Sister, Sister

It seems to be staring at me, although I don’t see a face. I only see its black rectangular body and a few mechanical buttons that I suppose could be eyes – they are my life source. It’s buzzing at me, but I ignore its demand for attention.

There was a time I didn’t need you.

It doesn’t hear me. It doesn’t seem to respond, but it moves across my desk, as if inching closer to my exhausted body.

You are gray and ugly, and I don’t want you … but I need you.

I have a weird relationship with my insulin pump. If we were on Facebook, it would read, “It’s complicated with Gizmo.” Yes, I’ve named it Gizmo. I figure if it’s going to share my bed, it should have a name.

In approaching the holidays, I realize even though Gizmo has only been with me for two years, diabetes has been in my life for almost five. That’s not a lot considering most people with Type 1 were diagnosed when they were seven. What was I doing when I was seven? Oh yeah, playing beneath the Maple trees of Kentucky and going to church with my family every Sunday.

When I was in college and realized the brain doesn’t fully develop until we’re 20 or 25, I considered this might be why childhood seemed like the happiest years of my short life. I hadn’t met reason yet. I didn’t think about the horrible atrocities happening in the world or feel stressed about how quickly my next paycheck would disappear.

No, I lived in the present – my only concern was what fun things I could do with my day. My brother, two years younger than me, and I used to make lists during the summertime and then vote on the items on that list, planning out our free time and deducing what activities we would engage in that day.

We built Lego cities in the basement, played “house” in the church parking lot across the street, and pretended to be sisters. One time my father came home and found my brother dressed in a witch costume, answering to the name of “Susan.” I don’t know why he liked that name so much, but when we played “Sister, Sister,” I always let him choose his female name. To be fair, we also played “Brother, Brother,” but after my dad found my brother wearing a dress, we never played sisters again. Continue reading