Other things I wonder about: how one is supposed to clean dried milk from the spouts of sippy cups, the % of rat poop per raisin, why I study the row of soft scrubs simply to avoid saying hello to familiar people at the grocery store, paraben.
Yesterday I took Zoey and my mom to get a multi-generational mani/pedi, and yes, I wonder about this, too., i.e. why. But mostly I wonder how to tell Zoey that the world sucks. Do I tell her while the Vietnamese woman is painting intricate flowers on her tiny pink nails, each stigma punctuated with a crystal? Or later? When we are eating mac and cheese at the french boulangerie and her plate is garnished with strawberries? In January?
On Saturday there were Boy Scouts downtown collecting money for Haiti. I gave Zoey some cash and told her to give it to one of them, and then--I kid you not--we went to yet another french boulangerie where we shared a quiche and ate tiny little cheesecakes drizzled with chocolate for dessert. Zoey, I said, we gave that boy money because there was an earthquake in a country called Haiti. All the buildings fell down and people got hurt. They need help so we gave some money to try to help them. I can't say that she understood; she is, after all, not yet 4, plus she was eating chocolate. Then again, I can't say that I understand either, the news reports seemingly Flat Stanleys of a tragedy I cannot fathom fleshed out. I am 37 now. I eat chocolate most every day. Like I said, I have 128 tablespoons of butter in my fridge; I don't know where to start much less stop.
There was an earthquake in Haiti, I could begin, and the world is full of terrible realities. Sometimes people shoot eachother, other times they torture their dogs. Men rape women and girls and babies. Most people do not have enough food, many have cancer. I wonder how I came to know all this, that the world sucks. If maybe it was a slow realization, or a sudden epiphany when I was 14 and listening to The Cure in my bedroom painted Pepto-Bismol advertised as "adobe," (oh! the late 80's when I drew geckos on my binders). Of course I did not get my first mani/pedi until I was in my twenties, I think, though certainly there is no correlation between the two.
Last night Zoey crawled into our bed as she has every night since she could walk, and I could not sleep, her head hot pushed hard into mine. She is going to figure it out, I thought, this girl who is scared to get water in her eyes. Already there are monsters, and I wonder if that is just human nature somehow, to know that something ineffably terrible exists. There are no monsters in the house, I tell her, I do not allow monsters here, but she knows nonetheless. This girl who still has all of her grandparents, who lives in a home with a cat and a mom and a dad, each outlet plugged with plastic, this girl who knows the Spanish word for butterfly, who loves bananas and yogurt and unicorns. She knows somehow small, and I lay there thinking about how absurdly beautifully sadly it all is--adverbs, I know--but that's the way it seemed to me last night, everything modifying anything but something solid, and as I lay there I tried very hard not to picture her heart.
Happy Birthday to my mom (tomorrow), and please donate to the Red Cross if you can. (See? My mom has a red cross on her shirt? Drawing connections whenever possible in a pretty world where nothing makes sense and everything is.)