station platform nervosa
Adam rode the train by himself tonight, for the first darn time. The intrepid journey into metropolis was to join his mother for a high falutin’ dinner to chat about important stuff (like who keeps stealing his lunch at school) and then “catch” a show at the Fifth Avenue Theatre. Oliver Fern and I walked with him into the Capitol Hill station and after waving his transit pass in front of the electronic card reader which emits a grating electronic blip that tells you to hurry already, he dismissively (quite unceremoniously, if I should say so) waved us off goodbye or something like it while commencing the descent atop the escalator which goes down very, very far into a mighty cavernous hole that was dug impressively deep (deeper than most, apparently). Down on the subterranean, windy platform waiting for just about forever into the future because the dadblasted train got broken down someplace else, he found himself confronted by half a dozen concerned, well-meaning bystanders (including the transit police) who couldn’t comprehend how in the world anyone under thirty years of age let alone an eleven year old could possibly venture into the city without a telephone surgically implanted to their head. The breathless recounting tonight about this Big Train Station To-Do unnerved me far more than him because you get lumpy-throated when it comes to your babies. The plan was fairly failure-safe with his mother on the platform just a couple stops down the line waiting to receive him and don’t accept candy or video games, kick the creep nice and hard in the acorns, gouge the eyeballs, scream as loudly as you can, most of all watch out for “nice” people but never mind. Sure I was wracked with parental guilt until the eagle landed but Adam was passing the threshold to Pluto, for Pete’s sake. And after all, Seattle’s no Thunderdome plus he’s well aware two out of every three grownups are useless, he can handle himself.
postscript: This is a sliced-and-diced excerpt from a December draft (still that doggone first week). I’ve been stuck. Everything I write has been sounding like prototypical pseudo-pretentious bloggy-woggy horseshit. Well, the usual problems with coherence are cropping up, too. Oh bother, I’ll get there! Winter break is over. Grandma left town by jet airplane back to the Windy City, yesterday. As you can imagine, this has the boys in more of a funk than homework. It’ll certainly be quieter around here. Much of my discretionary time continues to be occupied by the in-depth study of that wonder and mystery called the tides you see having had in my possession for some time a trio of fascinating books on the subject that were waiting to be dusted off and finally one day several weeks ago when the boys, grandmother and I explored about sunny Lincoln Park in faraway West Seattle for the occasion of observing the impressive king tides, it dawned upon me a rearranging of the queue was in order and so I’ve been happily transported lately to places like the Bay of Fundy, Mont Saint Michel, the Qiantang or weathered pages of my old tide tables for different points around the Whulge. A couple of the books had been languishing atop that little three drawer pullout I refashioned (utilizing my orbital saw, a sander thingy and another cutter thingy) from the arts-and-crafty desk the neighbors left sitting on the sidewalk last winter. It’s the conundrum of the generalist in that I’ve wanted to dive into them the worst way but needed the right window.