Last night just before eight, my son began to seize. While his body convulsed, his lungs were cut off from oxygen for a minute or more. His lips, fingers and toes turned blue. Watching him, I thought of the dusky, lifeless face and hands of the schoolboy who was shelled by Pootie's Russian troops over the weekend. He died in the street beside his mother and sister while they were trying to escape. Others died too. Here at home, after his spell, my boy simply drifted off to sleep, safe and sound.
Of late, my thoughts are almost exclusively with Ukrainians. When I walk alone on the back roads, the skies are free of enemy aircraft. I'm keenly aware of not being shot at or shelled. I wonder if this Maine landscape looks at all like Kyiv or Mariupol. Wonder if those places, too, are beginning to thaw. Halfway through my misty morning walk, at about the two-mile mark, I feel a dryness in my mouth. I think about living in a city under siege, surrounded by an enemy intent on strangling any and all sustenance. When I catch droplets of mist on my tongue, I know my thirst can't be quenched, and I wonder for how long a body can go without water. Not long.
My thoughts turn to my boy who is only five-feet one and ninety-two pounds; still, he's a giant compared with the puny little unloved men who manage to stay in power only by strong-arming, issuing threats, telling lies and spreading propaganda. You know who they are. They use the term "fake news" with reckless abandon. They brazenly lie to their constituents. Enrich themselves. Rewrite and whitewash history. Engage in ethnic cleansing. Squash the tenets of truth and justice. Commit genocide. I don't believe in the place, but if it exists, I hope they go to hell, and soon.
My nonverbal, incontinent, uncoordinated, epileptic, autistic son is so much better than them. He not only loves unconditionally, he very literally envelopes people with his affection and is afraid of no one. Most of all, he doesn't discriminate. And though his antics and afflictions often mess with my well-being, he's not like the effing fascist autocrats bent on ruining the world with their vile, narcissistic doings.
Meanwhile, I weep while reading the good news. News about American veterans heading to Ukraine to help in the fight against Pootie's fascist tyranny. News about Ukrainian troops getting married under gray skies like these, surrounded by friends and rocket-propelled grenades and antitank missiles at the ready. News about the secretive vigilante cyber group known as Anonymous which is hacking into Russian streaming services and State television to broadcast footage of the bloody and destructive war their president is waging. About the flood of Airbnb bookings in Ukraine by people abroad not intending to check in but hoping to help ease the suffering of the besieged.
After calvin's seizure, as usual, I woke up several times. It was quiet. I pulled his cover up over his shoulders, gave him extra cannabis oil to thwart any further spells, gave him a few sips from his bottle, then went to get a drink of water. Outside the bathroom window I saw Orion in the southwestern sky with his belt and club, shield and sword. As always, I imagined him not as hunter but as protector of underdogs. And I thought again of Ukrainians—each one of them underdogs besieged in their own way, cut off from family, democracy, freedoms, food and water, husbands, sons, fathers, brothers ... breathing—hoping they can withstand the constant pummeling somehow, just like my own little Calvin.