Tim gives me one of those hugs that seems to take my grievances into account. One of those hugs where everything shines. And then he hands me two Lego D&D manuals. And this is how it is, right? Your day starts with those funky pieces of toast with an egg in the middle – Monster in a Box – and Lego Pokemon wars with G – and then Marc is loading the car with 25 lbs of carrots, and Sacha is saying that if we plan it right, we can be baby buddies. And you have that familiar rush, daydreaming another child.
And then you’re looking at a table of Darth Vader helmets, and Jewels and Matt come in and buy one of those ace flying helmets for G because it looks good on him, and “Someone we know has to wear this.” And you think of Mary in her new vintage dress, her Violet name pin proclaiming her alter ego. There is pleasure everywhere.
Heather lifts her 6-week-old from the car, and you have not seen a brown-eyed baby in ages. Such a slight and grasping creature. Like you. Like all of us. Mary smacks his butt until he falls asleep at her shoulder, his arm cast around her, and you remember Sacha’s suggestion. Jj brings us carved Day-of-the-Dead brides. “In Mexico, they’re not too pleased when you just want the brides.” And Gavin falls asleep against you. His breath, the smell of his hair, the way his toes stretch as he dreams, all the signatures in place.
Too tired for dishes, I climb into bed. And Mary instructs me to lie on her. “Relax your whole body.” I can’t. I’ll crush her. “Relax. Let it all go. Let everything go.” But if the poison leaches out where will it go? Into her? Into the bed? “Relax,” she says. “There,” she says. And I wake hours later, her arms still around me. Light and free.