Tuesday, August 17, 2010

lollies in the hood

I've always been good at doing what I've been told to do. The word "coachable" was common in my athletic reports. I've noticed it lately because I'm so used to the beep of my Sonicare toothbrush when I've completed the 2 minutes; yesterday I manually brushed my teeth for 6 minutes waiting for the brush's permission to stop. Am I coachable in my ceramic work? One of my professors told me my cups aren't pleasant to drink from because they go in at the top. "They aren't inviting." It bothered me for years. I can't tell you how happy I was when a friend cuddled his cup and said, "I love that it goes in slightly. I never spill when I go up the stairs!" Thanks Rene...

People constantly coach me to leave the city. (for the kids!) I worry about it sometimes. Over the summer the body of the 19-year-old hostess at our local burger joint was found naked and strangled 4 blocks away. I was enormously pregnant the previous summer when the place opened, so we were there a lot. Burgers and pregnancy go well together. I'd always stared at the girl, Sabina, because she had a really interesting shape, and something about her reminded me of my grandmother. I still keep thinking I see her every couple of days. She was raped and killed for the bicycle someone had lent her to get 4 blocks home from a party.

We went to Sabina's memorial; the kids danced and had fun. We didn't explain anything to them, but we had to go to a wake a few weeks later, so they are now death-obsessed. I can't blame the city for that. Jojo was in her 80's. En route to the viewing I told the kids, "We are going to say good-bye to Jojo. Her body will be lying down in a pretty dress looking asleep, but she's not going to wake up. She's up in the sky with Grandpa Jack and Aunt Erin." Moments later I heard Jack Peter say to Steel in the back seat, "It's just going to be her body...NOT HER HEAD!" By mistake we'd taken them to a open-air screening of a Twilight vampire movie. Jack Peter's little body jolted when a vampire lost his head. "What happened?" he asked, perplexed, but not upset. I said, "He was beheaded." thinking a new word would further flummox him and it would all go to the "does not compute" part of his brain. Our sa-nanny-ty said the next day, "Why does he keep talking about

Steel was apparently shocked to see Jojo's head still there. She stood back from the coffin waving "good-bye" with an uncertain look on her face as Jack Peter ran right up to Jojo's face and started chatting away. Steel went through the receiving line asking every other person, "Why is she dead?" None of the answers was acceptable. I was just mad that I'd not gotten around to glazing the sugar bowl I'd made for Jojo.

I did have a pang about kids in the city recently. We went to a family wedding in Big Sky Montana 2 weeks ago, and everyone there is so fit. The Sweet Pea Parade in Bozeman began with a kids' 1 mile race. There were thousands of them younger than my kids running a mile. I came back inspired wanting to bring country clean living to my little urban family. I instigated a run on Sunday. After 45 minutes of fighting over running shoes they each ran about 14 steps. Steel demanded to be carried, and Jack Peter said it was time for a rest. It was a multi-tasking run. We were going to pick up high-fat yogurt at the Jerusalem shop to keep Toby at her fighting weight.

It's an Halal meat shop run by soccer-watching Egyptians who often give my kids blow pops. Ages ago I took my mom there to buy a leg of lamb. There were 3 flayed lambs on the counter and a lone head on a table. The woman in front of us said in a thick accent, "I want the head." Unflappable lollipop guy started to wrap up the head, and she shouted, "NOT THAT ONE; I WANT THAT ONE!" pointing to the middle dead lamb. He refused. She berated him for 10 minutes, and when it was clear that he wasn't going to budge, my mom said, "I just want a leg." He merrily went about hacking the leg off of one of the lambs. The woman went apoplectic and ran out screaming "WHY SHE GET THE LEG?"

So our "run" turned into a lollipop-in-the-ghetto fashion shoot. I didn't realize the lollies were going to look like cigarettes.

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