A grey, Saturday morning, in the house alone for an hour while Benjamin visits the dentist. I’m left puttering around the townhouse in giant warm socks, ones that are too big and bunch in voluminous folds around my ankle. I spent a small amount of time wandering around, tidying up various piles of messes in various rooms of the house. Which I like to do first thing on the weekend. It clears my head. We’re also moving at the end of the month, and the landlord is wanting to show today. So yes, there was added incentive to doing it though I was feeling a touch hungover. And why not? After all, I had three drinks over a span of four hours, surely that necessitates a massive headache the following morning.
Nothing a little coffee, breakfast and Miles Davis can’t fix. And light cleaning of course. It’s like putting on a bra, it’s not always comfortable, but at least everything is in the right place. The phone rings, and it’s Benjamin, standing in front of the parking meter downtown. He was dreading the appointment, which I totally get, it’s rather high on my top ten ways not-to spend a Saturday morning. Then again…I don’t think anyone looks forward to hard time in the dentist chair.
He sounds tired and vulnerable, out there in the big bad world, short on change. He said, “I’ve forgotten my chapstick, and I’m worried about getting chapped lips“. This breaks my heart, for all it’s cuteness, and I can’t help but imagine a bear with a little suitcase lost and alone in the city.
Poor fellah. To think I kept him out late, after my improv show, myself getting pre-hungover while he politely sipped ice tea, and then shipping him off to the dentist for a cleaning without appropriate change or chapstick.
I offer sympathy and solutions, and recommend asking the receptionist for change, and the hygienist for Vaseline. When we hang up, I return to Operation: Relax & Rehydrate. As I move around the house, there’s a dialogue rolling along in my mind. There’s a steady thread that is rapidly growing into an afghan quilt of ideas for today’s blog. Of course, my writing process is a bit like my cleaning–fold three t-shirts in the laundry pile and then wander aimlessly into the kitchen, drink more coffee (which, let’s be honest is like hot, milky anti-Gatorade, for all it’s non-hydrating properties), before moving on to thirty other half-finished projects. And to be honest, I’m not sure I even know what I’m writing about anymore. I’ve been listening to the composer Philip Glass, who creates the most exquisite pieces of music, but I think it’s leads me to believe that I too am writing something that is dramatic and timeless, when mostly I’m just blathering incoherently, and trying not to barf on the keyboard.
By the time Benjamin returns home, I’ve listened to the entire soundtrack of “The Hours“, did a thorough search of a variety of images that are connected to “dentist” and “hangover” and written two meager paragraphs. Freshly dentisted, but feeling raw like sashimi, he shows me the spanking new chapstick he got along with his toothbrush. He pulls it out of his pocket in a way that reminds me of a little boy I know, who always carries a lip balm around, ‘just in case’. When I met him and his mother at the pre-school-year orientation, he took it out to show me, and explained at great length the importance of hydrated lips. It was about the cutest thing I had ever heard. When my husband, almost seven feet with a red beard and big blue eyes stands in my office with his new chapstick, all can think of are bears and little boys. And so I wrap my arms around my husband, who is embodying both boyish and bearish at the same time. And in my less than sprightly state, I wrap as much of him as I can in my arms, and love him just a little bit more than I did before he left the house this morning.