Saturday, February 10, 2007


Winter exhibits an austere grace outside my bus as I roll south to NYC. My stomach remains in a near constant tightness in anticipation of seeing one of my best friends punctured by tubes, head half shaved, eyes partly opened, and in another dimension of sensibility that not one person on this planet really understands. Where is Uma’s soul right now? Does it hover within her, tallying the gentle and earnest words spoken to her by loved ones? Is it somewhere in the ether, chilling with other kindred spirits and taking a break from the difficulties of this life? I am nervous about the shock of seeing my Umita-bonita in such a fragile and vulnerable state. I’m pretty sure that I have effectively been in a state of denial about the worst-case-scenarios and just held fast to the belief that she will be ok. I guess that’s what scares me the most, that seeing her in the ICU will be reality slapping me in the face and I’m not going to be able to take it.

But I’m also really excited. For some reason, I feel really sure that my presence will somehow help. I’m not sure how, but I just believe that she’ll hear me or feel me or just know somehow how much I love her, how much I want her to come back. I’m desperate to talk to her, to make dumb jokes (know any dirty ones? -she’d appreciate those best), and kiss her cheek.

If you will indulge me, I would like to put a short anecdote about Uma in each of my blogs until she wakes up. Here’s numero uno.

When I got to my dorm room freshman year of college, Uma (my roommate) had already arrived. The brave girl from Taiwan had already pasted a collage of pictures on one of our walls comprised of various American superstars she’d ripped out of gossip and fashion magazines. The decoration was in the shape of a circle above the bed she had chosen. I think back on that fact and derive so much about Uma’s character from this small act. She was moving somewhere completely foreign (again) and needed to nest, to feel at home, to surround herself with what she liked and was comfortable with. Later on we’d laugh about her obsession with American cultural icons, but to me, her immediate creative act was a reflection of the artistry, spontaneity, and resourcefulness of my rommie.


Anna said...

hi E,
please impart my love during your visit with Ums. I cancelled my flight this weekend, and actually have the stomach flu (so mundane, I know, yet a handicap in its own little way) Give Marie a big hug for me and do your thing (spreading love and warmth). Miss you girls.
Much love.

Carisa said...


Although I never formally met Uma, her image is present among my college memories. I am deeply sorry to hear about her condition and I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.