You know, Italians ingest a healthy dose of guilt. When we were babies, you offered us biscotti for our teeth and guilt for our souls.
Along with four sibs, I was raised with a guilty conscience, and even as you have aged, I justify my actions based on a sense of loyalty – and guilt.
After your rash of infections, I found myself rather inattentive to your needs. So, I thought I would write to tell you why.
- My dog ate some pot. No, really, he did. He licked a patch he found in a little pocket park in the city, spent the night in the Veterinary ER, and rebounded the next day.
- His stomach did not. For two weeks, I cooked more meals for the dog than for Mark and me. I kept him on a tight leash or in his crate. I did less work when Davis was a newborn.
- I was there but you were sleeping, so I cleaned your closets. You answer, “But that doesn’t count, because I didn’t get to tell you, ‘No, no, no,’ or crush your hands in a death grip while we walked around the hallways, or just throw cookies at you.” Yes, it was a beautiful moment where I could just love you while Sinatra crooned on the CD player.
- I had to go to Washington to march. See, we elected this president who likes to tweet about random things not related to his actual job of governing. “Tweel?” you asked once when you heard it on TV. “Tweel?” you asked again. Finally, I spoke into your good ear and moved you off the topic.
- I participated in boot camp. No, it’s not a military thing at all. And actually, I didn’t go away, just attended boot camp online – for my manuscript. There’s a boot camp for everything these days. Boot camp baby food making, boot camp opening scenes, boot camp how to ride a bike on city streets.
- I had to stand up and speak out against sexual violence, basically, stand up for women’s rights. “But, we did that already,” you question. And I say, “Yeah, but we should have been doing it every DAMN day until the violence ended, and its still here.”
- I had to walk a few neighborhoods because I wrote something stupid like, ‘I’m going to walk, then blog about all of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods before the next mayoral and council elections. One week, one neighborhood.’ Only I started four weeks late, and its winter, and the dog.
- Because I visited you on a Saturday, though I usually come on Sunday. My timing must be messing with your biorhythms – since you don’t get a chance to yell at me and get it all out – but consider the timing is messing with my biorhythms too.
- I traveled to Florida to see your granddaughter, my niece. She needs connection to our family, whether she likes it or not. Plus, she’s awfully adorable and her moon face and her, well, let’s just say, bossiness, reminds me of you.
- Because one day, I stopped writing to grocery shop. I was so engaged in the scene left behind, that after shopping, I returned home and only later, I discovered your supplies in the back of my car. I was horrified. I had planned to see you that day, and you, the thought of you, had slipped my mind.
I’ll return to our regularly schedule programming soon. However, in missing you, I learned how guilt is quite the motivator.
But, you already knew that.