I can only do this in snippets. My brain is in what feels like a permanent, low-hanging cloud. I've heard of this happening with Lyme, but now I know it to be real.
Thirty years ago today, bam, bike accident. Life anniversaries are funny. I thought about that last night, if someone were to ask me, "What are the important dates you recognize each year?" My answer came as this: my birthday, the day my parents got married, the two dates when I got married, the day I stopped drinking, the days my kids were born. And always June 10. I think only because I'm grateful that I lived.
I guess all of those things I just listed have to do with living. My parents were married and then made us kids; I came to life. I came back to life when I stopped drinking; I had to re-learn how to face everything without a magic elixir. My kids: all life. Bike accident, a foreshadowing of death, but life won the race that day.
The marriages? I married nice people. Those two marriages produced three good humans and we will be loving and taking care of each other as long as we are here.
So there's that.
After a few weeks of purging, young Thatcher Winpenny, almost 7, walked into the house for the first time ever and declared, "You don't have much!"
Mission accomplished and thank goodness for that thing that kids do: tell the truth, without fear, without mulling it over first, without wondering whose feelings it might hurt.
I dropped a bunch of stuff at the thrift shop in Manchester the other day, pretty early in the morning, so I had to leave it outside. I looked back over at my pile as I was driving away and spied my striped laptop satchel.
I'm sorry. I know. But I have always loved that word, satchel.
In my head I composed a little love letter to that bag.
Dear Striped Laptop Satchel,
I purchased you many years ago, at Small Dog Electronics in South Burlington. You have been a loyal and faithful companion since that time. There's nothing wrong with you, really. You're a bit frayed around the edges, perhaps not as strong as you were when we first met, but you can still get the job done.
You and I traveled far and wide together: Alaska, Miami, New Mexico, California, Sweden, and probably other places, too, but I can't remember them now. I'll bet we went to Canada once or twice.
The point is we have a nice history.
When I first saw you, I was drawn to your stripes. Bold, but not overbearing, in nice colors: brown and yellow and orange. Your stripes set you apart from the other bags, which was why I took you home and then took you with me everywhere I went.
I'm certain that you will find a new owner and a new life, striped laptop bag. I said a little prayer for you when I set you down outside the Manchester Health Services Thrift Shop: that of all the possible lives you live next, you don't get stuck going to an office every day. You and I both know you were not made for that kind of existence.
Know that I have loved you, Stripey. And know that this isn't about you; this is all me: I don't really leave the house much anymore. My laptop mostly sits on the kitchen table.
Harriet Honeybee is buzzing. The many years I spent salivating over sites like Saipua and Reinhardt Blooms, imagining what life would be like living in a place with gardens full of flowers and herbs, doing design work with the beauties. Funny thing: I ended up there. Imagine that. Amen.
Also, wait. I almost forgot. I'm re-reading The Catcher in the Rye. This is probably the fifth time I've read this book. It never gets old. Holden Caulfield, the best.
OK you can go now. But before you leave you should probably subscribe, just in case it actually works.