And you know what?
He ought to get every penny. It's totally worth it. He's prettied it up with refinished floors and fresh paint and a deck, but more than that, he's rewired the whole darned 3200 square feet and put in new windows and insulation. I heard all this from guys that I'd hired to do the same work on Casa Del Animules.
The kitchen looks great. The second-floor bathroom is a vintage dream. The room I called my study, where I first started to get online, is gorgeous.
Clint, dude, you do good work. Despite all our differences, that is one thing I will never, ever dispute: you do very good work.
So that's the end of a chapter. The house I knew is bordering on unrecognizable: for one thing, the kitchen is both more attractive and more usable than it ever was when I lived there either time. For another, did I mention that he added this huge, gorgeous deck where once was a totally worthless and dangerous set of concrete steps? Seriously, this is a great house.
Another thing ended today: I got a pretty good preliminary report from Dr. Crane. Although the finals from the PET won't be back until tomorrow at the earliest, and yes, I plan to risk a written reprimand to sneak into the computer system and find out what they are, the basic report looks good.
I seem to have a cure.
I am now a person who had cancer. Subject, of course, to any revelations contained in the report from the radiologist.
I seem to have a cure.
The theme of the Life Of Jo seems to be this: the things that suck the most are the things that leave me with the most lasting, most valuable lessons.
I hated my first husband for a long time. It wasn't until I started admitting things, like that he taught me how to be an autodidact, and taught me how to wrestle out the important points of an argument, and how to call bullshit, that I realized how valuable he was to me. Most of what I am, intellectually, I owe to Clint. We may have been a crappy match other than brain-wise, but he had a brain the equal of which I have not yet met, even in years of working with neuroscientists.
I hate that I had cancer. I'm still in the process of hating it; hating that I have two plastic palates soaking in water on the kitchen counter, hating that bedtime stories and casual conversation are both limited by whether or not I have my mouth in. Still, it's getting easier: I'm getting more intelligible without the Device in, and I can make jokes about it, like that I sound like an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon without it.
I can't remember now what I sounded like without a palate in. Sometimes it comes back to me, mostly in dreams, but even my dreams now are like my real life: I sound funny without help.
Sometimes I dream about the old house. In one dream, all the furniture was suspended above the floor, and the walls were being replaced with cedar shakes. In another, the entire back yard had been plowed up and planted with soybeans. Mostly, though, they're peaceful: I walk through the house, touching things I remember that have been long sold or destroyed.
I can't remember now what I was like before I met Clint. Five years ago that would've been cause for frustration and anger. Now I'm just thankful that he taught me things that have lasted beyond all the shit we put each other through. Maybe, if I'm lucky, having had (can I say that yet?) cancer will be the same way.