If you change countries several times in your youth, you get to know that days can get crazy and unpredictable and you also know that you can tally forth and stay strong. Crises don’t knock you down. (Not immediately anyway.) You find your house has been flooded two minutes before your class starts? You go in and teach and after, you call the insurance company. And maybe between lectures you fly down and mop up some of the basement. (No no -- no flooding... I'm talking hypotheticals.)
So I fall into that groove of coping today. Can’t sleep at night? Well fine. More time to edit exam questions! Cat comes in at 3 a.m., just when I finally doze off? So be it. At 4, the familiar “Nina, are you asleep?” I answer –“mouse?” He responds “yes,” and so now I really can’t sleep anymore at all. Not this night, perhaps not any night. The better to think through what gifts must be gotten and what clothes must be washed before I take off in a couple of days.
Morning. Off to work. Drive, then run.
One class, a second, a third. Students come to my office with lists of questions. (Wow, thirteen? Oh that’s only the first page! Okay...)
Evening darkness. I drive to the café. The plan is for me to work on my stuff there until closing and beyond, but Ed is not quite functional and the proprietor is not quite understanding of my need to get things done and so I push aside exams and focus on the world around me.
Home. Finally home. Once there, Ed settles in to sleep some more (blame it on booster shots – I don’t think he’s ever had them before and they seem to have wiped him totally, completely), I throw a frozen dinner into the microwave.
I alternate between thinking – "this is crazy" and "this is manageable."
Ed wakes, lets Isis in, I try to motivate myself to continue working, as somewhere in the background the soon to be returned 37 inch TV drones on, except when it’s silenced by Ed who can’t stand the commercial and therefore uses the mute button with abandon.