Dipthong

I don’t know why, but I’ve had the word “dipthong” stuck in my head for about a week. This post really won’t have anything at all to do with the word…although perhaps it does. This will be a bit of a dual-toned entry—equal parts whimsical and serious. That pretty much sums up my current state of mind. I’m sure I won’t need to tell you that by the time you’re finished here. If you finish, that is. This one’s a rambler, denizens.

So I’ve been cheating on you all. With other blogs. Yes, that’s right, I said blogs. With an “s.” I’m not telling you anything else. I don’t want these other blogs to feel your wrath over my infidelity. They’re good blogs and they know nothing of the lair. Well, one of them does. But that’s a long story. Oh, and to make matters worse? I get paid to do one of them. That’s right…I take money for blogging. Do you feel dirty now? You should. You mingy little monkeys. You like it when I talk to you like that though, don’t you? Don’t you?!

Oh dear.

I don’t really know what the hell is going on with me right now. Things have been random parts chaotic and stressful in my life for so long that I think it’s starting to wear me down. Things are finally starting to level off…but the damage is done. And, yes, denizens, there is damage. I simply can’t tell you about it. Professional lines of scrimmage and all that, you know.

You gotta keep on spinnin’ around—
Never let your worlds collide
‘Cause if we all start talkin’ there might
Be nowhere for you to hide

Ain’t that the truth.

Two evenings ago, we were on a walk around the neighborhood and this beautiful black dog came bounding down the street toward us. I swear to you on my life, had she had a white stripe on her chest and one blue eye, she could have passed as my Jodie Girl. Everything else about her was perfectly, precisely Jodie: her size, her head shape and her floppy ears, her multicolored fur with the black overcoat and brown/gray undercoat, the way her tail curled back toward her body in a fluffy “O”…but more than this, the mannerisms were spot-on. The way she ran like a bullet, barely able to come to a stop before jumping up at me with fluffy soft paws. The sound she made as she ran: this steady chuffing that made her sound like a furry little engine-that-could. The way she pranced and turned when her owner tried to grab her collar to put her back on her leash. Jodie was always a clown, my little “bo-bo dog,” and she thought everything was a game and everyone wanted to play with her. This dog seemed to think the same thing.

I really don’t think I’m giving this the proper weight it holds in my heart, but everything about this dog was Jodie. Things that I don’t even know how to capture in words…some ephemeral essence that maybe only I could sense. But it was her, denizens. It was her.

I know that more than likely Jodie would have been gone from my life by this point in time anyway, had she not been taken from me by cancer. After all, 14 is pretty old for a dog her size. But seeing this dog just brought all the…missing right back to the forefront. As if I need to be reminded that there are multiple pieces of my life puzzle that I can’t seem to stop missing.

Even my subconscious mind seems hell-bent on reminding me. This morning my alarm cut into a dream-in-progress in which I’d witnessed someone fire-bombing my parents’ house in the middle of the night (although, honestly, it looked more like the house from A Christmas Story, only it had a window in the shape of the Star Trek delta shield at the very top; seriously, this is what my dream world conjures for me). Suddenly, it’s daylight and I’m standing outside a black Denali…talking with Catherine Willows. I’ve just told her that my dad had to carry my mom out of the house while the firebombing took place, but he wasn’t able to walk to the hospital fast enough and the doctors didn’t think she’d survive. Willows’ response was something along the lines of “Her body couldn’t have survived much longer in its condition anyway; perhaps this is for the best.”

That’s the point where I woke up.

There was always a part of me that wondered if perhaps my previous CSI-related dream had something to do with my mom as well. Some sort of strange parable, an attempt by Sara Sidle to give me a message that I was too stubborn and too late to hear. CSI Willows’ message was a little less cryptic and a lot more upsetting.

Now I’ve associated both of my favorite CSIs with something sad. That’s not cool. Here’s a happy photo. Erase, erase, erase:

It’ll be a year this Sunday. For some reason I’ve fixated on the thought that after this Sunday comes the beginning of the time in which I can no longer think to myself, “She was alive at this point a year ago today.” Strangely, I could find some sliver of solace in such thinking. Soon, that sliver will be gone.

I miss my mom.

So do I, Admiral. So do I.

See? I told you: dipthong. Two tones. One high and one low. Always sounding in my head anymore.

Did I ever tell you that when I was in San Francisco last year, I made a special walk from our hotel just to take this photo:

It’s probably the touristiest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I got looks. It’s admittedly not the first time I’ve gotten “looks.” But still, it made me laugh.

Well, then. That’s quite an eyeful I’ve just dumped on you. And now I’m leaving you. “Lunch time” is over and I have professional obligations to which I must attend. I’ll be back. I have a book review. And I know that tomorrow is Flashback Friday. I’ve written myself a reminder. Honestly and seriously.

Now I just need to figure out what kind of Flashback to have…