What to do for the next month? Read “Underworld.” Already by page 12, I see a new way to be. When Cotter’s gearing up to jump the turnstile to get into the Baseball game, he summons a force, and, more important, a style, that is completely unaffected and internal.
“He surprises himself this way every so often, doing some gaudy that that whistles up out of unsuspected whim.”
This month will be odd. I’m done with everything except a few niggling details at QW and packing. It’s a little bit like waiting to die. Of course, I believe in reincarnation: I’ll be reborn again in Michigan. I hope. But I am leaving this life wholesale. I’m even leaving Zo and Egg, in a way. For whoever they are here, they won’t be there. The way Zo’s grandpa calls her a “Wild Woman.” The way her grandma says “You come here. You come here right now.” The way my mom makes her laugh by turning her backwards, upside down, and letting her little one year-old body hang there. Only grandparents love your kid as much as you do—and, as my friend Steve Tuttle says—no one else wants to babysit them. Others will, but no one else actually goes so far as to ask. No one else will want to hear, “she ate three grapes and a hot dog today.” Or, maybe they will want to hear it but they won’t exclaim and enthuse as if she had just solved Fermat Last Theorem.
And Egg, what will he be like without his skis or his camera? With his chair facing south instead of north or with a boat? What will we do on holidays? On weekends? On Tuesday nights. I don’t think I realized how much time we actually spend with our family until both my mom and his mom went out of town last week. We’ve spent every waking minute with Thirty-One to fill in the gaps. And the one night since Thursday we didn’t hang out with her? We spent it with Egg’s cousin Em.
Of course all this doubt will also lead to new adventures and new manifestations of self. Hence the “surprised himself” excitement while reading “Underworld.”
So I’ll wait. Wait for the truck to come. Wait for the house to sell. Wait for someone rejection and acceptance letters. Wait for Zo’s first birthday.
Maybe I’ll surprise myself by waiting with good character and patience.