Tag Archives: 2007

M was filling out a questionnaire this morning.

2:24 p.m. Borders in DeKalb. …

M was filling out a questionnaire this morning. Here’s some things she wrote: (Paul Simon greatest hits on speakers)(she volunteered this sheet for me to look at, and she told me these answers, too)

Describe your spouse’s personality: introverted, fun-loving, talkative one-on-one, honest, intellectually inquisitive, thoughtful

What do you like most about your spouse? Incredibly supportive, calm and stable, funny, tolerant, ability to communicate

What do you like least about your spouse? Critical of others (not usually me), messy

… Other questions on this questionnaire—useful for character sketches? Name, address, phone, age, occupation, sex, date of birth, place of birth, religion, height, weight, does your weight fluctuate, if so by how much

Marital status: single, engaged, married, separated, divorced, widowed, living with someone, __ remarried: how many times?

With whom do you life?

What work are you doing now? Does your work satisfy you? Jobs in the past?

[From journal of Thurs., 2 August 2007, Journal 88, page 53]

Just nauseous at the thought of eating either

We went to see [uncle] L’s baby pigs last night—three little guys, not yet three weeks old. That’s pretty young to wean them, L said. They’re in a little lean-to he built bordering on his horse corral. Cute pigs, but it’s weird to look in their eyes, their sentient eyes, and think that one day L will kill them and eat them. It’s a form of lust, in a sense—wanting their bodies. M asked if [L’s daughter] was gonna be bothered by L killing them.

I remember that rabbit I couldn’t eat at [grandma] P’s—and also lamb, I think. I remember sitting there at the table in breakfast nook, just nauseous at the thought of eating either. If these were separate occasions, I may have melded them in memory. Mint jelly on the lamb, maybe it was cold, I remember poking at a little white tube—an artery?—embedded in the meat. Goat, I don’t think I could eat goat, either. And that time (this was back in ’80s, when we lived here [upstairs] before) I walked in P’s kitchen and saw red bones sticking out of buckets—gristly bones, probably like how my brothers clean meat off deer legs. It’s not perfectly white, the bones. But I think that image gave me nightmares—and maybe that was just a kid thing. It doesn’t bother me now to see my brothers butchering deer, or L skinning beaver (though when I saw him pop apart that beaver’s spine in Dec. ’03 when I went to talk to him about how I’d taken that coyote to school, the sound of that spine coming apart sticks in my head—it seemed just a bit too much like my own spine. How easily that spine came apart, too. But it hasn’t given me nightmares).

I even ate lamp chops from Dad’s lambs when I was in high school. That didn’t bother me too much. But maybe I was a proto-vegetarian all along.

That stew my aunt C’s Chilean (?) boyfriend made, with big chunks of everything—segments of corn on cob, and a hunk of flesh on bone—was that rabbit, too? How I sat on P’s sofa and watched TV, not eating much of the soup sitting there in front of me, on end table, I think.

[From journal of Weds. 6 June 2007, J85, page 265-6]

Committing to care

Your spouse isn’t your flesh and blood but you come to feel strongly about caring for that person, and so when you adopt a kid, you’re committing to caring for that person. That “committing to care” is how it came to me last evening as I thought this. Maybe I thought in those terms because of how I’ve committed to care for M, which commitment has required more actual care (rather than merely theoretical duty of care) of late. Mom admired my patience with M, and M last night said I was “a saint.” “Could I be St. Jude?” I asked. Saint Sweetie, she said. And I’ve been OK, though I feel a tad guilty when she says this. I was quite solicitous early on, in June, but the last few weeks, I haven’t quite doted on her every minute. I’ve had to distance myself figuratively from her concerns—though in my nervous state, certain … [things] would get to me—and so I’ve also distanced myself physically from her—like being gone 4 to 7 p.m. yesterday (Supervalu [store] after Mom’s).

[From journal written Sunday, 15 July 2007, Journal 87, page 143]