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Sometimes I feel like Jesus in some Chinese opera

January 31, 2011

We’ve spent the weekend piecing together news from Cairo, mapping infrequent word from my brother onto what we hear on the radio and read in the newspaper and on any website we can find.

The phone rang in the middle of the night on Saturday night. It rang once and by the time I got to it, there was a dial tone. My heart pounding, I lay awake until the sun started to come up, before I dropped off exhausted, waking up again at 7 when my parents called to fill us in. All okay, but gunfire in the neighborhood. The school is closed. My brother’s office is closed. The Embassy is closed. Neighbors left their house near a busier street to stay with my brother and his family. They were worried about the guns.

This morning’s news was better. My sister-in-law and nieces are on their way home. When last we heard, they were waiting for an Embassy flight to Greece. They will return to the US and enroll the girls in school here. My brother is staying behind with the dogs.

Here at home, we’re preparing for a different kind of potential catastrophe. We have been issued a blizzard warning. They are telling us to expect 18 inches of snow. Normally I would be bitching and moaning, but honestly, the distraction is good. This is something we can do something about. I went to the store and bought bottled water and extra milk, cereal and cans of beans and enough bananas for a monkey army. I am washing clothes and dishes and making sure we know where the extra gloves and boots and hats are. We checked the gasoline supplies for the snowblower and are considering moving some firewood to the porch, just in case. AJ is hoping for a snow day, the first of the year. I am hoping it doesn’t disrupt my teaching schedule, or at least that it disrupts it dramatically enough that cancellation is the obvious choice. We are making lists and checking things off, a mantra of protection. And we are sitting by the phone waiting for news.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    January 31, 2011 2:12 pm

    Hope your brother stays safe and is able to leave as well.

    As for the snow, I can’t even bear the thought. Best wishes for that, too! A distraction, yes, but a pain-in-the-ass distraction. Hope you keep your power! Having heat and water and plumbing makes any weather event bearable.

  2. January 31, 2011 9:44 pm

    Thinking of you.

  3. January 31, 2011 9:45 pm

    PS I don’t understand the title. I feel like I should.

  4. January 31, 2011 9:46 pm

    My first comment, before the PS, got eaten. Something about Egypt. Hope they are all okay, your family.

  5. January 31, 2011 10:33 pm

    It’s a line from a song that I can’t get out of my head: Jim White’s “A Perfect Day to Chase Tornados” (also the title of a post from two days ago). The line is so enigmatic that I find myself turning it over in my head like a smooth stone. It seems like it means something, but nothing I come up with seems to do the image justice. Jim White’s music is full of such images. You can read the lyrics for the song here. And I’ll try to embed a youtube version of the song below. This is not the version I’m listening too — the version I’ve got is from CMJ Music Monthly Volume 47 and it’s more ethereal, but I can’t find a version on line. But this is good too. I believe it originally appeared as part of the film Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus.

  6. February 2, 2011 11:33 am

    Thanks for the link. It’s a lovely song.

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