Monday, September 21, 2009

Day Five, The Last

The Tidy Gestapo is out in force now, and it’s tyrannical around here. I admit to an amount of sternness that has been mostly absent this long weekend. But there is so little these little boys can do without undoing all of my work. And all of my better efforts to be the most effective father around are also undone as I sit them in front of movie after movie, squeezing every drop out of the time I can glean while they’re distracted. I take comfort in knowing that we did pretty well until now. It’s just hard to see that far back, through the rubble and cinder of the war zone we’re presently living in.

And I’m stupid tired. Lethargic. I’m also tired of tired metaphors used to express being tired. So I’m going to skip that.

I had the brilliant idea of walking to pick up Hazel from school. I can’t tell you what possessed me to do such a thing, given my existing physical deficiencies today. But we did it nonetheless. And toward the bottom of Briar I was stopped by the nicest old man who offered me “one of those things” that Parley was scooting around on (his Razor). I was duly confused but felt I couldn’t just leave him stammering there in his front yard. So I paused and asked just what he meant. And after hearing about his wife’s passing, his children’s various vocations, their cities of residence and several other pieces of anecdotal quaintness, he proceeded to fetch “one of those things” from his back porch.

My timepiece had already told me I was late for Hazel and it was beginning to weigh heavily on my mind. I tried to stop him to see if I could just come back on my way home, but he couldn’t hear or understand me (still not sure which), and he disappeared into his cavernous garage. A few minutes passed. I played out a few scenarios in which I just left and hoped he’d be in the yard again when I came back; in which I braved the trip into his back yard to tell him I was leaving; in which I made a dash for it and never walked up or down Briar Avenue again.

Before I could carry out any of these plots he emerged carrying a new-in-the-box, Razor-like scooter. He couldn’t remember how he got it but he saw Parley zipping by on it and wanted to know if we’d like another. I was all shades of gracious and I thanked him up and down, but I had this mental video on loop that showed Hazel crying under some tree outside the school where I didn’t show up. I did everything I could in the next few minutes to insert this duty I had to perform into the stream of conversation, but he made it really difficult. And you’d be surprised how much he was able to get out. Bless his aged heart.

I did manage to get away and Hazel was a good sport. But we were all so exhausted by the time we made it home that I was almost willing to trade that brand new scooter for the 5 sweet minutes in the car. If it weren’t for what I hope was a welcome break in the lonely monotony of Mr. Tidwell’s day.

Pizza and donuts on the patio. I know, and I’m sorry. But I couldn’t afford the mess of preparing dinner. And I felt like it was my privilege as Dad to finish off this weekend with a flare.

Jules ate the jelly out of his and Pars ate the sprinkles and chocolate off the top of his. Hazel didn’t do anything special. I had a raspberry fritter. If you were here I would have shared it with you. It was all just a little too much “sweet” for me. That, and it just seems like the thing we do with fritters.

I’ll be heading out to pick you up soon. I sort of can’t wait. It’d be nice to have you coming here, and you could just walk in the front door and look all pretty and nice. Because it feels like I’ve been walking through custard all day, dragging a piano over my shoulder and wearing a suit made of potter’s clay.

Ah, nuts, that tired metaphor just sort of slipped out.