Where to begin? With the fact that my grandmother lives in a retirement community called LeisureWorld, with all the hokey 50s kitsch you’d expect from a place with a name like that? Or that the main road as you pull in and make your way past the traffic-directing security guards is called Golden Rain Blvd. Seriously, Golden Rain? I can’t help but think of my similarly ill-named rose bush back at home, variety “Golden Showers.” Hey, I'm not the one who originally bought it and planted it, okay?
Because my grandmother has no internet connectivity, not even any anywhere that I can steal (or rather, “borrow”), the morning after my harrowing arrival at LeisureWorld I head off to familiar stomping grounds, aka Starbucks. Where within seconds I know the names of the people who work there – hi Cam and Ryan! – and have chatted with Cam about triathlons and gotten to be buddies with Sam, who is in there even though it’s her day off. (Have fun in Alaska, Sam!) California people seem
insanely friendly to me. Oh sure, I’m my usual chipper self, smiling and chatty (I try to reserve the bitterness and cynicism and rage for those who deserve it), but usually in Chicago that only gets me scowls in return – except at my own Starbucks, of course. Here, I’m ready to invite all these folks over for some bundt cake.
But just then I receive an email which has me gasping in dismay and forgetting everything else – it’s Jennifer telling me that Kona is on a hunger strike! Yes, apparently he’s channeling his inner Gandhi, to make some deep statement about how much he misses his mom, and how it’s just not right that my life doesn’t revolve around him ALL the time.
I of course leap into action immediately after reading this troubling missive, frantically looking for a number for Starbucks so that I can try to have an emergency shipment of petite scones delivered to The Kone, who is surely wasting away after missing one meal, the poor boy – I don’t know how he’s managing to soldier on through this kind of horrible situation, and…….oh, wait. There’s more to the email.
Jennifer, cont.: “Apparently he decided that hunger strikes are noble and all, but really, a boy has to eat. He will be leaving the statement hunger strikes to those more suited to such endeavors. Dinner last night was consumed with great enthusiasm. Dogs that play like this have to eat you know!”
Aha! So now he’s couching his grief in the form of “happy playtime antics” – poor baby. I weep for his suffering……..