Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I have an awful habit of worrying about things that I can't control. Last night, I decided to worry about my little brother. I decided this at about midnight and dedicated 3 hours of my sleeping time to fretting. Something was gnawing at me. My sibling intuition told me that something terrible was going on with Danny at that very moment. I wish I could flip a switch and turn all this worry off. But I couldn't so I tossed and turned and watched reality TV and finally dozed off a few hours before the sun came up.

Clark has an awful habit of waking up early. Like really early. And when he wakes up, he stays in bed for a minute and checks his email. At 6 o'clock this morning, Clark lay in bed with his phone and GASPED. Clark never gasps. Clark is not phased by much. This morning, Clark GASPED and uttered, "Oh. My. Goodness."

This is it, I thought. The bad news I've been expecting for the last 4 years. I was half asleep and not thinking too clearly, but I knew that the other shoe had finally dropped. A police report, a coroner's report perhaps. And then I woke up a bit more. Duh, coroners don't send emails. They call you. Police probably do they same. It's from my dad. The fear set in. My dad is emailing us to tell us that Danny is gone. An overdose maybe. I felt like I was going to vomit. But surely my dad would call with this type of news and not email us? I wasn't quite awake yet.

"What is it, Clark?" I didn't really want to know, but I guess I had find out sooner or later.

"Our electric bill for last month. Have you seen it?"

Actually, I had. I was up late searching the internet for information about homeless shelters in the city where Danny was last seen, foolishly hoping that maybe they had some sort of online photo directory of their guests. I was desperate. Our monthly receipt of payment from the Tucson Electric Company showed up in my inbox shortly after midnight. Last month was a hot, hot month here in Arizona. No wonder Clark gasped.

So that was it. My fear dissipated and the sleep rushed back into me. Clark went on about how we need to make some changes around our house and I yelled at him for daring to talk to me so early in the morning, especially after he knew I had been up late. And then I yelled at him in my head for GASPING so much. I'm grumpy in the mornings. I'm grumpy in the mornings even after I get the good news (no news, right?) that my brother is maybe, possibly, perhaps just fine.

My sleep is very important to me. And for that reason, and maybe a few others, I'm thinking about attending an Al-Anon meeting. Maybe even making a habit of it. I'm going to suggest that Clark attend a GASPERS Anonymous Meeting as well. You know, just a suggestion. Because as long as Danny is MIA, there will be no gratuitous gasping around here.


Emily said...

I love how you can take a potentially serious situation and turn it into a funny story. If it makes you feel any better, our power bill just about sent us into a full fledge panic attack. Crazy!

We will keep Danny in our prayers. I hope he's somewhere safe and healthy. You are an amazing sister Margie! love ya.

grauntbetsy said...

No news is good news. He's in our prayers too.

Dan and Jan said...

Margaret, you make me laugh. I hope Danny is all right. I did some gasping last month at our power bill too.