Friday–The thought of my brother Tim resuming his 7-month residence with us has sometimes seemed unbearable over the past two weeks. But now it’s just a day away and I am fine with it! I’ve washed and changed all his bedding, aired his room, vacuumed and spot-cleaned his carpet, cleaned his bathroom, gone through the files I keep for his various medical and financial records, sorting out his paperwork, and thrown out his accumulated junk mail.
I bought three tickets to our local Shakespeare Society’s War of the Worlds and am looking forward to taking Tim with us to that and to Max McLean’s The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis) when it comes on stage.
Today–My niece Naomi brought Tim back from the Bay Area last night. There he was in our kitchen again, feet planted apart as he steadied himself against the counter. Disheveled, excited, wide-eyed with muddled tales about his adventures away. About being able to bring home leftovers from a Chinese restaurant and reheat them in a crock pot. About being able to mix water with any one of five flavors of oats and make oatmeal by himself “in two minutes–two minutes!” Naomi gently corrected or steered him to the words he was reaching for.
“He learned about crock pots and microwaves,” she explained.
“Yes, crock pots and microwaves,” he echoed. “That’s it. Because I’m forbidden to use an open flame.” (That was a crack at me.)
“He would have starved while I was at work if he hadn’t learned to use the microwave, or at least two of its buttons, Reheat and Start,” Naomi laughed.
He also learned on his own that oatmeal can explode all over the microwave if not covered.
“We had things set up pretty much the way we do here,” Tim said. “Naomi set up her machine so I could play Zuma during the day and we watched movies together in the evenings–”
“We watched a lot of murders,” Naomi put in. They had brought some of the murders with them and wanted to try Dexter on us. I passed. (It was filmed two blocks from us, by the way.) Jerry watched to be polite and told me afterward what we already knew (this is American TV, after all), that it involves a lot of sex and violence. (Naomi warned us of “sexual innuendoes” ahead of time, adding that Tim told her the sex would bother me more than the blood. I said he was probably right.) and that we’ll let Dexter be one of those movies Tim can watch after we go to bed.
Tim and Naomi discussed the fact that Tim had lost his cane in K-Mart. She told him it proved he doesn’t need a cane, that he walks perfectly well without one and not to listen to me when I say otherwise. Tim argued for it, that he would need one someday and wants to use it now so it will be second nature for him then. I tried to stay out of it, just went out to the garage and brought in the spare.
Before we hugged good-night Tim said, “I know you and Jerry got a break with me gone but did you miss me, at least a little?”
I had to admit we did.