February 7, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa and Enzo are at basketball practice, and I’m home alone.  Delicious.  I want to eat too much, drink too much, take a bath, give myself a mud mask, call all my friends, write in my diary, read the new New Yorker, read the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flier, do laundry and shell the hardboiled eggs I just made. 

But first things first.  Diary.  I wrote some of this at work, by hand, which feels to me like scratching in the dirt with a stick.  I hate writing by hand:

 I don’t read.  I still know how.  And I read things like Wolverine:  The Origin Story and Mummies:  Dried, Tanned, Sealed, Drained, Frozen, Embalmed, Stuffed, Wrapped, and Smoked…And We’re Dead Serious.  And at work, which is where I am now, I read things like The California Code of Regulations § 88030.1 Limitations on the Use of Specialized Certified Family Homes and sometimes Administrative Law, which is a text book.  At least it has cases in it, and cases are stories. 

But reading reading?  Not really.  And I think I might be starving.

I started reading Troilus and Criseyde on January 26, and I’m about halfway through it.  Just the fact that I can figure out the date should tell you how un-casual it is.  It’s a project, and that’s not what I mean by reading.  By reading I mean what you fall into.  I mean the thing you do all the time that other things interrupt.  Troilus is just a little too hard to be that. 

I have this fantasy that when Enzo learns to read, on the weekends we’ll go to the park and instead of riding scooters and playing tag and climbing on the bars, we’ll just get all comfy in the sunshine and read and eat and read and eat and read and eat.  That’s what I did when I was a kid, and it was perfect.  (I was also a tiny bit fat.)

At the parent meeting last weekend, the teacher said that from birth to seven kids are in the–I forget the special Waldorf word–but it was pretty much, these are the years of true little-kid-hood.  And I’ve heard from other parents that when kids turn seven they get really easy, which sounds fabulous and I’m dreading it. 

Enzo is six.  Tick tick tick.  At his basketball games when he’s on the bench, Teresa and I wave to him and he waves back.  In about thirty seconds, he’ll be pretending not to know us.  But since he’ll be ignoring us, I’ll probably have more time to read.

And what if he doesn’t like being written about?  Most people don’t.  I hate it.  Teresa doesn’t mind it.  I think it has something to do with the fact that in her art she makes pictures of people, and she really doesn’t care if they think they look pretty.  It’s hers, not theirs.  My writing is the same.  That said, if I wrote that she was fat, there’d be hell to pay.  p.s.  She is not fat.  God forbid. 

One last thing:  Enzo came up to me and gave me a Look.  It was neutral but intent, right up close, nose to nose.  He stared deep into my eyes.  Then he said, “I’m laughing telepathically.”

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