Have I mentioned that the sole bathroom in my house has been a construction zone for the last month now? What would have taken three experienced contractors a weekend to do has lasted days and days, because Feckless needed work and I needed "cheap" labor (although I am paying him a) by the hour and b) about 50% more than any sane general contractor would). And he's going slowly, so it's k-i-l-l-i-n-g me. I'm running out of money and I don't even have one room finished, not to mention an entire house. But worse, far worse, is not knowing from one day to the next whether the water will be off or the toilet will be usable. With no end in sight. I am such an idiot.
I jumped on the lampy bandwagon last week with Xtinkerbelle and Liz and TDO. The few times I've used the lamp so far, it has had the curious and unpleasant effect of making me dizzy and faintly nauseous, as though I had some inner ear problem. I suppose I'll put it farther away or use it for less time or something. I can see myself spending the rest of this month on a regiment of controlled sleep deprivation (or "wake therapy", as the glass-half-full people like to call it) combined with lampy sessions, Omega-3 supplements, Provigil, coffee, and Wii breaks. It could be fun. It could be.
Every once in a while I will see someone who reminds me of B. B. Usually there is a physical resemblance, but more importantly, there is always some personality trait, some projection of character, that draws me to someone and makes me think, "That's what she could have been like," or "That's what she was like at that age." At an amusement park, once, I saw a young girl, probably 9 or 10 years old, who reminded me of her so strongly that I hovered near her for a few minutes, wanting but not daring to get closer or speak to her. The latest recurrence of this phenomenon was night before last, when I was watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on television. I missed the first half hour or so, and the first scene I saw was the one in which Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe but doesn't quite catch up with her. The scenes that follow feature more Edmund and the fabulous, frosty Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. So it wasn't until I'd been watching for a while (and realizing, with pleasure, that the movie was much better than I had expected it to be) that the girl who plays Lucy appeared on my screen. The instant she did I felt my heart lurch into my mouth, and then I covered my face with my hands and sobbed. It was like being struck--it happened that fast--and was over almost as fast again. What an odd sight I would have made if anyone had been watching. What was it about the girl? Well, there was a bit of a physical resemblance -- B.B. had a round, freckled face and an overbite and a certain openness in her countenance, just as this Lucy did. But more than that it was the attitude that, overlaid, seemed so similar: forthright, stubborn, generous, spontaneous. I watched the rest of the movie with tears threatening, but every time that little girl smiled, it made me smile right back. Oh, they say we should count ourselves lucky for knowing the people we love even if they are taken away from us, but it's a mixed blessing; a mixed blessing at best.
I suppose that in order to avoid the chaos at home I will work late and then take myself to a movie. I want to see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead before it . . . ahem, dies. Tonight may well be a stay-up night. And suddenly I have an urge to crawl under warm blankets and read Patrick O'Brian while the cats arrange themselves like so many hot-water bottles around me. Perfect. No, I shall be strong! That cozy scenario will be my reward on . . . let's say on Wednesday night.
Charles Aznavour optional.