Friday, February 13, 2015

Day +31 The Girl In The Plastic Bubble

In this photo I am John Travolta, and you are the girl with the split ends...
In what continues to be the most botched homecoming ever, I am now home home, but I literally (the kind of literally where you overemphasize the 't' and spit it out all bitch-like) do not have a front door to walk through. 

Our front door was rotten. Which we planned to fix while I was in Israel. The door and the stairs, the whole was going to be fixed and finished and I was going to come home to a brand new brightly painted happy orange (!) front door, the opening of which would precipitate a thousand promising metaphors. But the door guy was late. (Is late.) 5 weeks late now and still no promise of when it will be ready, pushing back the tile guy, the painter, the guy who does the wood risers on the stairs, and now my front door looks like this:
Don't be hatin' on my pile of coats, messy entry and blue painter's tape finish. In the afternoon? The plastic flaps gently in the breeze like a commercial for a feminine hygiene product you never knew you needed.

I've been home for one week and one day now, home home for 5 days, and on each of those 5 days there have been workers cutting and sanding, hammering and nail gunning. Quiet is the sound of their radio blasting a confusing mix of bolero and cumbia, depending on what time it is. The plastic is to keep the dust out, but also away from me, the haunting lady of the house who is bald and scary skinny. The workers look at me, embarrassed, and I look away because my eyelashes are seriously thinning.

Every day this week Bryan has come home at lunch to take me on a walk. My knight in shining flannel, he peels away the blue tape and pulls me through the plastic, out into the sunny open air where we walk for a bit until I get tired. Which is not long but it's something. Am I better? I don't know, a question that may not be answered for years which in and of itself kills me, someone who deals in absolutes and now, pretty please just tell me it will all be ok. But much like the metaphor of the door that is not yet ready, a lesson in patience, control, there is also something to be said for the cinematic achievement that was the made-for-tv movie The Boy In The Plastic Bubble. Spoiler alert on a 1976 air date, but in it, Travolta, the boy with no immune system, falls in love with his next door neighbor and must decide between following his heart and facing near-certain death, or staying in his plastic bubble forever. Naturally he chooses life, which in this case means stepping outside unprotected, where he and his neighbor actually ride off on her horse together (because nothing says air-borne pathogens like a herd animal galloping).

So yes, eventually I will need to make that same decision. I will have to pick up Zoey from school, take Ozzy to the park. And you will see me with no hair, thin eyebrows, sparse eyelashes, no ass whatsoever, and you will know that I have also chosen life, whatever that may bring.


p.s. Let's not even discuss that the real Bubble Boy died at 12 after an allogenic bone marrow transplant, ok?


Anonymous said...

Dear Susannah....I am Jared's Susana's Mom. I have been following your blog since Tess posts each one of them on FB. I wish I had a way with words like you do and then I would say something terribly witty and to the point. But all I can do is try and give you a big ole hug and let you know that I think about you every day and wish with all my heart that your life would get back to a dull normality.

Judy Holloway

Sheryl Garinger said...

My situation can not even compare to yours Susannah. But I have been thinking of you lots! I've been sitting in a chair with my foot in a cast for only three weeks. Have not been anywhere. I've got three plus weeks to go. Don't go crazy! Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Not something you want to come home to - workers! I can imagine that the noise level is driving you crazy. Just had myself a weird experience with a handyman. I rather leave things unfixed for now than to deal with them....
Hang in there, take one step at a time, that's all we can do. Don't think about tomorrow - today is important!!