Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In Which Nick's Flick Picks Senesces, While a Punk Rock Mama Only Gets Better

Following the candy-colored trail from the mugging back into my normal life, I went to the eye doctor's office yesterday to get a prescription for new glasses, only to have Pawel the Optician tell me that I have keratoconus, which means that I already see about three times worse out of my right eye than my left, because my cornea in the right eye is growing into a cone instead of a sphere. Sort of a square-peg/round-hole situation. In a couple of decades, I will either a) have to wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, and maybe only in one eye—my own update on the legacy of the Edwardian monocle; b) have a corneal transplant, or a plastic gadget inserted under my cornea; or c) do none of the above, and simply peer one-eyed at everyone like a character in The Dark Crystal, or the guy in "The Tell-Tale Heart." In the grand tradition of blogging, I would open this to a vote, but I know that you would all vote for (c). It has the most literary panache.

Meanwhile, the Saints keep marching in, as yet another all-star in my life celebrates a birthday. Not Clementine, even though I suspect that her mom, the real birthday girl, wants no better gift than to have as many people as possible see how cute Clementine is, and how unbelievably awesome her wardrobe is. Longtime readers of this blog have already heard so many paeans to Amanda and to Clementine that I wonder what else I could add.... except that, as much as she worries time and again on her blog that her friends think we have lost her to Mommydom, it is such a joy to see her inhabit that new part of her life with such bliss (give or take a sleepless night and a latching drama, here and there), and with all of her one-of-a-kind charisma and humor and perspective. I love reading Amanda's blog as a way to stay updated on her own life between phone calls, but I also love reading the comments by other mothers—some of them known to her, I think, and others not—who feel that she has articulated something they're all feeling, or feel that she's put an especially articulate or comical spin on it, and that neither she nor they are alone in their experiences. That's what it was like to go to grad school with Amanda, too, and she still gives the best, most practical advice. (I especially savor the moments when my own Mom quotes Amanda back to me, the way other people quote Plato or the Dalai Lama or Oprah, and we "mmmmm" our mutual agreement with whatever Amanda originally said.) She's still the funniest, the most authentic, the least predictable person you'll ever meet, she has this incredible integrity, she sticks up for herself and isn't afraid of pushing envelopes, and she's still my favorite poet. She doesn't even know this yet—except, well, she does now—but a member of my department faculty wants to bring her to campus next year to share her work, and to convince students that you don't have to be boring or emptily experimental or dead to be a poet.

Happy birthday, Punk Rock Mama. I hope I see you soon, and I hope that when I do, I can actually still see you!



Blogger ANN said...

Actually, I would prefer that you wear the same contraption that Mad Eye Moody has in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That way, if some little punks try to mug you again (1) you'll already have seen them coming (2) you'll scare the hell out of them.

2:47 PM, April 18, 2006  
Blogger amanda said...

You are too sweet to me. Thanks for your birthday wishes. I like the Mad Eye Moody idea but think a crazy marble that does nothing but freak people out could be just as good.

10:37 PM, April 18, 2006  

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