29 September 2008

Bookends

Last Monday - 5:19 A.M. -- I step out of My house and into an onrush of water already streaming at My car's door level. The next 90 minutes would erase much of My life.

This Monday - 5:12 A.M. -- The text message was simple: The baby's coming. The baby in question--firstborn of a lovely friend--is My future god-daughter.

In the span of almost exactly a week, I have had the deep heartbreak of major loss, the pain of a friend's loss, the ache of concern for My mom's upcoming cataract surgery and the discomfort of being--of feeling--displaced. And yet, I have also experienced the warm glow of camaraderie, the strong generosity of friendship, the spiritual release of sharing and the joy of new life.

I lost My books--and yet, a woman I've never met, Lucy, offers to replace some of what I've lost. In that spirit, the very few boxes of books I still have will be pared down by a dozen books that I don't want to part with, and the rest donated to the Salvation Army for fundraising.

I lost My games collection--and yet, Kevin Shockey, who came to My house along with friend and colleague José Rodríguez, gave Me two of his favorite games from his collection so I could restart My own. I'm already working on it.

I lost almost all My comic books--and yet, My Very Special María, persisted in salvaging the least-damaged...and did. In the process, she also became hooked on comic books, another companionable interest in Our long list of shared interests.

People I never knew cared much about Me offered Me clothes, furniture, appliances (thankfully, fridge and stove still work) and even money. As Tuesday dawned, the full extent of the flood hit Me, hit Us, and We knew there was a ton of work ahead. Most of Us went to work.

A political aside: How fucking transparent is The Idiot Jellyfish We have the dishonor of having as Governor? NO sales tax for a few days to "help the flood victims across Puerto Rico."? Bullshit. Bullshit. The law already provides a price freeze and a sales tax moratorium for basic articles in a declared emergency. Using the flood to pander votes--like a crack whore going down on her pimp--is utterly disgusting. The four voters he sways for allowing plasma screens and air conditioners to go tax-free while thousands of people waded through muck and waited for services should be executed with extreme prejudice. I suggest they be decapitated with a Phillips screwdriver.

And for the pantywaists whose livers flutter because I smack the governor, here's equal time: How fucking stupid is the Head Beggar and Larval Jellyfish We have the dishonor of calling Resident Commissioner? A trip to Washington "to request additional funds," before the full spectrum of the damage is even partially evaluated? That's like a subnoral teenager going to daddy for a handout of indeterminate size for "You know, whatever...you know." Then the Larva squiggles back to visit the damaged areas--passes in front of My house--and ends up talking to My Sister. For no reason whatsoever, because all he and Her Ugliness--the Cabo Rojo Mayor--did was roll by. With cameras to capture their .03% effort.

The Insider quoted Me in his post on the flood. Friends from the States e-mailed and called. Relatives called and came to help Me clean, most notably My cousin, Luis, who's really a great guy, but you won't catch Me admitting that anywhere. I received an emergency bag of food and personal goods without feeling too uncomfortable, until Luis pointed out--very loudly--that sanitary napkins were part of the package. Good friend Alfredo came by, kept Me focused on the here and now and called to follow up. The hospital treated My hand injury quickly, but the third injection I received--for pain--wasn't needed until that third shot slid in. My Mom was rock-solid moral support despite the pain every parent feels when their child is hurt and My Sister shared with me the pain and effort nearly every step of the way. My Special María was a constant presence, even from afar, but surprised Me by making the trip back to Cabo Rojo to be with Me and her mom helped wash what clothes could be saved. Without all of these special people My week would have been an unmitigated disaster.

Today I found out that a good friend's grandfather--the man who literally raised him--died Sunday. He was a good man and I will miss him. I went to My first business meeting and sold a project's vision as well as I ever have, though I felt slow and tired. In the next few weeks, I'll get back to speed on My work and clear out the strands of confusion that happen to everyone in these situations, even to Jeniuses. And when I look forward from this point on, there will be the tiny scrunched-up face of little Andrea Patricia to remind Me--now and for many, many years when she becomes a wonderful young lady--that Life is both bad and good, and that it is up to each of Us determine what it ultimately is.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S. -- Little Andrea Patricia was born at about 9:35 p.m. Baby and mom are doing fine.

2 comments:

Karla said...

Hello Gil,
Your blog was moving and inspiring. It's horrible what happened to your town Cabo Rojo and all of the other towns that are underwater. I agree about the tax free thing completely. That was totally idiotic and our govenor is an ass!

My niece's school is collecting all the necesities to help our neighboring town Canovanas in their state. I gave as much as I could and I feel bad that I can't give anymore. So many good people like yourself have lost evrything and they say the worst is yet to come. Do you think our little island can take much more of it?

Anyways, please let me know if there is anything that I can do.

Sincerely,
Karla Medina
Caribbean Trading Company

ramonathebrave said...

It's good to hear from you again. I just wanted to let you know that the other post you made, the one about the flood..i it was truly inspiring for me. And as a result, I am trying to make many necessary changes in my life that should have been made a long time ago. I am happy to have been able to draw something from your experience. Keep on blogging. Believe it or not it is making a positive difference in at least one life. You and you family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Ramona