The Next Ten Years

Dear J-

The solution to the donut problem, as it were, was to simply ride without hands on the handlebar. It was an easy, leisurely ride for a few scant miles to work from Mountain View. I know after that I tried to convert as many donuts as possible into adipose tissue.

I’ve been watching my folks; we met up again twice this weekend for only a few hours at a time, though. My mom is doing well; my dad is getting quiet, which I think is okay but needs to be watched, I think. It’s not entirely clear to me if it’s something I’ve done that offends him — I remember as a kid when I’d brush past my grampa in the rush to the TV so I could keep watching Voltron after school — hey, I’m not here to see you, I’m here to do … other things instead. I wonder if it’s something like that; we don’t meet up regularly enough and it’s been touch-and-go recently. After the Mother’s Day brunch yesterday I shook his hand. Shook his hand. What’s wrong with me?

I may be reading too much into nothing. I have a habit of doing just that; innocent actions become full-blow conspiracies between my ears and I poison my interactions as a result. At the same time I try to reconcile what my mom tells me their life is like with how it’s been when I’ve stayed with them and … yeah. I dunno. I look at my now nearly-mute aunt in Stockton and hear that she knows enough that she should stay close to my uncle, but not much more than that and I wonder. We are now close enough, geographically, that I’m not worried that I can’t get to their sides when needed but it’s more the when needed part that worries me. How do you know?

It’s going to be hot here over the coming week, which means nearly 90F in the City (that’s 32C for those of you keeping score from metric lands, i.e., everywhere but here) and the all-purpose weather alerts have gone out on my phone, advising me that the elderly and the very young should be watched carefully. Are we still there? The voices inside my head (hi, folks!) are telling me to stay in touch all week and make sure I can reach them; this year has brought sudden and unwelcome changes in the way we relate. It is part of life, I suppose, and inevitable but I can’t help at my groundless speculation spinning off into infinity, extrapolating ten years from now, twenty.



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