A long time ago, when ZoomBoy and Squish were little, Mate’s job took him on business trips a lot. Weird shit always managed to happen when he was gone. Raccoons in the backyard? Only once in 22 years–when he was gone. A terrible thump and a giant blood spot on the floor of the garage? A mystery never solved, even though I called the police for a drive-by. Because Mate was gone. You name the catastrophe–broken heater, little kids with the plague, big kids in crisis, animals needing emergency medical care–it all happened when Mate was gone.
I, uh, did not deal with any of that shit with grace and aplomb. I mean, for one thing I was working full time, and for another, two kids in diapers and two in middle school, and for another, I’m… you know. ME.
But I”m older now–there are only two kids and they’re frighteningly self-sufficient. My only real function is taxi, and I do make dinner because otherwise they’d exist solely on Ritz crackers and oatmeal and call that nutrition.
So, much less hectic. So I was a little sad–and a little amused–when Mate and I were talking about his stay in Vermont to see to his father. (Right now the prognosis is… extended? He needs full time care but for how long? Nobody knows. I think our entire cadre of GOP senators should be put in hospitals as they’re passing and told that if they don’t croak within three months their family’s finances will be gutted and they’ll be in debt for the rest of their lives so could they hurry it up a little? Because THAT’S fucking humane.)
Anyway–Mate’s trying to square things away with his stepmom and half-brother, and I’m here, guarding the fort. Yeah, I’m tired–I work until late and the kids have to be at school early–but seriously, I can deal. So I amused myself writing “letters to the front” to my brave husband far away, fighting the cold and the crud and the barbarianism of modern day health care. Please take this tongue in cheek– that’s certainly how I meant it. Twelve years ago I would have been a mess–but today, I think we’re going to live.
It’s hard living in this house without you. The smoke alarm went bonkers, and ZoomBoy and I had to deactivate it. It felt so final. I ordered new ones from Amazon but what if they’re the wrong one?
The uncertainty is the hardest thing to bear.
We spent most of yesterday shotgunning old television, because I was too tired to think of anything better to do. Taking over your chores is exhausting–how do you manage to wake up at seven in the morning? It’s terrifying. There are monsters then! And cars! Fortunately we have a solution–I understand those profligate writers use it, those people who stay up until one in the morning and sometimes must function before coffee.
It’s called a nap, and after I took it, I could perform my household duties so much better.
And I even ordered pizza.
The dogs miss you, beloved. Tonight they spent ten minutes running around the living room trying to find a place to sleep together because they could not share my lap.
They ended up sleeping on my lap anyway. I’m afraid my knitting may be a bit delayed–no scarf for you.
Alas, we missed your call! Emboldened by the whole “nap” idea from yesterday, today I resolved to do something exciting and adventurous.
We settled for going to the movies but I had to sign up for Cinemark to do so–Can we even have two accounts in one house?
Anyway, the kids and I were enraptured by the violent poetic antics of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence–they are, indeed, the naughtiest of young men, and still watchable today.
I’m running circles here in order to not watch any of the shows we watch together. If you’re gone longer than a week, I may crack.
Forgive me for being weak, beloved–
It is beginning to dawn on me that on those mornings I thought we had acquired friendly dish-washing pixies, you were actually the one to wash the dishes.
I miss you, my darling, but I rather wish it was pixies. So do the children. We’ll do our best to make sure we have clean cutlery and plateware to welcome you home.
Our poorly, sad, and pathetic best.
I do not deserve the tidiness that is you–