The boys spent the day at the La Brea tar-pits. I spent it in my pajamas, unshaven and unwashed, trying to get a few more posts done before the end of the month. I was jealous of their journey, but glad for the quiet it left me. I filled the silence with Lester Young and Cannonball Adderley. I filled my stomach, fresh from a week of lava-hot detox with slow cups of coffee and small sips of water. Let the healing begin.
When Tricia brought the boys home they were asleep. They were both clutching partially eaten quesadillas and books about dinosaurs. I carried Atticus inside and placed him on our bed. He hadn’t napped since the Clinton administration and I wasn’t anticipating him to do so now, but he did. He slept long and hard and two hours later when I woke him up by blowing raspberries on his tummy he was wide-eyed and full of dinosaur tales.
Somewhere shortly thereafter the confusion began. I started prepping for dinner. It was 6:30. The sun was up. He laughed and said that he wanted cereal. We joked about it for a minute before we both realized that the other wasn’t kidding. I really was making dinner, and he really thought it was morning.
He refused to accept that he hadn’t slept through till morning. I tried to explain that it was night, but with the sun not setting until well after 7 it made my case a tough sell. Finally, I took him to the neighbor for a third opinion.
The neighbor stopped what he was doing and said he was glad to see me. He wanted to invite us, what, yes, it’s night, Atticus, to a party this Saturday. Turns out that he and his
wife girlfriend- what, I thought they were married, sinners, anyway, turns out that they were getting married tomorrow at the Justice o’ Peace and were having a reception on Saturday. We kept talking and before I knew it my neighbors were no longer getting married on Friday, but rather on Saturday, at their party.
We planned a surprise wedding with all of their party guest in attendance. I am to officiate. It’s legal, I’ve done it before. Suddenly I have plans this weekend. They are paying me in beer and tacos.
I went inside and continued making dinner. Atticus still thought I was “being silly” and cried until I gave in and poured him a bowl of cereal.
“You can have this,” I told him, “for dinner.”
“Thank you, silly Daddy.” he said, and he sat there eating Trix with his brother. He didn’t even notice when the sun went down.