All my life I have waited for the great story—some grand event that would unwind before me like an enormous wave. Perhaps it would occur with an invite to a Gatsby-like party, chandeliers shimmering, a full-moon edging the night clouds, while well-dressed crowds move through vast rooms bathed in yellow light, each with a drink and some interest in each other, and outside I would stand by the swimming pool, listening to music and the hum of the crowd, thinking-- remember this August night when it all came together.
And all my life I have believed and waited for a group of revelers to come along, and we would somehow get in a plane or a rocketship, and we would ride all night into the inky sky, and once our rocket motor stalled, we would reach out and touch the starry light, and freefall a million miles back to earth, and hit the pillow of clouds just in time to reenter with a gasp and not die.
And now it is two months since my mastectomy, and recently a group of high school friends came by. We ate egg salad sandwiches. They sang the theme from the Partridge family, then went on to Brady Bunch. We walked to the beach, we looked at the waves.
And so now I try to do normal things. I still am balding; I still go to get infused every third Friday. But in my effort to do normal things, I call a roofer, an electrician and a painter, to try to fix the bathroom ceiling problem we have.
But it’s the painter who really affects us. We have left the house for a couple days so the painter can paint. In moving ladders up and down the hall, he has discovered my collection of Kaleidoscopes sitting there on a glass table. Some of them are large and magnificent. Their tumblers are filled with jewels and the mirrors inside refract the golds and greens dozens of times.