Vn59.1 Air Conditioning 8/6-11/77
8/6 Logo came into our conversations twice this day at lunch. When
asked if she knew what a palindrome was (cf. Logo Session 39, 7/15/77),
Miriam offered two examples: ‘mom’ and ‘I’ (I checked that she did not
mean the word ‘eye.’) Miriam later said she would like to sleep at
Logo. I recall having told her that I once slept at Logo (when last
winter the city suffered 22″ of snow and I lived atop Corey Hill).
Miriam’s request was justified by her hope to sleep better there than
at home. She explained that she had slept well in Connecticut and had
slept very ill since returning to Massachusetts. During the heat wave
of mid-July, we had run the air-conditioner regularly. Miriam believed
she would sleep better in the air-conditioned computer room.
8/7 Miriam woke me at 4 am (a fairly regular occurrence) with her
coughing. Despite having had her standard dosage of medicine she was
wheezing. Because I believe it is important she not conclude that her
malady is hopeless, beyond remedy, I asked if she would like to go to
Logo. We left home at 5 with her pillow and medicine, and tape recor-
dings from my transcription backlog. We drove through a deserted city
to sign in at 5:30. Both wide awake, we walked through the lab. Tom
Knight was using the terminal at the mainframe, so we assumed Logo was
unavailable and found other entertainment. Miriam first set up her
pillow in a chair (the king size pillow barely left room for her) and
showed me a peculiar book she had found in the Children’s Learning Lab
(Ça Ne Va Pas, Charlie Brown). Miriam asked me to read it. I read her
a few frames from the first cartoon. A better resting place was needed.
We brought a bean bag chair to my office (Miriam preferred that option
to sleeping on Seymour’s or Hal’s couch). She curled up with her pillow
and the cartoons in the corner. Her last words before dropping off to
sleep: “Daddy! I can read ‘The Doctor is in’.” Miriam slept from 6
until 11. Her nap of 5 hours was the longest uninterrupted sleep she
has had since our return to Boston.
8/9 Miriam told me this morning she had had a good night’s sleep, her
first in a week. When I mentioned this to Gretchen in her hearing,
Miriam qualified the statement by “besides sleep at Logo.”
After her bath this evening Miriam stood at the balcony over the
court yard and said, “Hey, I see the first star:
Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight. . . .
I wish I had ten more wishes.” Thus well provided with wishes and still
talking to herself, she made her first real wish: “I wish I had no
allergies at all.” Then her friend Scurry should get a new collar and leash.
I told Miriam those 2 wishes could happen, but the first could not, that
she would continue to suffer from her allergies into her teens, at the
end of which they might become less severe.
8/10-11/77 After calling those who advertised air conditioners in Tech Talk
and waiting to find out none would fit in the windows of Miriam’s room,
we purchased and installed an air conditioner in Miriam’s room. It is
not at all clear that air conditioning Miriam’s room will help her in
any physical way. It is most important, however, that she not feel
alone in confronting her problems and that we will attempt whatever
reasonable means are available to ameliorate her discomfort.
These notes may indicate how profoundly burdensome to Miriam are
her allergies to dust, trees, and mold. August and early September are
the worst times.