Thursday, November 6, 2008

below basics

Pipes froze a few days back and didn't burst, but something happened with the well pump, so it didn't restart in today's warmth. No water. No resident or visiting male around to get it going again, and insomnia made it tough to get at one during business hours.

Probably needs re-priming or resetting. Can't do it, although I consider myself fairly handy around the house ("If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy," as Red Green says - just before trying out a home-made elevator). I knew how to fix the old red cast-iron pump, ever since Charlie (?) Webber showed me. Sometimes the water would run out mid-shower, and it was necessary to exit the bathroom wrapped in a towel, climb down the contorted wooden stairs to the dirt cellar, switch it off, play around with the flywheel in a Zen fashion - not attached to outcome - switch it on, and over again from the top, till it restarted its comforting chugs. The preposterous connection to the ancient switchbox I won't describe here; certainly disturbed some plumbers on occasion, but works fine. But I draw the line at jet pumps. I know that air can get into the line, I sort of know the elements of the pump, but that's it. I have no problem being a classic helpless chick after that.

For pipe-freeze remedies I shopped at the mammoth Dartmouth Corners to Canadian Tire for a long while. But before that, a medical appointment and a stop at the pound. To prepare I took a shower at a friend's house so I could get to the oral surgeon more pleasant smelling, which made me a bit late (thanks, Otis!). The visit took only minutes - those digital x-rays are practically instantaneous; the implant is AOK - so I was off again to Burnside. I wanted to drop off soup bones with some solid beef chunks on them for Brindi as a treat. They had long since thawed in the fridge and sat around longer than I'd prefer, but I knew, as I explained to the woman at reception, Brindi's doggestion will have no problem with' em. They'll be gone in five seconds, of course, a bone-pulverizing workout to follow. One at a time dosage. (BTW, I am a stalwart vegetarian - okay, fishitarian - but Brindi makes her own choices about meat-eating; I'm not imposing my beliefs about meat on my dog. Some do; it's a choice.)

The white-coated woman chuckled at the beef, at my explanation, and looked at me kindly. She promised she would deliver the treats as requested, adding that she was very sorry about what I'm going through with Brindi. Who is doing great, by the way.

Well heck, if they wanna play rough! I mean, kindness? No fair! And what a great and rare thing in these parts, especially when sincere; how welcome. My face instantly got all crumbly and threatened to dissassemble into tears as she spoke. I couldn't keep it under control and speak at the same time, so I just nodded, then turned and left. Forgot - I guess I did manage to utter something in response; all that came to me was "I miss her so bad," however. Impressively put, Francesca...

Once back in the car, testing out the feeling, I noted once again that on these brief SPCA incursions lasting only about ninety seconds on average, I never think about Brindi actually being in that building. Try as I might, I can't place her there at all in my mind, or connect the spot I occupied to her actual location, breathing and sensing. It is not possible to visualize. My brain can only struggle under the sight of stacked metal cages of kitties looming into view in the next room, framed by the photos of dogs on the entrance walls.

I have no cognitive understanding of her location, of the space where she actually exists. I often wish I did. To cope with what that comprehension might feel like, my mind simply sets aside the question, as when a loved one has gone out of the world. That's how it is for me; she is no longer in my world. When your world is seriously off balance as a consequence of this removal, everything in it goes off balance, and setting it to rights again requires enormous capacity - not only for survival, but maintaining self, in every possible sense of the word. It may be impossible to convey what that's like, I don't know.

So then, anyhow, as I leave the parking lot, I have a dim sense that somewhere, she's enjoying a boney, without being cognizant of where it. Yet for a split second, I can feel a tad better. Then I beat it out of there before other thoughts mug me.

On many occasions, however, I must add, not far down the road from the pound, the tears overwhelm the comfort of the bone treat fairly quickly. I am getting a bit better at not giving in to it all the way at such times. Ormaybe it's truer to say that I am physically unable to. In any case, that massive impulse, the dread feeling, embeds itself firmly just below the skin and steadily draining energy and awareness past Wright Avenue and on to the highway connecting to Route 7. Sometimes I'd make it that far, though, without any trouble, and suddenly that mass would burst and expand. It's a gamble. No wonder I can't get back out and do any grocery shopping later on.