I have 500 things left to do before we leave Wednesday morning, and not enough time for any of it, and the check my mother sent to reimburse us for the $300 we spent on game systems for her computer guy’s kid still hasn’t cleared paypal, and stress is running out of me the way water runs from a Hansgrohe faucet, and my head hurts, and I feel hung over, but it’s not from alcohol. It’s from carbs.

Oh, the carbs. And the cream.

For yesterday was the Feast of the Turducken, which is a mythical southern beastie comprised of a stuffed chicken stuffed into a duck, which is in turn stuffed into a turkey. It tastes better than it sounds. Really. Also there are like six drumsticks and assorted wings, but no other bones, so the end result is the poultry equivalent of one of those caravan sandwiches that are often served as party nibbles.

The rest of the food was equally tasty: mac-n-cheese, squash-n-cheese, creamed pearl onions, cranberry sauce, whipped yams, and, in a bow to healthy eating, steamed broccoli (with ginger) and a salad. All of this was, of course, followed by pumpkin pie.

The food was excellent, if lethal, and the company was of the sort that is equally comfortable discussing the merits of mac vs. pc, high speed internet options, and trashy movies.

It was a lovely interlude.

But I still feel panicked.

I Want to Hear it Tick

I used to be very much in love with my grandfather’s watch. It wasn’t a pocket watch or anything unusual. Gold face, gold band, analog, not digital – he liked the weight of real workings inside the case, I think – wrapped around his sturdy, tanned wrist like something precious.

My thumb would brush across it sometimes, when he reached down to hold my hand, crossing a street, or walking down the beach. It would catch my attention and I’d look up at him and ask, “Let me hear it tick, Grandpop,” and he would patiently remove it from his wrist and hand it to me, and I would hold it up to my ear, and listen to the steady ticking sound.

Tonight at a dinner party I watched an old woman go from giddy to weepy, overwhelmed by friendly faces, and sad for all the things she doesn’t have, and while I completely empathize with the friend who is her house-mate, and bears the brunt of her many sour moods and bitter words, I also understand the sense of loss she probably feels every day, and can’t adequately articulate, and so gets angry and cruel.

There is no time limit on grief.
There is nothing more beautiful than making someone smile.

Right now, I’d give anything to sit with my grandfather, and wait for him to give me his watch.
I want to hear it tick.