Monday, January 19, 2015

This Is Also Los Angeles With Sophie



I took Sophie with me to the place across La Brea where they make a sparkly soda drink with lemon and thyme. We hobbled along, Sophie leaning into me, my too-big shoulder bag slipping down, my mouth set as it so often is until I consciously think relax. While we stood at the corner and waited for the light to change, Sophie kept trying to take steps. She can keep walking, but she can't stand still. I wished for a person in her life that might bring her on a walk, play with her for a couple of hours, give her and me and us a break. I'm resigned to the fact that I'll always be paying someone to do this, so it is -- in the end -- a matter of money. I've tamped down that frustration for a lot of years, When's the last time anyone offered? Never. I can't remember. I make those excuses. It's hard. I make those justifications. Everyone has their thing. I am understanding (they just don't know because how could they?) until I am not (no one gives a damn). On the way, I skirted the corner because a man in a bikini top and a pair of blue jeans was dancing around the Lenin statue, and he made me nervous. Every time I turned my head to check, he was standing and staring at us, staring at Sophie and her awkward gait. I should have whipped around and taken his photo, a #dontstarepaparazzi, but I had Sophie, and the drink and my too-big bag. He followed behind me a bit, two-stepping, me nervous, hustling Sophie along. A gardener came out from behind a hedge, and I asked him to keep an eye on the guy in the bikini top, and at first I thought he didn't understand English, but his voice was muffled behind a face-mask. He nodded his head and waved Sophie and me on, turned around to face the dancing man, was resolute like a sentinel with a pair of clippers.

14 comments:

  1. One entire day, one complete outing with no menace or erosion of spirit and strength, is not too much to ask. The sparkly drinks sound wonderful. xo

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  2. I would play with Sophie. And I'd play with you too.

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  3. I'm glad you met the sentinel.

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  4. Sentinel scissorhands.
    My god, if we lived closer....

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  5. what kind of world do we live in when the MAN IN THE BIKINI TOP DANCING AROUND THE LENIN STATUE stops to stare at Sophie.

    Because SHE is out of the norm?

    Honestly.

    And I too love the "guard"ner.

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  6. Wow. LA is a weird town! Maggie said exactly what I was thinking...

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  7. I am the only caregiver because I don't ask. I don't ask because I don't trust. I don't trust because no one knows like I do. Because I don't ask?

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  8. God bless the gardener.

    Or you know, Whoever bless him.

    I don't blame you for that storm of thoughts.

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  9. Wow...if I lived there, I'd help out...Hugs. Loved your MLK post.

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  10. I love the way you write. The combination of lemon and thyme and sparkling water, Sophie marching in time at the corner, and the guy in the bikini top all come together in such a spare but arresting way. Thank you for sharing these slices of your life.

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  11. Katie has three friends/old caregivers that take her out once in a long while which is more than anyone in my family has ever done, or any of my friends for that matter. And yeah, it sucks.

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  12. I think you should get that bullhorn that belongs to your son and use it for those who stare. Surely it will fit in your bag!

    When my daughter was small and screaming and in and out of hospital the only help I received was my mom and dad and paid help. To add insult to injury and my already broken heart my friends told me daughter was born this way because I "had sin in my life" and that I "didn't have enough faith". Fuckers.

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