taking any splashing plunge. A meeting goes over time, so far over I sit nearly wriggling in my chair with impatience to be gone, back to my desk, back to the list of projects that are calling me with voices that start out faint but get louder and more demanding with every passing moment. When we are finally released I practically bolt from the room.
I imagine that if I were a cartoon character, I would wind up one leg, cock my arms and suddenly ZIP! disappear while my shadow stays behind for a moment before zooming after me in a cloud of dust. By the end of the afternoon, however, my zip is zopped. I pull on scarf, coat, purse. Flip off the light, shut that glass door with, disconcertingly, only MY reflection in it, turn and walk away.
Stopping by the village store on the way home I get into a discussion with Rosemarie, the owner, about how time is flying. Her daughter is pregnant with her second child and I boggle for a second that her first granddaughter is 4 years old already. Wasn't she just born last year? Rosemarie asks me how old MY children are now. "Martin's 8," I say, without thinking, "and Karin's 7 and a half." A few seconds later I realize that would have meant that I was pregnant with Karin BEFORE Martin was born and I backtrack in my brain and my conversation. "Good grief," I say with astonishment, "He's NINE." I'm shocked at my sudden inability to process such things and laugh a little too loudly when I realize I could easily have said my OWN age wrong. How the hell old AM I, anyway?
Oh yes, of course! I'm 29.
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