Or in and out of a weird funk. The whole point of starting a blog was to get back into writing and, so far I haven't. I used to be able to sit and just write. A poem. An essay. An article. I could make shit up, or pour out my guts through my fingers and it was usually really good. Now... ehhh. After Dr. Jekyll was born, I felt like my creative voice took off, the way my favorite cat Sambuca did a few days after El Niño was born: ran out the door one night and looked back at me in disgust, one last time before the darkness swallowed her up. I mourn them both.
Today, Mo and I tackled a bunch of boxes that we'd stored in our teen's room when we moved. They'd been out of sight, out of mind for two months now and it was time to get it done. Lemme just say that it sucks balls to move from a three-bedroom house in the country, with a garage, to a two-bedroom apartment (with an upstairs neighbor who vacuums at all hours, WTF?). We have too much stuff, which is ridiculous considering how pared-down our existence has been for years. So today, a couple years' worth of Food & Wine magazines got tossed, which made me feel like someone was ripping my flesh off, and two boxes worth of stuff got packed for Goodwill. We have a lot of pet stuff we need to take & donate to the people at the pound. And we're still not even close to being done. I still have to list the giganto-stroller travel system on Craig's List, as well as the crib mattress that got used -- for naps -- maybe ten times. I still have to find a place to put all these books and kitchen stuff and wedding stuff (like my gown, WHAT am I supposed to do with my gown???) that I don't want to have to part with... It doesn't help that El Niño likes to take everything he can reach off whatever shelf it's on. Makes for a hectic day around here, daily. And, if you want a taste of HELL, talk to your teenage son about keeping his room clean. You may as well ask him to pull his own teeth, with pliers.
One of the things I found in those boxes was the VHS tape of The Jungle Book, the animated Disney classic that is one of my favorites of all time. I used to listen to the soundtrack on Sunday mornings as a little girl with my jazz-loving dad. We'd listen to Peter and The Wolf, narrated in Spanish, the sountrack for Jungle Book and/or Fantasia (my dad's favorite Disney movie), and then some Benny Goodman.
It was El Niño's turn to watch The Jungle Book today, for the first time. He enjoyed most of it. He likes Finding Nemo too. And I missed my dad, I missed what it would've been like to still have him alive. Eighteen years later, and I still miss him so much. He would've loved his grandsons and noted the irony that he never had sons but his daughters were blessed with plenty of them. He would've drawn things for my boys, I'm sure. And taught Dr. Jekyll about world history and politics. My dad, the cartoonist, would've loved the movies coming out of Pixar studios.
Thinking about my dad makes me think of Puerto Rico, makes me long for the beach and the food and the music. It reminds me of the guilt I feel for having abandoned the land of my birth, contributing to the "brain drain" because I couldn't stand the politics, the corruption, the crime, the poverty of intellect and discourse... he worked his whole life to make a difference there, and none of his daughters live on the island, none of us keep fighting in his name. Home is Oregon now, except when I remember the sound and smell of the surf and I crave the song of the coquí. Someday I'll take Mo there, I'll take El Niño snorkeling and we'll all look for hermit crab together. In a few years, we have to.