Husband and I once caught a standup comedian on Conan saying â€œyou know when youâ€™re old when your favorite band comes to town and you can get tickets.â€ He demonstrated by miming the excited call to Telecharge, getting through, and having the operator tell him he bought the only ticket so far. We laughed our bums off.
Last night on fb, I noticed a few of my friends went to the Duran Duran concert last night at Madison Square Garden. One person even wrote â€œ$25 tickets for floor seats!â€ I’m like, oh no! Twenty-five bucks for floor seats is like practically free! It’s official. We’re old.
When my dad was in the hospital for either his first round of chemo, he was lying in bed, quiet, looking expressionless, numb. His lunch was sitting on a tray in front of him, but he didnâ€™t touch any of it. All the sea-green plastic dishes multiple dishes stayed saran-wrapped. Mom slipped out to go to the bathroom, and in that three-minute interval. Dad leapt into action. He unwrapped the slice of cherry pie, attacked it with a fork, and wolfed the whole thing down before he lay back down, pretending he hadn’t moved for when Mom emerged.
I could not stop laughing, because it was a moment of normal in all the mega-serious changes in our lives. My mom watches his cholesterol like a hawk, so he never gets to indulge in how he’d really like to eat (steak, red wine, some dessert, and NOTHING green). Dad’s no fool. If there’s an opportunity to inhale a Mom-forbidden food, he was going for it.
Because of where my office is located, I get to see Anderson Cooper and Andy Rooney with regularity (Rooney, probably less so since heâ€™s retiring). Let me just tell you both men in person are mighty cuteâ€¦albeit for altogether different reasons.
Anderson Cooper struts with a brash confidence, always dressed to the nines, lean and striking. Andy Rooney, always dressed in a wrinkled trench coat and faded corduroy pants that need to be folded at the ankles so he doesn’t shuffle on the fabric. He always has a sad, Hobbit-like face, which makes me want to give him lunch money.
When I see two Andys in one day, it’s a double dose of FOX-AY!
I have this aggravating cold, with an utterly charming cough that keeps me and others up at night and makes my voice David Caruso-deep. (Iâ€™ve been trying to think of David Caruso lines, a la CSI Miami to tell Husband, like, â€œTurns out the son did. Happy Fatherâ€™s day.â€ Husband: He was Oedipus Wrecked. That round goes to Husband.). These recent bad nights add up to me wandering around the office in a crooked body, in the shell-shocked state of no sleep-deprivation.
The apartment is a jungle of boxes and recycling and clothing thatâ€™s not quite dirty enough to be laundry, as we try to put some effort into finding a new place to live. I mostly feel calm about the whole endeavor, in a way, because it’s too much to worry, but once in a while, I can feel that old anxiety just waiting to come in and sweep me off my feet.
Still, I have to remember these random moments. Husband, Baby, and I were all home these recent nights, unusual due to Husband/mine Lady Hawke hours (we work opposite hours. Never saw the movie myself, just heard about the concept.) In the middle of this chaos, Husband lifts Baby up with some Airplane, Mechanic, or whatever game it is men play. They both giggle. The tiny place smells good because of Husband’s cooking and feels homey because it’s dark outside and we’ve got great lamps here. Suddenly, I am seized with a deep sense of contentment. I did not know you could feel happy while being so bloody tired at the same time. Huh.
Every time my father loses his house keys and eye glasses, I feel a little more tired.
When I was in first grade, I went to P.S. 24 in the Bronx, the fancy neighborhood of River Vale, I believe. In the back of our classroom, we had a small planetarium, maybe the size of a really amazing master bathroom. I think the structure itself was a hexagon or an octagon, covered in black felt, and it featured a genuine dome. When we had astronomy twice a week, we all sat in a circle along the perimeter and the teacher stood in the middle with a projector that she turned on with a switch. I think she inserted slides for different star configurations, or for a variety of looks that emphasize different points in the solar system. It was very analog. At the very end, without fail, she’d end with one of the astrological/god signs (can’t remember my stars, so…maybe it wasn’t that good of a class), and then tilt the projector so that the image went on to the walls above our heads and she would “chase” us in this manner. Without fail, the entire classroom erupted in squeals of delight, and to this day, this is one of my happiest memories. I told a colleague about it the other day and he said I was smiling the whole time. Nerd.
Thereâ€™s a certain part of my daily commute when I feel like Iâ€™m walking through a stampede of antelope. Itâ€™s when I get off the 1 train at Columbus Circle, all of sudden, there’s like a crowd of thousands sprinting toward you, to try to catch the train you just left. If you actually try to navigate the herd, someone inevitably careens into you. The best way, I have found, is to not look at them and keep walking. Don’t even look at them, keep a steady pace, and just trust itâ€™s all going to work out. The moment you think about it, boom. In that way, it’s like dancing. Also, it reminds me of how ants instinctively work their way around each other.
As soon as Baby falls asleep for his nap on the weekends under my watch, I clench my fist, pump it in, and raise my knee a little, as I whisper “Yes.” And then I hold the position for a moment, before I realize what I’m doing and recover. That’s kind of bad, right?
Of course, he doesn’t fall asleep in the crib. We have to walk for like 20 minutes and it has to be something that happens to him without him knowing, otherwise, ka-boom, but when it works? Awesome…and then my body convulses into a nerdy fist pump and I feel a moment of happy satisfaction. It’s all I can do from stopping myself from kneeling on the street and doing like a bow-and-arrow style fist pump.
We have to sleep train….again. It’s my fault. I fall out of routine so easily and began napping at 7:30 at night with Baby, then after 30 minutes, scoop him and put him in the crib, and then I just stopped putting him in the crib. Dunno what my problem is. So last night, we started again. After a few starts, he did manage to fall asleep, then somewhere around midnight, I felt a poke and woke up with Baby sticking his head in my armpit.
Husband: So what happened last night? Did you pick up the baby?
Me: No, I thought you did.
Don-don-DON! We concluded that Baby must have jumped the crib and escaped. All I heard last night was the patter of feet running across the apartment floor toward our bed, no other sound of crash and roll, etc.
I don’t know how to feel about it. Of course, it’s TERRIBLE and not safe to have Baby leaping out of the crib in the dark with no one to watch him, but also? Part of me really admires him and thinks he’s a bad-ass. I am retarded.
I keep reading these words in short stories, and I can never freaking remember what they mean. If I had to guess, “inchoate” is like choking and “hirsute” is someone erudite. Here is what they actually mean:
inchoate — not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary
hirsute — hairy shaggy
Maybe one day, I’ll remember.