soak up like a sponge about to be wrung out again

The weather may be dipping into fall but it’s still plenty warm out, the sun is still hot on my skin and the heat catches and holds in my pigtails as my sponsor and I step out of the grocery store – carrying small packets from the deli and in my case, a quaint salad roll of basil, avocado, and cucumber – and travel to her car. She’s a far-parker, like my late father. It feels delicious outside.

The salad rolls are the the last solid meal I’ll have for a while; I’m about to fast for a colonoscopy. It’s been four years since my last, but it should have been only three. After the long fast, I get to drink large quantities of energy drink laced with laxatives.

My sponsor commiserates with my upcoming ordeal. She remembers her last prep for the procedure. “My anus,” she says, her left hand lifted and pinched, her voice with that slight honking-goose lilt I’ve come to love so deeply, “was so tender.” She asks me how I’m feeling about it; she knows I fear anesthesia. “I’m choosing not to think about it. I’ll think about it when it’s happening,” I respond. Buddhism, you know. The present moment. And at this moment? I get to feel the sun warming my neck and face. I get iced coffee and in a minute, salad rolls – wafer-thin sliced avocado arranged under a translucent rice wrap.

My sponsor’s car is cluttered – sports equipment, knitting projects in totes, gum and snacks and bottles of water and little packets of nuts, inspirational books and scribbles on folded-up envelopes. I don’t snoop people’s cars like I used to. I used to get in and look about, lift up post-it notes and read the scribbles – even open glove boxes. You learn so much about someone from their car. So I notice the clutter in only a glancing way; I don’t do any exploratoration. I shift my bum a bit on a towel that is, inexplicably but quite sturdily, folded on the passenger seat.

We travel up Broadway to the church, to our meeting. We’ve only been at this location for a few years; but already the church feels like a home, a place I can be Me and get restored, a little at a time.

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