January 2, 2017
The oldest person with whom I have ever had a personal relationship would be 124 years old if he were alive today. His name was Elmer A. Ramazetter. He lived across the street from the nursing home where my mother my mother was an administrator – a place where his wife died and where he continued to volunteer after her death, although he was older than most of the patients. When I was a freshman in college, Elmer watched "Body Heat" at my parents’ house with me and a few of my girlfriends from college: he didn't bat an eye while we watched agape. On occasions, he and my mother would drive the 80 miles to Wells College so Elmer could have a couple of beers with me and the girls. Midway through my junior year Elmer was diagnosed with colon cancer and given only a few weeks to live (he was 92). At their urging, Elmer moved into my parents' house. My mother had a different job by then – one which required her to travel five days a week. While she was gone, Elmer, my father, and Linus, our toy poodle, lived on a diet of gin, beer, beef, pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. They were happy. Elmer said he wanted to live long enough to see me graduate from college, and he did. He died 10 days after I matriculated, having lived 18 months post-cancer diagnosis. The will to live is an incredible thing. Elmer was terrific, and he was the best friend my mother ever had.
Speaking of college, I had "the college dream" last night. I fell asleep in the dinette watching some unremarkable movie. I woke after midnight, did the dishes, walked the dogs, took a shower, did my ablutions, and went to bed. By then it was one and I was wide awake, so I read news articles for two hours. From three to six-something I tossed and turned, throwing the bedding off and pulling it back on, moving from fetal-to-“L”-to-starfish positions trying to sleep for more than what felt like 20 seconds at a time. Clearly, I accomplished that because I had the fucking college dream – 30 years after I graduated from college! (The theme is always the same: it’s my last semester, I have four classes, but for some inexplicable reason I am not attending one or more of them, the consequence of which would prevent me from graduating.) In last night's fucking nightmare, I hadn't attended three of the four classes, and I didn't even know when they were held. I had registered for them, started attending them, and then had some sort of collegiate Alzheimer's which made me forget everything about them until the last fucking week. I hadn't read the material, taken the quizzes and tests, hadn't written the papers: I hadn't done ANYTHING! So, this was a SUPER anxiety dream which must have everything to do with finding a new job. The anxiety is probably the fear that my postcard mailing campaign won't produce any results (three postcards equals three classes, but three doesn’t get the “job” done – four does). And, if I don’t get a job, I won't have matriculated to the next phase of my career. I can't look for work every hour of the day because I have to sleep, and not having a job is interfering with my sleep which is interfering with my job search. Oh, good: I should be psychotic in 72 hours.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.