My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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What fresh delight is this? It’s 4.50 p.m. and I’m lying in bed, immobile and in pain, watching dusk fall on this dark, drizzly day. My back is in spasm. Maybe I overdid something in Carol’s class on Wednesday, it’s been tender ever since. I also caught Sam’s cold, sniffles and coughs – but was still getting around. Yesterday Wayson took me to No Frills for a huge grocery shop of the heavy or bulky things it’s hard to bring home on my bike – $165 worth of potatoes, canned tomatoes, toilet paper and detergent. What a good friend. No problem bringing them in.

Today I went across town to see my baby, who also has a cold. Was it lifting his great hefty person? He is such a big delicious boy. His mother showed me one of her favourite programs – Rastamouse, the adventures of a cool Jamaican mouse and his friends. Made me laugh out loud.

Well, for whatever reason, I was in such pain on the streetcar home that I could hardly move. I nearly got off to get a cab to the nearest Shopper’s, but managed to get home, to find that the only painkilling drug here was a bottle of expired Tylenol. I took 3; they did not help. I lay in bed writhing. What made it worse was when I coughed – sharp jabs of pain.

What to do? Daughter on the other side of town, son working all day, friendly tenant at an art class. I called John, my dear friend and handyman; his wife Sylvie is a massage therapist and knew what was needed. Fifteen minutes later, John let himself in bringing two little bags, one a muscle relaxant specifically for back pain, and another ibuprufen. I took a pill, made a cup of honey and lemon, cut myself some large wedges of cheese and dark chocolate, packed computer and books, and went back to bed.

Where I am now feeling more human. My God, back pain makes you feel like a wizened hundred year old. I was hobbling like – well, I was about to say a little old lady, but the little old ladies I know are amazingly speedy. And my mother, though undoubtedly old, is not little. Incidentally, my brother called me from her hospital room today, and I spoke with her. How great to hear her voice. She sounds good, considering, and all there.

My friend and bloggee Lani emailed today that in the Seventies, her friend Martha, an actress, lived in the same building in Montreal as Leonard Cohen. They’d only greeted each other in the hall when one day, she came home to find a poem slipped under her door – a poem from Leonard, to her. This one didn’t work; she didn’t take the relationship further. But I can tell you that if I’d found a poem to me slipped under my door by a smouldering Jewish Don Juan, I would have let him bring my groceries in.

Too late now. He’s a 78 year old rock star, and I’m a 100 year old hobbling grandmother.

I know what’s missing, drugs or no drugs – a glass of wine. And if ever there’s a time for stupid TV, it’s now.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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