Beta had a 24-hour EKG test this week. She came home from the hospital and said, Hey look, and I was all like, Okay, Uh, What, Carrying case for your iPod? because she had this device hanging around her neck, and this mesh undershirt thing, and it wasn’t that far from what she usually wears but apparently it was the EKG machine and not an iPod. Same size, though.
She wore that around and I haven’t heard the final results but then I’ve been busy with the pool (today’s shopping list for hardware store: wooden stakes*, teflon tape, duct tape, rust-resistant paint, Valium); I was even busier with it but then we opened the boxes in our cellar and discovered that they had not included the pool liner, meaning we couldn’t assemble it or we could assemble it just not add water because that’s the job of the liner, holding the water, and without the water the pool has no structural integrity, but there’s still plenty to do because it turns out one must dig 5″ trenches, three of them, for part of the frame, discovering which fact made us happy we had not made a concrete slab for it as the hardware store pool guy had suggested (although, on the other hand, it would have given me an excuse to finally use a jackhammer) but instead I spent all day Saturday (with the exception of a brief siesta during the hottest part of the day, because, man, it’s been hot all weekend) as well as Sunday (except for when we visited some friends for a barbecue, everyone else was doctors (or little kids); just doctors, and us, the patients, and the rest of the time I was in the back yard with a collection of shovels, rakes, hoes, boards, wheelbarrow and a level and growing quite depressed at the Sisyphean nature of it all; I finally realized it didn’t matter that the liner was missing, I wouldn’t have got that far anyway, as spending one weekend leveling the ground and spreading sand and leveling that, and the following weekend digging it all back up to put down the framework, taking breaks to read the instructions in English (correct, but confusing) and German (simpler, believe it or not, but for the wrong pool) and …
Dead Horse: So Beta’s okay?
I was getting to that. I hope she is, she’s on a school field trip to Southern Italy, Naples and Pompei, and boy is it hot there right now.
Dead Horse: Thank you.
Our general assumption that this Beta thing is, you know, an opportunity to sit back, take a breath, and reevaluate our lives. Decide whether we want to continue putting pressure on ourselves and each other, or what.
But the kid seems okay. It was the scaredest I’ve been since the day she was born**, almost 17 years ago. Walk into her hospital room, you know, early morning, everyone’s sleeping, she’s so gentle and young and relaxed there on the bed, wired up to a machine, and I think, I’ve seen this before.
*to put through the heart of the pool company guy
** 3 months early