Tanzania Journal 2: Sunday, 19 June

MacAvity's picture

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Continuing about Friday the Seventeenth:

At around half-past eleven, Mom and I took some frozen yogurt to Oma at the dementia home. We told her that she could only have it if she came and 'participated in the Activity' - she refuses with extreme stubbornness if we call it 'exercise.' So we got her to do some group old-people exercises while eating frozen yogurt.

When exercise was over, she (of course) said that she needed to go home. 'I have to go home and feed my birds,' she said.

'Who's more important, your birds or your daughters?' Mom countered, and we shared a look that translated to 'She's going to say her birds.'

'Sometimes my birds, sometimes my daughters.... Right now it is my birds.'

'Do your birds ever bring you frozen yogurt, Mom? I don't think so. I think your birds only ever bring you poop!'

(Here lies the pause before a punchline, for which there seems to be no satisfactory written equivalent.)

'My birds give me shiiiiiiiit!'

(This is me laughing really really hard. Actually, when I told that story to Carolyn's family, I couldn't finish the word 'shit' without my voice breaking, I was already laughing.)

Yeah, Oma says she wants to go home, but she's really happier (and safer and healthier) at the dementia home than anywhere else. She gets visitors at least once a day, the visits are pleasant, she no longer yells or tries to hit people or does anything negative except a bit of half-hearted grumbling. Now everyone has the good relationship with her that only I had when she still lived alone.
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So... er.... after visiting Oma, we went home, did a few more chores, et cetera et cetera, I showered and braided my hair and so forth and so on.... left the Jedi braid visible for once, its last moment of glory if all goes well - it deserves that last moment of glory, having been with me every moment of high school and all...... and I wore my prom pants and the blue short-sleeved shirt I was wearing on my very first day of high school, and borrowed Mr Fusion's black tie... and then of course the cap and gown, which were actually rather nice...
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At three o'clock the graduating seniors gathered once again in the New Gym for a panoramic photograph. We crowded into the bleachers in our uniform regalia and waited rather a long time for everyone to be ready. I ended up sitting next to Sunny, with whom I hadn't really spoken in months, beyond the occasional smile and 'Hi!' I remembered the brief and very mild crush I had had on her back in October or November or thereabouts, and thought it was funny - the first time I met Marie was when Sunny invited us both to her table at lunch, and I was focused enough on Sunny that I didn't even remember Marie's name afterward.

Anyway, when the photograph had finally been taken, we all had time to mill around and socialise for a while. I'm better at socialising than I used to be, but still awkward at milling around and not fond of standing, so I found a chair. A few people came and talked to me and I socialised a little with them. Congratulations from classmates and teachers, mostly. A slightly longer chat, ending with a hug, from one girl. A conversation, about hiking and the John Muir Trail and such, with Mr AutoShopTeacher, whose good opinion I am for obvious reasons glad to have - although I am afraid he might approve of me considerably less if he knew how smitten I am with his daughter. A girl and another girl wanting to talk about my Yorick skull. I didn't say so, but the English project about which I wanted to know was the mysterious 'Deconstruction of this one guy in the class' that Mr EnglishTeacher mentioned in his speech at Senior Showcase on Thursday.

Social hour ended and the seniors lined up alphabetically as we had learned at rehearsal. The Sanji'sLastName-MyLastName-Jude'sLastName trio - Sanji, me, and Jude, always together in yearbooks and anywhere else alphabetised by surname - came together for the last time and shared a group hug.
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And then we walked. Onto the field, pomp and circumstance et cetera. One guy gave a speech about how we are all time travellers - not yet nineteen years old and already lived in two centuries, three decades, two millennia. Salutatorian Salutatorian gave her speech, followed immediately by Valedictorian, the valedictorian. I don't remember what all. But after many ceremonies done, we walked one by one across the stage, shook the hand of Mr Principal, and received a diploma-holder and a yellow rose apiece. When everyone had done this we ceremoniously shifted our tassels to the right sides of our caps, then, hardly pausing to appreciate our new right-tasselled graduate status, flung our caps in the air.
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Naturally, lots of posing for photographs had to happen. Ever the photographs. Eventually we did go home. And there took more photographs.

Mom cooked chicken tarragon, the dish she was making the night I was born.

Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Jack and Cousin Nolan came over, which was nice. I'm glad it was just a family event. It would have been nice to have Regi there; she's been with me throughout all of school, all twelve years, but she was already obligated to go to the Civil War Ball.

This is the part about my parents being THE BEST.

Mom gave e an I-Pod Touch, about which I was initially annoyed because I am proud of not having any such gadgets (at least it's not a cell phone!) and I knew that I will use it way too much for watching television mostly. And if they are easy to get I will end up with Ninja Ropes and a Horrible Van Remote because I am that much of a nerd. Definitely nerd enough to recognise the sheer Harry-Potter-ness of all my classmates being uniformed in black robes for a day. But I digress severely. As I say, I was annoyed (even used my annoyed-face and 'shnar' noise that means I'm annoyed) until I read the letter explaining why I needed an I-Pod. It's because we don't have a working Compact Disc player and my real gift is a set of songs Mom has been recording for me over the past few months. Songs like 'How do you Solve a Problem like Maria' and 'The House at Pooh Corner.' Songs that have special meaning or have otherwise been important in my life. Songs that I can play when I'm far from home, or even just in my dormitory across town, or in the far future when she is no longer able to sing, and hear my mother's voice. A perfect gift.

And after dinner, Dad brought us all into Oma's room and projected a slideshow onto the blank white wall. A slideshow about me. With music and everything, and photographs from just after I was born to just a couple of weeks ago. It was too good to describe.

My parents are, as I have already said, THE BEST. I hope they know that I appreciate how awesome they are.
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So.... Yesterday.

Yesterday I was supposed to fast, in honor of exactly one hear before being the day I last saw Grey. I did manage to skip breakfast and make it look like I had eaten a bowl of cereal when really it was only a bowl of milk, but I did end up eating lunch (leftover chicken tarragon) and dinner (Taco Bell), largely because I couldn't get away with doing otherwise - barely got away with it back on the 27th of December, her birthday - but also because I was feeling hungry, happy, and no longer definitely in love. 2011 has been good to me.

So, yesterday, we all finalised our readiness to leave Rivendell - cleaned the house, packed last-minute items-in-need-of-packing, visited Oma a couple of times, bathed Sage, et cetera et cetera. There was a lot of idle time, too - the others all played some daft game on their various iGizmos; I finished reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' - yes, it ought properly to be underlined in the absence of italics, but underlines are unsightly and I prefer to avoid using them except under single words in need of strong emphasis. Italics, when they are available, I use properly and often. Regardless. I liked 'To Kill a Mockingbird' better more than I had expected to, probably because of the absence of characters the same age as the usual reader. I had been aiming to finish it sooner, on the grounds that one should probably not graduate high school without having read it, but ah well.

Aaaand.... eventually we all severally headed south to Endor. After Dad left with Mr Fusion and I stayed with Mom, I cut my hair to a practical but not very aesthetic shortness. I didn't do nearly as good a job of it as I have with previous self-inflicted haircuts, but there's not much I can do about that now. It's short (shorter, a little, than I would have preferred), practical, symmetrical, and a little unpleasantly ragged. But it's at least as good as and cheaper than the haircut place down the street would have done. Dad need not necessarily know that I did it myself.

And, anyway, yeah, we and Sage and all our stuff ended up in Endor (Zuma's going to be so lonely; poor beastie), and... yeah, that was that.

Which brings us to today. About which I will write later if not outright tomorrow because right now it is late and I am very tired and the plane is in the process of takeoff which - now it has taken off. Anyway. I'm taking a break from writing now.

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Written Tuesday 19 July:

19 June - Covered pretty well in the Twentieth's entry....
(And a few more notes that don't make any sense without the Twentieth's entry, so I'll type them up with that.)
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Transcribed as faithfully as possible from my handwritten travel journal.
Italics indicate where I have changed or added to what I originally wrote.
Notes and expansions which I have written later, at the back of the journal, will be included along with their appropriate days, labelled with the dates on which they were written.
The handwritten journal uses a format in which the first line of every paragraph is indented and no line is skipped between paragraphs. As I cannot use indents here (or don't know how), I will skip a line between paragraphs, and use two a line of ........ when I skipped a line in the written journal.
Some entries are illustrated. I will do my best to either describe the illustrations or to include some equivalent image.

Heheheh, sorry 'bout italicising the entire site last time.....

Comments

lonewolf678's picture

Interesting,

I love how you documented so much! Usually I don't document anything, which is ultimately just bad note taking.