One Huge Lesson in Humility.

Thursday, March 4, 2010.—Diary. 2010
<Mar 3 Mar 7>
Kilocal. Quant.

My wife paces back be­hind me room to room for an hour in the morn­ing as I try to do some work be­fore rid­ing my bike to my job; her shoes bang against the drum­like flooring; she men­tions the the cats sev­er­al times, Facebook, chow-chow, flat shoes, her ankle, work, her schedule, and cauliflower. The new apart­ment will not be a railroad; it will have a space for me to work with an of­fice door that closes. These ab­stract dis­cus­sions will not end (I wouldn’t want them to) but there might be slightly more com­prom­ise as to when and how often they occur. For right now I go gently out of my mind, a little fur­ther with each burble. Back and forth and back and forth the shoes. Pho­toshop freezes up; the pic­ture of the man­ni­kin won’t export. I clench the mouse; the plastic makes a crack­ing noise. She notices, of course. “I’m al­lowed to chat,” she says, offended. “Especially this morning.” She is. Last night was more bad news, after a steady eight­een months of reg­u­larly paced bad news; with every month the stakes are raised, the hopes go up further; and more hope is lost; after re­ceiv­ing the call I went to a meet­ing at a cof­feeshop and pre­ten­ded that noth­ing had happened. Then went home. She cried on the train all the way home, she said. You are sup­posed to cry too, she said to me, which means I’m allowed to cry, as she really doesn’t like me emotional, which is good be­cause for the most part over the last five years I rarely am, nor do I par­tic­u­larly want to be, after all those child­hood years where I was com­manded by the over­ween­ing soft­ness of motherlove, cram­ming it­self into every avail­able cranny, to feel, feel, feel. I am not about to cry; in­stead I just sort of sit there, then flop on the bed, and stare at the ugly light above the bed, and want, more than any­thing else, to quit my job. I drink beer and order Chinese food. There are too many tea leaves to read: Is this impossible? Should we give up? Can we take one month off? Have the PCBs from the recently-superfunded Gow­anus Canal, a block away, done this to us? Do we need to have puri­fy­ing cleanses of our bodies? It’s nowhere near over, and in fact will only get worse. And now we are try­ing to fig­ure out how to handle the fact that I’ll be out of town dur­ing this next cycle. It’s been planned for five months, the trip; I have to go; but it falls ex­actly with­in the time that I’d nor­mally be ac­com­pa­ny­ing her to the clinic. Do I fly back for a night? Does she fly to Aus­tin at ter­rible cost and try to find a hotel in the middle of SXSW (as I’m stay­ing with friends and we’d both be un­com­fort­able [and stressed] to have the sex at a friend’s place; I mean, then you need to wash the sheets and it’s all just sort of awkward)? Will the stress of such travel make con­cep­tion impossible? Do I pre­serve my es­sence in a re­fri­ger­ated or frozen con­tain­er the week prior? The doc­tors of course are used to these questions, and don’t al­ways pick up their phones, so we keep list­ing more and more of them; she writes the ques­tions into her phone. Why has my stom­ach hurt for two months (cancer, of course; cancer; it can only be cancer)? Quit your job if you want, she says. You have my blessing. And she’s right. If I quit my job I can make enough money that we won’t have to de­cide between in vitro and someday own­ing an apartment. There could be joy out there, all kinds of joy, if I let my­self get to it.

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Total 1,166 (1,166)
O/s [2,100] 934 (934)
2010 March <Mar 3 Mar 7>