Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Zeitgeist Bob

I'm not sure yesterday's post even made a lot of sense: a late night coming together of different strands of the day.  Today, we were back to 1967 or so--the kiddie water slide and mojitos.

Robert is doing better on this different formulation of Sinemet.  The tone in his face is slowly returning to something much more like you or I; that is, he has somewhat more control of more muscles, or more muscles are engaged, or something like that.  His smile looks crisper.  His eyes, while always expressive, have a different depth of feeling because small muscles around them are enabled: they can narrow a little bit, or widen.  The face and its details are truly extraordinary.  I am always brushing over his face with my eyes, searching for clues to what Robert thinks and feels, looking for what is different today, what new margins are opened today.

A part of me remains deeply convinced that I can enact some kind of positive change in his life, or that circumstances will shift and something unforeseen will raise itself some month or year from now, something we don't recognize now, and life will be different.  Is there a temptation to regard disabilities or disability itself as stasis?  I don't see it that way at all anymore: a way of reconciling yourself to such things is to imagine them as stasis, the immovable object around which your life turns, that for which you must make excuses, that which forgoes change and to which you are entitled to be reconciled on a permanent basis.  

Disability as Bob.  My daughter has a routine she calls, 'hi, I'm bob,' in which she morphs into a character who is always the same, the same inflection to the voice, and who says the same phrase over and over again.  She made it up with one of her friends.  They have a cartoon image that they draw of Bob that is always the same, but with superficial variation--bob's twin, super bob, happy bob, etc.  Bob comes in herds.  It occurs to me that a nickname for Robert is Bob, although we don't use that nickname.  I wonder if there is any connection, or if she's just picked up on a random cultural theme in which Bob is a commonplace for something ordinary.

On another note, my husband forwarded to me a Yahoo News story entitled, "Obama Strategy: Equal Pay, Not Abortion."  Are we approaching the zeitgeist?  Abortion doesn't really solve the equal pay dilemma, except by implicitly suggesting to women that if they want equal pay, they shouldn't have kids.  The article is kind of interesting if only because this new strategy on his part knocks some of the traditional feminist groups off their game--their reactions are interesting.

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