Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The week so far

1. Monday morning, on my way to work, I almost miss my metro stop. Because I was reading. While this could be construed as a good thing (lost in a book — The Keep, by Jennifer Egan, by the way), mostly I'm disturbed that something's awry with my inner sense of timing, that feeling, when you just know it's time to look up. Lucky for me all our stops were unusually long ones, but it meant having to scramble and, worse, feeling stupid.

2. Helena decides to affix her train (construction-paper "cars" variously coloured and pasted together) to the "Christmas tree" (a large yucca-type floor plant I'd temporarily moved from its usual location for a thorough watering and wiping down) — with glue.

3. I leave the room for a moment while Helena is brushing her teeth (Monday bedtime preparations). Her sobs bring me back fast. She has cut her nose and upper lip with the disposable razor that was lying on the counter, her face dusted with tiny bits of hair. The middle portion of her left eyebrow is missing. (This evening, she faces the mirror and delivers a grand speech on the evils of said razor, while wielding it before her imaginary audience. "Friends! Never touch the razor, for it is dangerous.")

4. I come up from the metro on my way home. It's not really a station; it's a secondary exit/entrance, never manned, fully automated (and closer to home). The "station" is barely larger than our master bathroom. The doors slide open, I turn left as is my habit. But there is something wrong with the picture. On the floor to my right is a television set; I want to say it's old — it's clunky enough to be of the previous decade. It is plugged into the wall under the phone. It is on, and broadcasting something between snow and modern blue screen. It doesn't seem to belong to anybody. In fact, nobody else seems to register its presence. A girl casually steps around it to use the phone.

5. It's only Tuesday.


Suzanne said...

Oh, poor Helena! (And poor you -- it must have been quite a shock to find her in that condition.)

How do you like The Keep? It's on my request list at the library. I liked her first book (can't remember the title now!), and thought the second (Look at Me) was okay; this recent one sounds intriguing.

Gaelicgrl said...

Yikes...Hang in there. I am.

Isabella said...

Ya, poor Helena — I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. She looks ridiculous. But she's learned a lesson. The reason it shocked me is that she's always been a good kid — I never had to worry about baby/toddler-proofing. Who knows what the future holds...

I'm really enjoying The Keep so far. It hints at being deep without really being demandingly deep. Sometimes I find that annoying in a book, but this time it's working for me. Sort of a literary beach read. I'm about halfway, and will say more when I'm done.

Davey Wavey said...

You have a hilarious daughter. So she cut her lip, nose and eyebrow? Doesn't that mean she probably cut herself once and then tried again? Anyway, interesting story.
I would've sat down and watched some TV. I like getting looks.

Melanie said...

Poor Helena! At least she is already turning her experiences into literary fodder.

Sounds like you are living in an alternate reality this week. So many strange things! At least you're liking your book - I read The Keep and quite liked it, as well as your description of it: It hints at being deep without really being demandingly deep. Perfect summation!

Pearl said...

wow, Helena sure is getting busy. The lecture is sweet.