the lower east side has been going Full Gandalf for the past month and a half; i don't know what the big-ass fireworks are called, they were illegal in california when i was a kid and i never worked up the nerve to buy the bunker busters when opportunities presented themselves over the past few years. i love fireworks and my personal sleep is so permanently fractured that i can't wish the pyros ill on my own behalf, but i feel for small animals, small humans, and their new parents, oh god. victoria, i love you.

i reached out to the social worker who introduced me to the families i've been shopping for a week ago and told her i needed to phase myself out; my work load was increasing, i said, and if new york was maybe opening up a bit i needed to let them go. i didn't want them to panic—i told them i could shop for another month while they figured things out—but oh, i have needed to move on from this cycle. i was starting to understand that my families had other help: G would talk about things her daughter had seen at our local grocery store, and i realized that neither G nor F asked me for paper goods, and that F never asked me for meat, though it seemed clear that she and her husband weren't vegetarians. i feel strongly—have i said this before?— that radical generosity is important; i can't and shouldn't know what my families do with what i've been bringing them, or why they need it. i was also falling apart, and those hints that the time and risk i offered weren't as crucial as i thought they were had been making me feel like shit.

i shopped for F and her husband for the last time this past thursday, and her list was smaller than usual. i rang her doorbell when i dropped off her groceries because i wanted to say goodbye, but she didn't answer; i set her bags down next to a couple of boxes of shelf-stable food from the city of new york(?) and went home. she texted me later to offer thanks and say that she's going out for doctors' appointments next week.

G absolutely did ask me for meat, all the time: she's so, so russian, and i bought her herring, chicken, and salmon for months. she gave me her credit card and her CVS keytag ages ago, so i put them both in a card for her when i made my final visit this week. when i rang her doorbell her cat squirted out the door, and i offered to grab her. "oh, no, she won't let you pick her up," G said. "she is waiting for a treat." G's cat's name is lola, and lola absolutely doesn't come back into her apartment without a treat. G and i stood in the hallway as lola was bribed to go home; she sauntered down the hall, just as steve does, and she polished G's ankles.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Everyone is Janus.