A Number One (I know that doesn't make sense but that's how I talk): Chicago is lovely. The sun is out but it's cool and of course breezy. The grass is green and flowers are blooming and my sister's ghetto neighborhood is as beautiful as it is dangerous. I feel so at home here. I'm living with Amy and Zachary which means there are always goodies baking in the oven (currently a yellow squash and chives quiche) and laughter is always just around the corner. I love the sun and the warmth of Texas, but the heat can become oppressive to one's spirit and it's nice to feel known here in Chicago.
B Number Two: Dumbledore dies? WTF? What in the world? After a lovely Labor Day dinner yesterday, me, Amy, Zachy and Zachy's friend Justin went to see the latest Harry Potter since none of us (except Zach) had seen it yet. I didn't cry like I usually do in HP movies (but I did shriek out loud when that hand came out of the water and grabbed Harry). I think I was in shock. There was no time for tears when you were lead to trust Dumbledore. He kept saying to Harry, "trust me, do what I say, trust me." And I trusted him... and then he DIED. I'm still in shock.
C Number Three: Zachary. He needs some explanation. Zachary, well actually all his siblings, and the Pittman girls all went to school together from Noyes Elementary to Bode Middle to Central High and were also raised in the same church. So we've know Zachary our whole lives. And while the story is longer than what I will tell, now he and Amy are roommates in Chicago where both he and she are doctors and residents. Zachary is an odd bird. He makes me look normal. I don't actually even talk much when I'm around he and Amy because he's always talking and Amy's always laughing so there's no need for me to entertain anyone. Zachary is beautiful, head to toe and is young (28) and smart and stupid all at once (those damn cigarettes!), and adds the letters -e-r- to words so that the second day I was here I exasperatedly commented, "Zachary, I can't understand half the words that come out of your mouth."
"That's because he adds er to words," my sister explained.
I turned to him, "You what?"
"I add er."
So plate becomes plert.
Walked becomes Werked
Sterffed Perppers is Stuffed Peppers
You get the picture.
In addition to the er, Zachary has also created a new word utilizing the er compound: Glerb. Glerb is the word Zachary uses as a term of affection for his boyfriend. Whereas the rest of the world uses, "honey" or "lovebug" or "sugarbumpkin," Zachary uses the word, "glerb."
"Hey Glerb, what are you doing?"
Today Zachary is making his glerb a care package. We watched Love Actually yesterday morning (when the rest of my world was in church) and of course there's nothing better than Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Alan Richman, Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightly and Colin Firth all mixed in with a batch of neurotic romances. So Zachary got all mushy and was on the phone today finding out which candy shops were open on Labor Day and Amy was making recommendations on the proper wrapping for the package. All over a lunch of squash and chives quiche.
Oh My God.
"Did I tell you about the last time Zachary and I went to Kiehl's?" Amy said.
Kiehl's is a hair product store in Lincoln Park where they thought they might pick up a couple of good hair product samples for Damien's care package.
"We noticed a smell and when we opened the hood of my car we discovered a dead squirrel wrapped around my engine! Of course we screamed and slammed down the hood."
"You know, that's how Zorby (my cat properly nick-named Satan's Little Helper) lost lots of clumps of fur the first time I had to give her a Lion's Cut. She'd been sleeping inside Clarence's car and when he started it, he scrambled out. My vet says that sleeping under or in cars is how many cats die. He said I was very Lucky Zorba wasn't killed."
"Yeah, we're all so grateful," my sister said under her breath.
"Zorba's the nice one?" Zachary asked.
"No, Zorba's the vampire," my sister corrected.
"Oh yeah, Radley's the nice one," Zachary determined.
And I just stared at him.
"No, Radley died," Amy said and started giggling nervously as she studied my face. "Potter's the nice one." (Yes, my cat is named after Harry Potter and did I tell you Dumbledore dies?!)
"Did Radley die naturally?" Zachary asked.
"No. He was hit by a car." A little girl across the street called out to me one morning (Thanksgiving day in fact), "Hey, your cat's over here." I relayed the rest of the story and concluded with, "A couple of weeks later I got a little note from the little girl that said, 'Hope you're not sad anymore.' and had a picture of a cat she'd drawn on it."
"Several people sent me notes after Lily (Amy's first dog) was hit by a car. Including the man who was driving the car."
"You know, Damien sent my mom flowers after Maddy (Zachary's mom's dog) died and on the card he wrote, 'All dogs go to heaven.' I knew then I had a good glerb."
A good glerb.
I think I would broaden glerb to mean anyone we love and who offers us love. Zachary is Amy's glerb and so am I. "You're a good sister, she once wrote me." I'm a glerb. The little girl who found my cat was a glerb. A glerb who thought of me two weeks later and drew me a picture "to help me feel better." A glerb is someone who makes life a little easier, a little brighter, a little more lovely.
"Everybody needs a glerb." I said to Zachary.
"Glerb's are impertant," he replied.