Sitting on a bench at the water’s edge just before sunset tonight on St.Paddy’s Day, Santa Monica cruises by. Not the sun kissed California city Scott resided in for years while I was living nearby in Venice Beach, the two of us living in parallel universes that wouldn’t find a sweet intersection until he left that fair city behind.No, this Santa Monica is one of the many Goan party boats that ply the river loaded with drunken revellers who want to catch the sun going down while listening to extremely loud, throbbing, bass-driven dance music. Their turn around point is just outside our Marriott suite and we could set our watches to these party boats ( if either of us was still in the habit of wearing a watch).
Time floats in and out of my consciousness here. It must feel that way for you,too, darling? Time accelerated, squeezed and concentrated has left its mark on you visibly as you witnessed in the mirror a few days ago. I’m finding time infinitely elastic here. One moment I am by your bedside witnessing what seems to be your last night…a few hours later you are out of bed, back in your Marriott chariot, painting masterpieces in the lobby. The doctors said you had a timeline of 2-4 months but you are in your fifth month and you, my hero, are kicking ass!Time is doing more backflips and somersaults in Goa than Cirque du Soliel.
It is the eve of my 55th birthday. I time traveled today, as I always do on March 17, to the eve of my 10th birthday. I was pretty excited that day because I’d been promised a ten speed bicycle and it was likely my father would be bringing it home that night so it would be the first thing I saw when I woke up the next morning. That bike was all I could think about for weeks. My dad didn’t make it home that night. It would be three months– after suffering a massive coronary attack, a 3 and a half minute heart cessation, and an 11 day coma– before the hospital would release him back to us with doctors predicting that Dad would be lucky to live 5 more years and oh by the way will probably be a vegetable with massive memory loss. My birthday was eclipsed by that event and the ten speed never purchased.
Today it occurred to me that while I was experiencing my first brush with a life-changing illness, Scott must have been living in India for the first time . That was a life changing event, too. Both of these occurrences influenced and shaped us in profound ways. It is why we are both in Goa today. My father was 48 on that St. Paddy’s day. He would prove the doctors wrong and live to be just shy of his 82nd birthday, his mind as sharp as a tack. That was twelve years ago, before I met Scott, when I left Venice Beach to spend six months helping my mother at hospice take care of my favorite feng shui client.
People are writing me and Scott or posting on the blog saying wonderful things about me. How amazing I am, for example. That’s lifting my spirits and I do appreciate it but some are getting a tad carried away. For example, I’ve even seen it said “Katy is a saint!”. No. Santa Monica and St. Patrick are saints. I’m no saint. I’m not even an angel. Trust me on this. I’m just a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover, a wife. I’m doing what anyone who ever loved someone would do. You’d do it, too. Wouldn’t you?