It was about 2:45 a.m. That in-between, nether-hour of insomniac hell. It is, as a matter of fact, the beginning of the third part of the day for insomniacs – you know – day, night and in-between. I had been off to a great start – sleeping heavily – until those little ladies made their appearance. Kenne, as you will recall, is the Queen of manners. Zenne, as you will recall, is the little nervous Nellie, who usually quakes like a bowl of quince jelly (she tells me not to use the grape jelly image – too American). Here is what I woke up to:
“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,” Zenne is crying, “should we wake m’lady and tell her?”
From his sleeping spot on the windowsill by my bed, Hacivad Bey in an unusual show of gruffness, says “no, go back to sleep.”
Kenne, on the other hand, is wide awake and up to all sorts of antics – running around the windowsill, throwing herself about in various forms of prostration. I can’t for the life of me figure out what is going on. Don’t these little lady puppets realize that my tenure hearing is in the morning?
“She needs to do it like this,” Kenne proclaimed, making a wide, sweeping bow, her pinky finger sticking out just so. “She needs to treat this “tenure committee” as if they were the Sultan himself, and then beg for their kindness, isn’t that what we had to do in order to become – and remain part of the court?”
Zenne replies as I stir in my half-awake state “Well, yes, madame, it is, but should we wake her? I mean, she is all prepared and has a plan for how to handle the situation tomorrow, I don’t think she needs to do the bow – this is 2012 after all – maybe manners have changed some?”
“Foolish girl!” Kenne thrusts her words out with frustrated anger, her face turning red, “manners – the CORRECT manners are always important no matter what – this is timeless.”
After about a half hour of semi-awake observation of this unending debate, I got up, walked around the house, considered finally taking the Christmas tree down, decided against it, warmed up some milk with cardamom and as the light turned pre-blue, got back in bed and waited for the alarm. The little puppets – and I – have now exhausted ourselves, and will just have to focus on instinct and preparation – and do the best we can! After all of the nice notes and phone calls yesterday, we feel (OK, Kenne does not) buoyed up and ready to rock. And I promise to watch my manners, Kenne. Hacivad Bey and Yehuda Rebbe nod their heads in agreement, saying their last prayers over me in a lovely merging of spiritual and religious traditions. M. and the dog head out the door after a big hug and good luck wishes. Now it’s time for me to make the trek.
Will report back from the other side.