all the music that caught my ear in june of 2018. listen, won’t you?
May 14, 2018.
Looking for glimpses of myself, of a shared experience, of someone else’s memory of a moment in time that we inhabited together, while reading the notes and margins of books and comics. A faint but definite hope for recognition on the printed page.
The rain outside. Thunder rolling and seeping and spreading from sky to sky.
The slow trickling from roofs and branches.
The train pulling in to the station.
My son asleep in his bed upstairs. My partner asleep in our bed upstairs.
A dream in which I hold the hands of both my partner and of my son as we sit together and watch and wait for a world-engulfing wave of green to envelope us, nullifying as it swallows all of existence.
– written April 11, 2018.
He hoarsely says, daddy, and I wake up prepared to get him a glass of water, to give him a kiss, to tell him he can fix his blankets himself. I open his door and say, what is it? He points to a large dark puddle at the top of his bed. Oh.
12.45 in the morning. Pulling his shirt over his head, trying to keep the vomit from getting on his body.
He sits in the bath tub as I wash the small pieces from his hair. He shivers in the night while I dry him off. Get him new pajamas.
Waking up my partner, still asleep in our bed. Explaining what has happened.
We are only half awake.
Trying not to throw up myself as I clean the vomit from his sheet, rinsing it down the utility sink in the basement. I open a bottle of pine cleaner and breathe it in to clear my gag reflex.
Baking soda and salt poured over his vomit puddled mattress in a haze of sleep conscious reasoning.
Sitting on the floor of our room, he weakly says, yay, now I don’t have to go to school tomorrow.
Dragging the mattress to the basement for further cleaning.
The lamplight in our room as he sits in our bed watching as we attempt to clean.
The washing machine running. His sheets, his clothes, the hot water cycle.
Open the window in our room, in his room. A fan blowing the night into our room, a fan blowing the sour acid smell out into the night in his room.
Hugging him and saying I’m sorry you’re feeling sick, that stinks.
My partner, his mother, laying awake in the bed in the guest room downstairs.
A scented candle burning in the night as I listen to him falling asleep next to me in our bed.
Outside we wait for our water ice. Standing in front of Rita’s.
Across the parking lot and across the street, trees in the afternoon sun. A chorus of frogs sings loud and continuous. It is beautiful. I listen. Stand still. Experiencing this moment.
The power lines running across the sky.
Sustained and dense.
The frogs’ song.
– written April 13, 2018.
In the south of New Jersey.
We sit in the middle seat of this large car. We are driving to dinner. Having just gotten the tour of my partner’s childhood town. Her elementary school and junior and high schools. her house. The small downtown. She sits in the front passenger seat talking with her mom about the town as her mom drives.
Joking with my son I say, check this out. I hold my left hand in front of me, palm facing my chest. I fold my pointer finger at the knuckle. With my right hand I bend my thumb at the knuckle and fit it above my left pointer finger, knuckle to knuckle. My right pointer and index finger folded to cover the gap between left pointer and right thumb. This action is completed in half a second. A singular fluid motion.
I pretend to strain. Showing it on my face and struggling, shaking my hands in fake effort. Grunting a little. Then for a flash of a second I slide my thumb away from finger and return it.
His eyes are wide. His mouth is open. His whole face alive with wonder.
How did you do that? He asks. His total belief in my corny old man trick. I am filled with joy. My heart is light and I am laughing.
Do it again! He says. I repeat the trick. Mom, look. Watch what dad does. I show them both and then spend the rest of the evening showing him how to do the trick and repeating it over and over.
– written April 13, 2018.
It is cold out. Chill wind. We are both dressed insufficiently for this drop in temperature now that the sun has disappeared behind houses and apartment buildings. A pale glow in the horizon as he rides his skateboard on the tennis court. Bending his legs to crouch beneath the volleyball net as he glides under. He wears a helmet and elbow pads and knee pads. A sweatshirt.
He coasts. He pushes. He practices turning. Steering between objects. Practices falling. Feeling his pain. Continuing with his skating.
A bit later I sit on a skateboard in the grass and watch as he climbs up a slide and slides down again. Goes hand over hand on monkey bars. Runs around the playground. Climbs up the small climbing wall. Climbs back down. Twists on a swing. There I join him and we swing. He practices pumping his legs and leaning back.
November evening. Sometime the weekend after thanksgiving.
– Written December 5, 2017