It occurred to me that even though I don’t have it together to write anything ponderous and lyrical, I should post something to let you know that I seem to have conquered the swine flu rather than vice versa. I was in bed for a week. Then for a week I was doing all the normal things, only with a cough and more slowly. And now I’m starting to feel pretty normal, though still half-snotty.

I have avoided the doctor, and holy gee you weren’t kidding when you said Mucinex was expensive. The cheapest box was $20! If two random internet acquaintances (ok, one delightful internet acquaintance and one really good real life friend who reads my blog) hadn’t vouched for it I never would have sprung for it. It worked, but I only needed a couple of pills, and now I have $18 worth of Mucinex on hand for next time. Or to barter for something I need. Do you know any hairdressers who provide child care? And who would take a few chops at my hair in exchange for 18 Mucinex tabs?

* * * *

We’re trying to decide about Christmas. Travel west and stay in my parents’ big, clean, mostly childproofed house where my mom does most of the cooking, then come back to three weeks of jetlagged children, grandparent hangover, and the inevitable illnesses picked up on the plane? Or stay here, be in charge of our own space and time and not have to travel, and invite my parents and brother to stay with us, and somehow sort out how to have a peaceful holiday without having to host three Christmas dinners and/or get tangled up in competitive grandparental gift-giving awkwardness?

* * * *

A few weeks ago on an afternoon when I was sort of feverish anyway I sent out a big stack of poems to various journals, and the first of the rejection letters came today. As expected, it was from the fanciest of them, the biggest stretch (the earlier in the process they decide to toss your work, the sooner the letter comes). Pleasantly, it wasn’t just a form letter but had a personal note thanking me for sending my stuff and commenting on one poem, “We lingered a bit over some of the more surprising narrative turns, but in the end we wanted more unfolding.”

More unfolding. Please let me know if you have any idea what that might mean. I’ve made myself a cozy little writing space (well, cozy and, you know, dank) in the basement, and as I headed down there this evening A wished me “Good luck with your unfolding!”

* * * *

Have I mentioned lately that I have two daughters? And that they are probably the most stunningly smart and beautiful little people in the world. I don’t know where to start, but it’s true.


4 thoughts on “Alive

  1. Yeah, I have no idea about the unfolding. Maybe there was some nugget they wanted to get to in the poem but they couldn’t quite get there? I’m just talking here.

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  2. You know the really annoying thing about Mucinex? Before it went over the counter, you could get the generic for about $5 for 20 pills. I’ve not seen the generic over the counter yet, I’m not sure why. I suspect it has something to do with patent protection and/or the FDA rules for taking a medicine over the counter.

    I don’t know what “more unfolding” means, either. In my line of work, it would probably refer to making the initial high temperature steps in a protein simulation run longer. Or hotter. So, really, no help to you at all.

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