Dangerous Compassions


We had this tape dispenser by the front door for a long time.  Tonight I was cleaning out the basket.

It says it’s supposed to be in the chapel.  Do not remove.  But the chapel here where we live, it’s a small room where people pray.  Nobody does office work in there!

So I told Ming, “I think somebody stole it from some other chapel.”

I said I wanted to take off the label.  Then we could do whatever we wanted with it.  Ming said yes, so I scraped off tape with my fingernail and removed the label.  Triumph!

“Can you put this in the office?” I asked.

“No,” Ming said.  “We have enough tape dispensers already.”

So we decided to put it in Freedom House.  Maybe they need a tape dispenser. 

While we were at it, we brought some more stuff over to their house.  An orange plastic egg with little beads in it to make sound.  A decorative metal heart with flowers painted on it that hangs from a jute string.  Two tiny wooden crosses.  A painted wooden lizard.  A red shot glass advertising some university.  A flimsy ruler shaped like a comb. 

Everything was in a purple plastic bowl that might have come from Freedom House originally–not sure.

We have too much to do.  Thank you notes for donations, data entry.  Half-finished projects are all over the place.  I need to put away the spices our friend who’s moving away gave to us, but first I need to clean out the spice cabinet.  Stuff that needs to go to storage.  Stuff for goodwill.

This morning I cleaned out my bedroom closet.  It was good.  Then this evening I cleaned by the side of my desk.  Organized stationery, sorted some out to get rid of, consolidated things.  Found two books I was looking for.

I also thanked two big donors who really needed to be thanked, prepared some other mail to send, typed and emailed notes from the last F&F meeting, listened to Ming complain.  They’re giving him the runaround for his meds.  He’s in the doughnut hole.  Insurance had to reject it, and then his backup insurance kicks in, but they take forever to do anything, and soon it will be next year.

I was feeling like it should be illegal to treat disabled people like this.  Getting medication should be streamlined.   Ming can’t stay awake because he doesn’t have the medication.

“It’s going to be okay,” I told him.  “We’ll figure things out.  I’ll brainstorm.  Look at me–do I look sad?”  I gave him a big smile.

So he was going to bed, but he came back to tell me I left some things there from this morning: papers, clothes, two blankets.  I said he could bring them to me or put them on the floor or put them in a bag.  Did any of that seem possible?

“I’ll just sleep on the other side of the bed,” he said.  I felt criticized.  I had no energy either. 

I sat there trying to psych myself out to gather the things off the bed.  I sat there for a long time, crying, totally exhausted.  Drinking water, visualizing what I needed to do, willing myself to stand up.

My body hurts, especially my shoulders.  Ming’s up again, and he tried to make me some dinner, but the boil-in-bag rice that our friend who’s moving away gave to us from her pantry, the plastic melted in the water.  Weird.  So now he’s giving me applesauce.

Mmm, applesauce.  It’s one of my favorite medicines.  Heal me, applesauce.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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