For those of you who aren't able to take in the beauty of New England during autumn, today's post is brought to you by photos that we took at the Big Apple in Wrenthem, MA, this past week-end...
I have a confession to take make.
I think I may have lived during the Salem witch trials, and died from having been weighted down with stones.
How do I know this? Well, see, here’s the thing: for some reason, I have this irrational fear when people lay on top of me.
You know how couples like to snuggle on the couch? Comforting, isn’t it? Not always for me. If the poor person I’m with ends up on top of me, I start to freak out.
I’m not sure what it is. I just start to feel…stifled. Like I’m helpless. Like that person could somehow smother me, crush my ribcage, burst my lungs.
I know, it’s irrational. And it’s not a new fear, either: I had it when I lived with Josie, who weighed all of 120 pounds when I first started dating her, and I have it now, with Corb, who weighs all of…ummmm…130 pounds.
The other day, Corb decided to lay on top of me.
I tried not to feel the terror I always feel. I tried to close my mind, and block out the panic. I tried to enter into my own panic room, with a combination of 00000. But after a few minutes, I couldn’t take it any more, and I started to squirm.
Corb was understandably hurt. And I resolved, there and then, to try and overcome this fear.
So, for the past week, I’ve been trying to get Corb to lie on top of me, for five minutes at a stretch. Just to see if I can learn to get over this. So far, so good. We’ll see this old dog can learn some new tricks.
But isn’t it strange? I wonder why I get like that. Does anyone else have the same irrational fear? It’s a good thing Corb’s not into bondage…
Actually, now that I think about it, Josie once did try to tie me up to our bed. She couldn’t even get me tied to one bedpost before I begged her to stop.
I turned to look at Theo, who was sitting on the couch, working on his homework. "Yes, sweetie?"
"You know how you wanted to study with me for my science test on flowers?"
Theo lifted up his backpack, which was hanging open, like a smile. "I kind of forgot the study sheet at school."
I tried to look firm. "Theo! That's not going to help!"
He waited a minute, as I turned back to my New Yorker . "Ummm...dad?"
I placed the magazine back down. "Yes, Theo?"
He grinned, impishly. "Would you mind signing a paper saying I studied, so that I don't have to stay indoor for recess tomorrow?"
I laughed out loud. "And why should I do that?"
"I know the flowers, really I do!" he said, excitedly. "The gave us a quiz today, and I got them all right. Ask me about pollination. Go ahead, just ask me!"
"Okay...tell me about pollination, Theo."
Theo pushed his glasses up to his nose, and then started into his pitch, in the chirpy sing-song style that he has, where most of his answers end up as a question. "That's when a bee goes to a flower? And then, he takes pollen out of the anther? And then, the bee flies to another flower and drops the pollen into the stigma."
He looked so proud of himself. I shook my head, slowly. "No, that's not it."
I looked over at him, seriously. "Sweetie, here's what happens. The bee flies over to a flower, right?"
"Right," says Theo.
"And he starts by saying, all sleezy, 'What's a nice flower like you doing in a garden like this?' And yes, the flower is flattered. And the flower says, 'I bet you say that to all the tulips.' Then the bee does a little sweet talking, see, and the flower kind of likes it, and before you know it, that bee gets what he wants. But here's the bad part."
Theo looked over at me, not believing a word of this. "What?"
"Then, that bee flies off to pollinate other flowers! And there's the first flower...broken...dejected...feeling used...saying, 'See, you're just like all the other bees!'"
I heard Corb laughing from the kitchen. He walked into the room. "And then, the flower goes on Jerry Springer, because that stupid bee says that the flower isn't his."
"Right, and they have to test pollen!" I say.
"And the bee walks onto Jerry's show, and says the flower's not his, and that flower's like, 'Oh no you didn't!'"
"And then the test comes out positive, and the bee starts paying flower support. And THAT's pollination!"
Poor Theo. I signed his letter, just for the aggravation we give him.
Naugahyde and Kielbasa
Yes, by the way, I am extremely pleased that the Boston Red Sox are in the World Series. Glad you asked!
There were years, primarily in college, where I would listen to every game, throughout the summer. Hazy, languorous days they were, spent reclining in a hammock with the radio on...or, days spent behind the cash register, at a convenience store. I knew the names of all the regulars, and the first question was always, "What's the score?"
These days, I only find the time during play-offs and those occasional World Series. Corb frowns upon the Red Sox. He's a Yankee fan, he is. It's funny how that works: I prefer New Theater theater to Boston, but he's reversed on that. When it comes to sports, we trade places.
And of course, any Series with the Red Sox brings back memories of my grandmother and father, and the heartbreaking 1986 World Series against the Mets. I was 21, and dad and I would make our way to Nana's in-law apartment, and stretch out on her naugahyde furniture. Each evening, Nana would make us polish kielbasa, in honor of Carl Yastzremski.
Whenever I think of the Red Sox, that's the place I go back to. My dad, clapping his hands and cheering on every brilliant move, and savagely criticizing every mistake (don't ask about Buckner's gimpy legs). Nana, in her robe, crocheting. laughter. It's a little slice of heaven, sitting inside my head.