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Trees, Horror, and a Smoky Eye

“Turn that off,” I suggest to Jenn, while she’s doing her daily ablutions and applying powders to her face.

It’s early. Jenn has already done the gym and has committed to wearing her workout clothes to work, just sneakily disguised beneath a form-fitting dress that suits her. It’s what she’ll wear to school where, as teacher, she’ll change the world by manner of clocking in for her shift.
“Turn that shit off. I’ll grab some coffee and join you.”
She’s listening to NPR while doing her face and the news of the world gets more harrowing as the weekend approaches. She obliges, clicks off the stream.
I’ve been cursing more lately, but I don’t care. (My grandma would be lecturing me, were she still here). But the thing about cursing is that it’s the same thing Freud said about laughter: it’s the subconscious crashing through and exploding decorum for the sake of expression.
I grab a cup of coffee, peel back the bathtub curtains, and sit on the edge of the tub while she adjusts her mirror.
We’ve been in constant conversation recently. Talk talk talk. I got her a staghorn fern for Christmas because she’s been wanting to re-design our kitchen nook so that it’s more comfortable. So that she can lounge in it while I do my cooking, and so we can spend more time together in the evening conversing before putting the kids to bed. Doing all the rituals we do in perpetually getting ready for tomorrow.
The staghorn: it just had a bud. I am happy to report it is thriving.
I sit on the edge of the tub, which I crawled out of seemingly hours before. I’m a night owl, and stay up late writing. I end the night always with a bath before I crawl into bed with Jenn, before I wrap my arms around her in sleep.
I received a cautionary query from a good friend recently—he has a sister with bipolarity—and he asked, “Are you manic right now?”
It does run in my family, but I say, “Oh–fuck, no.” I’ve got a battery of therapists and angels watching over me. I’m just happy, fully, right now and need to exploit that. A lifestyle change and meds punching my pineal have me different. And with yesterday, the Doomsday Clock having been advanced to near midnight, I figure I need to stay laser-sharp and perhaps PRETEND mania the closer to 12 o’ Apocalypse we get.
Isaac Asimov was asked: “What would you do if you knew tomorrow you’d die?”
He said: “I’d type faster.”
So I write and write into the dead of night, read all the news. I report all this to Jenn while she decides on a smoky eye to match her dress, as we sit in our little bathroom.
I narrate all my on-line adventures of the night prior. I gave up TV. Can’t even fucking work the remote—Cayde does it for me. (I only watch ‘Jeopardy’, and last night I impressed the hell outta Cayde by ringing up a score of 54,600. I knew Final Jeopardy: Arthur Miller, 1949,  ‘Death of a Salesman, and what it’s like to fail).

I write to people all over the world every night.

That’s the cool thing about the internet: so long as people aren’t busy blackening their souls and depositing evil shit anonymously on social media threads, you can talk to anyone, anywhere. I write to my friend who’s in Antarctica; I write to my writer friend across town; I say, “Hey” to my sandbox-buddy in Guatemala; I send letters to Chicago and St. Louis and Africa and Finland.
Jenn is beautiful—doesn’t need the make-up, but rituals are important, and what we do to feel beautiful needs no apology.
Bertolt Brecht said: ‘What times are these that to talk about trees is almost a crime, because it implies silence about so many horrors?’
He also said: ‘This then is all. It’s not enough, I know.’
I prefer to talk about trees and horror in the same sentence, talking fast, because both are important.
I help Jenn out the door by dressing Finn. Purposefully, I dress him in a Superman tee. Remember—Jenn’s got her workout clothes on beneath a dress like some modern-day Clark Kent.

Be super.

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When Gulls Stop Flying and it’s OK

I’m turning forty this year, and suddenly figured out how to conduct myself as a human being. I imagine it as ‘suddenly’, but it may have been a gradual and rising tide of okayish-ness that finally wet the beach blanket and had me move up the sand . I dunno. We live, we learn.

There’s that statement about grace: when you feel yourself at exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, and when working with exactitude. That’s when you know grace is moving through you.

Figuring it out at forty. Has a nice alliterative ring, no?

Jenn usually texts me at some point during the day.

“How’s the morning, Babe?”

And yesterday I replied: “I’m a ray of light! I’m Jon Cusack with a motherfucking radio!”

I like to keep it interesting.

But that’s how I felt. You see, there are these space telescopes that have lenses made of adjustable cells, and when the cells align just so, the universe snaps into crystal-clear focus. It’s like I’m made of those cells, and when the cells align properly, the cosmos bolts right through me.

This is an overstatement, I’m aware. I grew up on Carl Sagan, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re all stardust. ‘Stardust’ can be a bad David Bowie lyric, but also a measure of simultaneous presence and oblivion. Wouldn’t you love to know that you are, literally, a star? It’s what Sagan has suggested all this time.

So when I’m who I am supposed to be—father, husband, seenchain—storytelling the day through and happy, it seems there’s a bit of stardust in the mix, like it’s a trick.

But it’s not a trick.

It’s not like the Secret in some pay-to-play religion. It’s not anything I can exactly explain.

There are magic incantations involved, though. Words like Harry Potter spells, ones you don’t need a willow wand for.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

“I’ll do better.”

“Good to see you.”

“I hear you.”

“Please.”

“I love you.”

Most importantly, “How are you?”

Like most good spells, there are hand gestures involved. It’s been pointed out that I talk with my hands: I run an open hand over my chest, then turn it outwards as if I were pulling words from my stomach then presenting them as matter of fact.

I have, recently, been tapping my sternum a lot, too, of late, saying ‘heart’ all the goddamn time. This is unlike me, but like me, too. We discover secret languages within ourselves the older we get.

Pleased to meet me.

Jenn leans in the door-frame. Cayde’s supposed to be in bed, and I’m busy writing, my bangs knotted in a bundle.

“He wants you. He says Daddy is best at calming him down when he’s upset.” Jenn smirks.

The pendulum swings. Cayde has told me on occasion that he hates me; but the other day I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to Cayde clutching me tight. He was responsible for pulling a blanket over us, the green afghan that used to be my dad’s. I wake up at 4 a.m.; ‘Good morning, Daddy,’ he says and those are three words that tell me I’ve succeeded in life. That I’ve used words to describe myself, and that he uses words to describe himself in turn. That a morning together is GOOD, that he uses the word, ‘good.’

“Can we have waffles?”

“Going to work, Kid. Sorry—no.”

This whole happiness thing comes at a strange dystopian time. Cayde has heard, perhaps, too much of my Trump vitriol. He gets upset.

“I’m scared, Daddy.”

I tell him to hit me in the stomach, hard. I don’t flinch: my core is strong. This impresses the hell outta Cayde. Dad MUST be a hero to make the kid more of one. (The punches actually hurt, a little).

“You gotta resist and be strong, Kid.”

“But, Daddy: you ask me to hit you in the stomach. That’s what Houdini said. And a guy hit him in the stomach with a hammer and he died.”

My kid’s got a mortal streak (apple not far from the tree).

(Jenn tells me: “He’s scared.”)

So I crawl into bed with Cayde.

He’s been reading his U.S. presidents book everyday, and he’s cued in—perhaps, too acutely—to the fact that a few presidents have been assassinated. Mortal streak, like I said. He’s got me for a dad.

I’m ok this year, but last year the fact of walking was like falling down in slow motion. I see a certain non-existence when I see a seagull land, and stop flying. There is movement and non-movement. Try and tell the difference sometime.

“Cayde—we’ve talked about this. People make a difference, sometimes leaders do. But people are the more important difference. Sometimes leaders who lead people, especially for peace, wind up assassinated.

I choose to be frank with him. My Irish friend made his wife recite to him the word ‘det’ before he died, because death is the eventuality and why the hell say anything different?

Cayde and I—we talk for an hour.

We talk WWII, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Bush, Trump, Mussolini, FDR, JFK, RFK, MLK. We talk about feeling scared, and the idea that peace is sometimes mortally and unfairly punished. But also that people’s movements make the difference.

“Seven continents marched for the Women’s March, Dude.”

“Really?” Cayde’s eyes widen.

“Yeah—biggest march in HISTORY, Dude.”

He is stuck on this fact; he also tells me that Charles J. Guiteau shot James Garfield.

“He picked a revolver to kill Garfield, Daddy, because he thought the revolver would look good in a museum. “

Little and selfish acts. Gun in a glass case.

I counter and talk about Ghandi.

Cayde woke up in the morning, asked me while I was pulling on my work clothes, while HE still had his bangs tied in a bundle, and while he was wrapped in the green afghan: “Daddy can you tell me more about Mo-Mohat-Mahat Ghandi when you pick me up today?”

He demanded I pick him up. Mama and I share the duties, but he wanted to have another conversation.

“Sure, Kid.” Let’s talk about him.

My heart: it is full.

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Next to Water, Worrying

On November fifth, 2008, the morning after Barack Obama became president-elect, I worked the early shift at work. It was the sunrise shift — ungodly early — but one that bore metaphorical significance at least. New day, new president. New Era.

I was the first to clock in that day, moving slow when swiping my time card. An unfortunate schedule had me arriving to work while still floating on vapors. Revelry of the night prior had its share of champagne bubbles, but also the otherwise — and perhaps more intoxicating– effervescence of a new ideology recently secured. We were drunk on lightness. The Bush years had been dark. So much time spent in protest of regress and false wars and economic mishandling.

My boss was the second to clock in. Our eyes matched in their particular purple and it didn’t seem appropriate to jump straightaway into work. We work next to water, so we decided to walk a few paces away from the building and take in the sunrise, standing cross-armed over the bay. The scoters hadn’t arrived yet — December marking their usual migration — but the water was graced with a few buffleheads, also the dumb bobbing of pelicans with their ungainly noses and forever downturned faces.

The night prior, I had been at the Civic Center with some colleagues to watch the election results live on the assorted big screens. My wife and I were new parents, just one year in, and my son was resolutely strapped to my wife’s chest in anticipation of the final call. It came earlier than expected, as the media charts displayed what seemed a geopolitical game of Othello, red states ahistorically flipping blue, Barack Obama becoming president. The results were announced just as my one-year old was nodding off in the Bjorn, and the uproar was enough to jolt him from sleep. I hugged my friends, I hugged my wife, I kissed my kid on the head.

I shared this story with my boss as we looked out over the water. The sun was just coming up and the real estate across the bay, all its assorted and differently angled glass, was catching the sun from dissimilar directions. Some windows were orange, others still slate.

My boss had a sad expression.

(Prop 8 had passed on Election Night also. This was the night’s big loss. A California Supreme Court decision had allowed same-sex couples to legally marry within the state, a stunning display of progress with precedent in Massachusetts. But the hate-machine, with white picket fences like teeth and a full set of evangelical canines, bullied the decision’s reversal.

I went to a same-sex wedding in 2007 for the lawyer that helped influence the California Supreme Court’s decision, and state senator Toni Atkins was the officiator. My boss: She got married to the love of her life, too, a woman, and on November 5th found herself — like my lawyer friend — in this wary place somewhere between legality and illegality.

“I was at the grocery store last night, Thom. Well — I’ll tell you: I was buying champagne. I was buying champagne because of the election. And then Prop 8 got voted in.”

(And there is certainly a time when a drink can go from celebration to solace).

The sun had gone from pink to orange, and brants were now accompanying the buffies in the water.

“How,” she asked, “How, Thom, in this day and age — and in our country — can we vote for something that specifically says it’s an amendment ‘to eliminate the rights’ of a group of people? I don’t get it.”

Where the champagne goes flat, and ideology feels less effervescent. Where Rosa Parks gets ordered again to sit at the back of the bus.

The Obama administration had its eight years following that particular sunrise, and — much like that sunrise — had its ambivalences. There was the (perhaps reluctant) continuance of the Bush Doctrine, the drone attacks, the strangely Machiavellian crackdown on whistle-blowers, the brown-shirt flirtation with martial suspension of habeas corpus. But there was also the ACA, the turnaround of the 2008 recession, the de-escalation of Middle-East conflict, an unprecedented rise in employment, the legalization of same-sex marriage. There was progress, which we voted for under the one-word campaign promise of ‘hope’. There was light after eight years of inarguable bleakness. That the scales tipped heavier to progress and not regress showed we as an electorate were willing to trend forward, even as an obstructionist Congress tried its best to speed the rust with regard to the machinations of law.

This gives me hope in a post-Obama nation.

But on January 20th, and when again I am scheduled an early shift, and next to water, I am worried about the forecast. It’s slated to rain and I don’t think there’ll be much of a sunrise as the migratory birds sit in their puddles of gray. How often will the presidential orders following that morning be rife with the language, “to eliminate the rights, to eliminate the rights, and to eliminate the rights.”

I worry.

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Compounding Earths and Angels

“You doing anything fun today?” the checker asks as he swipes bundle after bundle of produce past the PLU scanner.

“This!” I say, because I love grocery shopping, and Findlay and I are on a mission to pick up food for the week while Mama’s out.

“HAT!” Finn says loudly as interruption, signing the brim of a cap, the checker mid-swipe.

“What’s that, Little Man?” Finn signs ‘cap’ two more times while pumping his legs in the grocery cart.

I translate as an aside: “Yes, Finn—he’s got a hat!”

The checker has a proto-Iron&Wine beard and a fuzzy embroidered skullcap. He smirks and glances up: ‘Cool little Dude there.”

“The best.”

I’m in a good mood. The sky’s post-rain and the light’s bouncing off the undersides of whitening clouds. I got the front parking spot, even.

The grocer and I continue chatting.

“Yeah, this kid grew up at Whole Foods. My other one, too. Been coming to this store for eighteen years, I think?”

“That’s awesome, Man.” The guy looks up for a second, flashing a smile, then down again as a sizeable jicama rolls across the scanner. The little whorls of his moustache work themselves into a twist as he ponders the knobby root.

“Got me–dammit!” He thumbs through the PLU code bible next to his register, looking up‘J’ for ‘jicama’. I imagine it’s a source of pride for any checker to know every code for all the things.

I tell ‘Fuzzy Skullcap Guy’ that I used to run every obscure produce item past my old favorite checker, Jessie, sometimes as sport. Jessie would’ve paused on the keys of his register sometimes, but he never got anything wrong. Except:

“He missed on lemongrass. It was my one victory. And I fucking STILL didn’t get it for free.”

Guy laughs as he punches in the proper code.

Meanwhile, Findlay waves while the septuagenarian that we met in Aisle 3 walks her cart out. She was deliberating canned tomatoes and I pointed her to the San Marzanos.

She squinches her eyes, hunkers down against the push-bar of her cart, and claps a one-handed wave at Finn.

“He has such beautiful red hair, such fair skin,” the lady remarks, while gripping my shoulder.

“He is beautiful, ma’am. Thank you.”

As soon as she walks out, it’s then the guy with the toddler who gives Finn knucks.

“Nice talk, Friend,” he says to Finn, he and Finn having had a good convo by the quinoa.

Finn was talking more to the guy’s daughter, to be honest. (Everyone approximating the size of a breadbox merits Finn’s instant and undivided attention).

Finn knucks the guy four times, and Guy says ‘Whoops,’ while trying to keep up with Finn’s particular handshake.

(It’s: two knucks forwards, two knucks sideways, then one back-and-forth light-saber swoop. Zhwoom, zhwoom. Cayde and I have been doing this for years, and Finn’s picked up on it).

The grocer and I swap names for the remainder of our exchange:

‘You know Kyle?’
‘Maybe?’
‘Dre?’
‘Oh, she’s over at ‘Tiger, Tiger.’
‘James?’
‘Not sure. Probably by face. You know Erik? I totally dig that guy.
‘Yah—he’s great. Receipt?’

We don’t need a receipt. I don’t care what I spend on food.

Jenn’s doing a challenge at the gym she’s an ambassador for. She mentioned liking to use this particular avocado salsa as dressing for her greens. That clicked a switch for me. I know I have to pick up bread and tomato sauce, but everything is else ad lib.

There’s an amazing joy if, and when, walking into a grocery store, the foods become potential ingredients, not just stand-alone items waiting to be bought. Like when I used to very purposefully arrange my watercolor tubes and drawing pencils years ago, fastidiously and in a fishing tackle box. THAT cerulean is going to work out well in this next thing I’m thinking about, and—oOo– I love that conte crayon.
Avocado salsa? Well, hmmm…

The guy figures out the jicama PLU code, and then Fresno peppers make their way to the conveyor belt. He sighs.

“Dammit,” he says again.

Jicama
Rainbow carrots
Red cabbage
Cilantro
Mixed Greens
Tomato petals
Scallions
Arugula
Spiced pepitas
Goat cheese
Avocado
Hanger steak
Squash
Avocado salsa

I continue chatting up the grocer, which is strange because my palms sweat like mad at the idea of FORwarding a conversation.

(Wait—that’s a lie. Jenn and I used to talk all night, every night, until we finally co-signed a lease and would eternally entwine our ankles come bedtime).

You realize how much I love her, right?

I have to walk down the street to Baron’s to finish the groceries. A nice mile.

I try to call both Ryan, then my brother on the way down the street, with no answer. So I pocket my phone, and—wow–the things you see.

“Oh, my poochkie,” says the lady, in an antiquated blouse, and she haunches down with her probably 50% spandex skirt, approximating a fleur-de-lys with her backside while unleasing a shivery Chihuahua onto the sidewalk. The dog is brown, with buggy eyes. He spills out, like wet laundry. The dog had been knapsacked into a pink canvas tote thing before being unfolded onto the concrete.

“Auch, Poochie, poochie.”

Lady’s wearing heels, the dog wears the embarrassment of being an accessory. These are perhaps mutual things. The dog shivers.

I walk on.

This woman slows while crossing the street in front of me, leans against the light post, sweating, then bolts down the avenue! She is awesome! And wires of her ear-buds swing back and forth like while she hitches at her clothes. She is a resolution happening, and I want to prescribe her yoga pants exactly one size less.

She looks great.

I ask the produce guy if he has squash. He doesn’t. But I buy up up everything else in the section.

“You got shallots?”

“Not the best.”

Shallots
Mushrooms
Thyme
Lemon juice
Cream
Squash

I like cooking stuff. I pass by the ‘Compounding pharmacy’, which is next to the Baron’s, and they’re inexplicably blaring ‘Earth Angel’ out the front door.

Compound ‘earth’ and ‘angel’, you’ll get something.

On the way back home, oh that couple kissing. It was caty-corner to a porch, and he had his hands loosely draped on her hips. The hedge was blossoming red, as were my cheeks upon passing.

“Take me to a hospital!” the man down the street yelled. The police had him pushed against a low fence, and the lesser officer held in his hand the man’s thrift store purse, embroidered and with a silly clasp. The purse was quilted.

“Take me to a hospital!”

There was a nearly-full beer poised on the curb, an avalanche of personal items.

“I was sleeping!” the man sobbed.

“Please,” he continued, “I want to kill myself.”

“Please, Sirs…”

“We’ll get you to that hospital, Guy,” the officers say. Guy had his hair neatly combed into two sections, one partitioned section formed into a bun and particularly arranged.

No one combs their hair before nothing.

I’m walking by with a bag of groceries, and I catch Guy’s glance.

“It’ll be ok, Man.” (I have proof).

“I wanna go to a hospital,” he says, looking at me.

And I didn’t say anything more because the police were in the middle of an arrest, and I had to keep walking. Goddammit. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, but that’s most likely inaccurate.

Then I’m passing my friend down at Thorn St., Cory having a smoke on the stairwell. We slap hands before he has to go back to pouring draughts, while I shoulder my groceries.

“How’s it going, Thom?”

“Fantastic, Man,” I turn. “How’s it going it with you?”

“Crazy beautiful sky,” he gestures with a cigarette.

“Indeed.”

The food truck is vaporing out cholesterol-laden perfumes, and there’s the hum of the generator.

The sky was so gorgeous yesterday, with a light perfect. Gulls like pristine white thumb-tacks on a grey sky. I mean, c’mon.

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The Toboggan Ride Up (40)

Nothing brings me down these days. NO-THING. You choose happiness, and eventually you earn it. The great coincidence is that this is the year I turn forty, when greeting cards suggest everything to come is a toboggan ride over the hill and down. I refuse–have refused–to believe that, and now I have happiness. It’s clutched in my hand like a talisman, something near-physical. Nothing brings me down. NO-THING.
I get home just after eight, and the kids are in bed, just not sleeping. This is apparent as I put both my bag and keys down on the counter.
“Daddy!” I hear from behind the kids’ closed bedroom-door. And Jenn is tired–exhausted–so I excuse her to have a minute of silence while I check on the boys.
Cayde greets me first with a gigantic hug before I can make it into the room.
“Daddy! I love you!”
And Finn is the pajama clad-caboose, who follows up with a hug of his own.
“Dahddy-I lvs.” I give Finn a big kiss. He hasn’t figured it out–the whole kiss thing. His is open mouthed at best, and he just makes a smack sound to make his point without actually *kissing* anybody.
Know what? I was made for this. I was made to love these kids. And my wife, too, our kisses more lingering the longer we know each other.
I playfully shove the kids back into their bedroom.
“Ok, Ok. Jeezus, guys. I just got home.”
Also: “You guys need to be in bed.”
And the kids fall into place, meaning they’re sharing the bottom bunk again, tumbling into bedsheets.
“Daddy–come snuggle with us,” Cayden says.
(I’m ‘Daddy’, again, because the hour is late, but recently we’ve been calling each other Professor Plum (me) and Mr. Green (him); I else call him ‘kid’ or ‘hey, jerk’, both appropriate).
“You know I stink, right?” I raise an eyebrow at Cayde, because I’m wearing my work clothes, and I’m not only stained in guano, but I have an effluvium of fish and B-vitamins and matty-icky chick down perfuming my sweatshirt. It’s a source of pride. I fucking love my job. I stink, I fucking love my job. These are inseparable things.
“It’s ok, Daddy. I guess you can still snuggle.”
And I crawl into bed with them, Finn to my immediate right, Cayde on the other side.
Finn is wired, makes all sorts of faces at me, and babbles his Finn-speak. For a few minute, Cayde and I play a game: ‘Translate what Finn is saying.’
“I think he’s saying: Cayden, shut up.”
“I think he’s saying: Baby, what’s up.”
“No–he’s definitely telling you to shut up. It’s bed time. And I need to take a bath.”
I am stinky–Jenn, meanwhie, has learned what all the different penguin smells are:
1) Herring
2) Capelin
3) Silversides (for when I’m working with the puffins)
4) B-vitamins
5) Rookery (when working the nests)
6) Chick down
“This thought came up in my head, Daddy–I don’t know why.”
“What’s that, Dude.”
“I actually kinduv like the smell of your sweatshirt.”
“Well, that’s easy to explain, Kid. You like me, right?”
“Kinduv.”
“Whatever, jerk. You like me, and although the sweatshirt REEKS, you know I like what I do, and when I come home I stink. But you associate that smell with me, what makes me happy. It then makes YOU happy, cuz you like me.”
“It’s all science,” I finish in my best Attenborough.
“Jerk,” I add.
I thought I made my point, thought it was ‘lights out’ but Cayde tucks into his pillow, then keeps talking.
“Wanna shut up already, dude? I had a long day.”
As response, Cayde flips Finn over to the side of the bunk, and cozies into my shoulder.
“This makes more sense,” Cayde says. And he points to me–stabbing me in the sternum. He then points to himself. Then Finn.
“Old. Younger. Youngest.”
Ya. I get ‘old’, not even ‘old-ER’. Thanks, Cayde. I don’t mind, though.
I’ve got my kids, I’ve got everything an old man could want. Bring it, 40.

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Resiliently Happy

My first act of resistance involved goat cheese. I discovered that a diced avocado sprinkled with pepper and smoked salt, slathered in Tlaquepaque sauce, and eaten with a crumble of chevre, is in fact the perfect salad.
This is resistance—this is revolutionary—because I was at work while the Inauguration dropped onto the Capitol’s West Front like a toupeed load of guano, and I was looking forward to being with my penguins as the great alternative. (It was Penguin Awareness Day, after all—not just ‘Breaking the Seventh Seal Day’).
I told my friend and colleague: “Gonna just plug my phone in, but turn it face-down, I think.”
Which I did. For the most part.
“At least I have a good lunch.”
Work was closed because of inclement weather, and the winds hit hard mid-afternoon. We were inside, though, and with the park being closed, we rearranged our day to just do everything as a team, to be in each others’ company. We played with the kids, this year’s brood, down still clinging fast to little penguin heads; we prepared for a fund-raising benefit slated for a hopefully less tempest-tossed Saturday.
I had my avocado salad. It was really good, and it kept me in the moment, whereas—all nights this week—I’ve been staying up late, worrying, unsure about the future.
The freeways were littered with palm husks and there were felled trees along Morley Field.
Back at home it was quiet. Jenn dropped Cayde off at a friend’s house for a few hours, Finn was asleep after some rounds of PT at school. Jenn and I circled the kitchen, alternately talking about the day and the DAY while putting away food and backpacks and rain-clothes. The kitchen light was muted, which seemed appropriate. There was a 9/11 feeling, but something, something, else.
When kissing Jenn, she smiled. She then took a step back.
“You ready?”
And 1-2-3, she jumped up and wrapped her legs around my waist while I caught her by the seat of her jeans. We’re both strong these days, and in different ways. Resiliently happy.
(This morning we both weighed ourselves on the scale, and we weighed EXACTLY the same, down to the tenth of a pound. And, after a cup of coffee in bed, my wife pulled on her yoga clothes—yoga, which we should all do after yesterday—and decided, on a whim to just go in her pants and sports top. She looks fantastic. She never would have done this before, but her core is starting to show definition, and I told her that I was proud of her).
At work, we played with a Lilliputian-small Macaroni kid named ‘Tank.’ Trump wanted tanks at his Inaugural Parade. Tanks. Like some Yeltsin bluster-cluster. He was told tanks would tear up Pennsylvania Avenue, already proof that Trump gives no fucks about infrastructure.
The infrastructure HERE, though, is intact. I put the kids to bed last night and they fell asleep in record time. And then I wriggled out of a pile of boys and bedsheets to purchase Jenn a bottle of wine, there still being a 9/11 feeling, which required anesthetization of nervous stomachs.
I wrote to my friends last night, I sat in my usual place by the front window and listened to the rain. I went to bed on time with Jenn, choosing to not worry about the atomic bomb, and I held her tight.