I’m hoping that unlike Kerouac’s travels, this phase we’re going through doesn’t last for years–or involve cross country jags with speed freaks, hopping freights and ducking yard bulls with dharma bums, and misogynists shooting their wives in Mexico. I’m too old for that shit.
I figure that the rest of it–the trains, planes, taxis, subways, and crazy car seat swaps–will be manageable. The hardest part will be missing 3B when the next loneliness whiplash hits…
OK, so what’s the deal with the travel?
Backing up a bit, last week, Mama was in Uganda. She would call and say things like, “I’m sitting in front of my cottage, eating pineapple that they just picked in the garden.” And, “I’m sipping a beer out by the pool, which overlooks Lake Victoria. The evening is cool and beautiful; everything is green since it’s rainy season; I can hear the music floating up from the city.”
I would say things like, “My coffee is cold, and my cubicle is particularly gray today.”
She came home, said “hello,” kissed me, unpacked, packed, kissed me, said “goodbye,” and left with 3B for Great Grammy’s farm. We’ve been videochatting every night, so I get to see the boy for a minute or two, before he has to squirm down to play with all the tractors that Great Grammy has, or run outside to play baseball with Grammy, or go ride a tractor, or see cows at the barn. Last night, Mama was able to take the laptop outside and so I could see (a slightly pixelated version of) 3B playing ball with his Grammy. He would run over every once in awhile to check in. When he did, I would forget about all the half-finished chores surrounding me, the strain and fatigue that strains my face into a semi-permanent wince, and I could feel my heart beating and my breath slowing down. 3B’s saying things now like, “Be careful, Grammy.” And Mama reports on how much he liked eating Great Grammy’s macaroni and cheese, and how much she–that would be Mama–liked eating Aunt D’s cookies, and how she’s relaxing during 3B’s five-hour naps.
I report on how 3B napped for 45 minutes while she was gone and how today Barky pooped on a totally different part of the lawn.
Later this week, I’m headed to NYC to officiate at my best friend’s wedding, which Mama is coming down from the farm to attend with me, leaving 3B with Grammy. That will give us one night to get all, like, likkered up like we were in Chicago that one time where Mama ended up aikido rolling me down the aisle of the train. (For the record, it was all her fault, Mama started it, I was just sitting there, I wasn’t even touching her seat, I wasn’t the one who thought we needed two pitchers of sangria, it’s just not faaaaaair!) The next day, Mama and I will return to our respective corners–her to the farm, while I detox on the train ride back down here to home in Dixie.
Mama and 3B fly in the next day, which gives us almost a whole day before we have to head back to the airport to fly down to Orlando, where I have a seminar that happens to be located at the happiest place on earth. (OK, has anyone figured out which is the true happiest place on earth–Disneyland or Disneyworld? They can’t both be the happiest. One has to be happier. If none of you has the answer, I’m definitely going to be the grumpiest mouseketeer on earth until I figure that out.) While I’m learning about the intricacies of taxonomies, ontologies, and information architecture, Mama and 3B will be frolicking in the pool, riding the monorail, and enjoying the happiest place on earth. They’ll say things like, “We met Cinderella.”
I’ll say things like, “I learned how to structure term dependencies to improve findability.”
Then, we fly back home on the same day that Grammy flies down here. We all converge at our house for almost a whole day before Mama and I fly out to Brussels while Grammy babysits 3B. This is yet another business trip for Mama, and my boss was generous enough to let me go along*. I will actually be working from Brussels since I can, I don’t have that many vacation days to burn, I’ve got a boatload of work to keep up on, and since Mama will also be working all day. Sure, I could go wander the streets by day while Mama’s working and scout the best places to go, so when she got out of her meetings, we could go straight there, but I like the idea of discovering the city together. Besides, if I took the vacation days, when Mama got out of her meetings, I would say things like, “I spent the afternoon drinking the most amazing beer while watching this thrilling kermesse.” And Mama would say things like, “The coffee was cold in my plenary session in which we strategized on the logistics of commodity delivery.”
Then again, perhaps I should take them as vacation days.
But seriously, I can’t afford the days off for a number of reasons, and so if I seem a bit absent or absentminded, now you know why.
(And yes, creepy innernets stalker types, our house will be protected–this time by our neighbor of the military persuasion. If you try anything, here’s hoping you know a good battlefield surgeon. Also, we have only two requests: please, no sucking chest wounds in our house–take that shit into the hallway (or just toss yourself off the balcony), and if you do feel the need to bleed out, please do so in the bathroom. We need to redo it anyway.)
*Not that I’m saying this because my boss’ wife reads this blog, although she does. He really is a great guy to work for and with…what’s that you say? Mid-year reviews are right around the corner? Really? Who knew? Hey, hi there, Christy.