I don't know why I find the following anecdote so mortifying, but I do...
I'm sitting at Starbucks right now, working, and a bunch of teenagers just walked in and one of them yelled out "Mr. Patterson!" I looked up and didn't really recognize anyone and no one was looking at me, so I thought maybe I was hearing things. But then as soon as I re-focused my attention on my laptop, this kid yelled out again: "Mr. Patterson!" I looked up and these girls giggled and I was like, "hi," and then one of the girls was like, "who IS he?" And then the other girl was like, "he was our SUBSTITUTE, remember?" And now I feel weird because I remember being in high school and seeing teachers out in the real world and being freaked out by them because high school teachers aren't supposed to exist in the real world, you know? And I totally didn't shower today and I'm wearing my "laundry day" t-shirt and I totally feel like they're making fun of me. How is it that high school students can have the power to immediately make you feel like you're a dork in high school, even though it's been, like, over a decade since I was a dork in high school?
THE UMA UPDATE:
Uma's doing better and better every day. She still has the tracheostomy, so she can't talk yet--and John says that he can tell that's frustrating her. The reason they haven't taken the trach out yet is that they need to do some "speech and swallow" therapy with her first. Basically, she can swallow, but it's not something she's done much of this past month so it's not as natural as it should be, and they are going to work with her on that. If they took the trach out now before the swallowing is completely natural, she would run the risk of getting infections. So for now, the trach stays. But hopefully it will be out soon.
Some exciting progress: She's been sitting in a reclining chair! I don't know if I've already mentioned that on the blog or not--she's been using the reclining chair for a few days now--but I still think it's pretty damned cool, and it still kinda astounds me because the last time I saw her she was stuck in that damned bed. That stupid bed. That annoying-as-hell freaking bed. The thought of her being able to sit up in a chair, it's just so cool.
And I was talking to Michal, who's in New York right now and spent some time with Uma, and while Michal was there the occupational therapist helped Uma stand up and then Uma stood on her own for about five seconds. And I realize that five seconds doesn't sound like that long of a time, but after lying in a bed for 37-odd days, her muscles are way out of practice--and last time I saw her, she was only moving her right leg in extremely minute ways, so the fact that she can stand up at all right now is completely awesome.
I definitely have two new heros. All of the strength that Uma is showing--all of the strength that I know she will continue to show--she makes me feel like I can do anything. I mean, I know that she can do anything, and that makes me feel like maybe I could do anything too. And John's my hero too. He's been through a major roller-coaster of emotion these past 39 days (so many days!) (it's, like, an eternity) and every day I feel like he's such a pure example of what love should be.
Here's a photo of John and Uma I just found, I think this was about a year-and-a-half ago. Maybe longer, I can't remember. But I know it was taken at an Ethiopian restaurant on Fairfax, and I know that I took the photo, and I know that Erica was with us.
IN OTHER NEWS:
My writing partner, Jessica, and I just got a writing gig we interviewed for several months ago, and we're excited. We both have year-round passes to Disneyland, so sometimes we'll go to Disneyland and write there. Sooooo dorky, I know. We'll get a bowl of chili and sit and break story for a couple of hours, and then we'll take a break and go on a ride, and then we'll find another place to sit and work for another hour or two, and then take a ride break, etc. It's how we roll. Anyway, we happened to be at Disneyland yesterday when we got the call about the job, and about ten minutes later we were riding the Matterhorn. Check us out:
Like I said, we are dorks. Take that, teenagers!