Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Universal ability to Translate my words
In my recent purge of items, the Universe has introduced two vastly different sets of characters to my stage. One is Asher and her crew, a woman who will go to so much effort and use her own time to do generous things for her friend. She took the trailer from my driveway, and went through all the mechanics it took to deliver it to a safety zone in Trinity so that a man who lives on a porch can now have a home, with a door to close on his own space. She gave him the gift of saying "I live here." with cupboards and a counter and a table. She made several trips to do this, driving an hour from her house to mine. She and her partner are such lovely, giving women, and she is very businesslike about her philanthropy, she's just doing what she does. I have intense admiration for her, and plan to maintain a friendship with her because there's no accidents when it comes to life OR craigslist.
The second pair, are Josh and Lauren. They were the recipients of the snake cage, a 900 pound monstrosity that has taken up garage space for the last 13 years. It once held various reptiles from my old life, and was custom built to do that well. It has been transformed from a giant nuisance to a habitat, and I get to hear about it all the time. These two didn't simply show up to take possession of an object though, there was an immediate bond and somehow they are like new family members already. We have adopted them in a way, and I already love them and their two daughters.
It started with the many phone calls it took to discuss the logistics of moving such a large object from here to there. Then I got daily phone calls about what kind of animal they might choose to house in it. (The final answer was Columbian Red Tail Boa, already 7 feet. His name is Brick.) After Brick was home in his new enclosure, there were the daily phone calls about how he is doing, and what they're learning about how to keep him healthy and happy. Since I am who I am, plenty of personal chat made it's way into these conversations and I started to fall in love with them as a family.
They're young, 28 and 26, and their daughters are 2 and 4. They haven't been married long, and just made the long leap of relocation from a backward state in the south. They are changing their lives, and showed their commitment to that by coming all this way out here, even though they don't really have people here, except one aunt of hers. They hadn't met any friends yet, they are still wet from hatching into their new lives.
Josh is loud and funny, much like Andrew, but without the science. He's ex Marine Corps, and is freakishly strong. He could lift our house if I asked him to. Lauren is quieter, and deep in her thoughts, and even though she's very young I sense a wise old woman behind her eyes. Those girls... have completely stolen my heart already.
In that amazing way the Universe works, Josh has miles of tattoos that reflect the old lifestyle he's turned his back on that desperately need covering. I still have a hard time comprehending how a man who so obviously feels deeply and with so much love and compassion ended up wearing swastikas and SS bolts and White Pride; in long conversations I find that it was a protective costume that he started to put on as a little boy to survive in the places he came from. I won't tell his story, it's not mine to tell. It's not a pretty story, although it's beautiful at this chapter because he's ready to be rid of all the hatred he's stained his skin and his psyche with and become the loving, compassionate human that has always existed underneath that titanium shell. The tattoos burn now, they torment him, they keep him in a shirt even in the hottest weather, because they are lies and he can't bear to be seen that way, by you or me, by his daughters. He is like Brick, but cannot so easily shed his skin as he grows. Oh, but there is this miracle I know how to do, and it's called cover-up.
I have so much work around my house that needs tending to, brute-strength style labor and lots of it. I live on approximately a 1/4 acre of land that I have let deteriorate into natural habitat over the last 13 years. I have sheds, and a garage, and all the stuff I described in previous blogs that really needs to be given away until the good stuff is gone, then the remainder removed in a dump truck. His refuse is confined to his skin, but is just as dirty and weighs as much, and we are uniquely suited to cleaning each other's yards. The trade began yesterday. He is a wild and unrefined power source as well as being freakishly strong, and the amount of stuff he raked, and ripped out and dragged to the staging spot for the future dump truck was staggering. Today I have my first appointment with him to start the act of transforming the past.
They've come over and just spent the evening with their girls once already, and it was pure visiting. Andrew and Josh had a loud (not angry, just loud, both of them have no volume control in excitement) and spirited conversation about so many things, and Lauren and I sat in the same room and had our own conversation about so many things, that was almost private in it's decibel wave length. The girls were like little butterflies, engaging my two little dogs in ways that they've never known, and I saw a side of Michael that I never imagined: The Grampa. I never knew there was such a Grampa inside my husband, it's adorable. Although I will never ever wear the title, (I'll need my own name) I can see where I am going to love being a G.... Mother of a child with children of their own.
Those girls are attracted to him like bees to honey, and he is endlessly willing to spin them in chairs, rock them and drag them around in a laundry basket, answer "Do you like pink? Do you like green? Do you like blue? Do you like fairies? Thumbelina has wings did you ever see her?" and throw the monkey toy for the dogs and watch the girls giggle and try to beat them in fetching it. So you have two grown up conversations going on, and then you have two little girls with one future-grampa willing to play whatever they want to play, all in a room that's not very big. It was like having a big family.
We love them, we've adopted them, they are ours now.
The girls come straight to me for hugs now, and let me pet their hair, which is long and amazingly beautiful. Yesterday they met Molly, who is now their hero, their Goddess, their sun in the sky. She picked them right up and took them in the house while their mom and dad were doing yard stuff. She washed them, and gave them little bits of jewelry, and painted their nails; she did everything that she does with her own little brother, except these are girls and she is the consummate girl herself. She is slipping right into the role of Magical Auntie, and she fell in love in the span of one afternoon just like we did. I can't explain the how or why of it, but our family just got bigger and I love these people.
Just on the sheer amount of work that we want to do for each other I can tell you that this relationship will last for quite a while, but even if we get done with that at some point I'm pretty sure they're here to stay. I mean, where else are they going to go during the holidays? Molly has already asked me for twenty bucks so she can take the girls to the Goodwill and shop for dress-up. Lauren is a young mother with two little kids that are the same age difference that my boys were so many years ago, and I so remember what it was like to navigate through all that. I love to show her that they really do grow up and learn to pull up their own pants and get their own juice. It's family love, it's sibling and aunt and grand just the way I've always dreamed of, and I found it on craigslist, in the free section.
The Universe is so kind and generous when and if I know how to ask for what I want, even when the words for "I want more family in my life" are actually typed "I have a snake cage I'll give you for free." It's amazing how the Universe always knows what I mean.