I instantly swept him up into my arms. Held him as hard as he was sobbing.
“I’ll get her back, dad, I promise.”
My heart exploded. Again.
Like a Looney Tune cartoon where a predictable disaster keeps happening to the coyote in ever more original variations.
Noah was talking about his babysitter.
I thought of his mother, who left years ago in a dramatic meltdown. Does he feel responsible?
I thought of my Mother, who died almost a month ago. I’ve been dragging around a raw sadness. Does he want to repair me?
Last night he mistreated his sitter in that mini-macho mode he sometimes adopts. Acts like a bitchy middle aged man (imitating his dad?). An urgent phone call pulled me out of a film premiere which I had dragged myself to in the first place (its part of my valiant efforts to preserve my career as a film director). She was in tears, he was close to… .
After “parenting” I hung up and felt like finding a carpet to disappear into. Instead I kicked myself back into the movie.
A story of endless love across multiple lives. Man, even if I shoot myself, I have to start over? Maybe reincarnation is the punch line to this joke of a life.
Noah stops sobbing.
My Looney Tune heart is ready for another comical catastrophe.
“You don’t need to bring anybody back, Noah. Alissa told me she really cares for you. She just wants to be respected. Ok?”.
He nods and wipes his nose on my sleeve.
Yes, love is a many splendor-ed mucous munificence.
Last night, after the movie, at the party of the glitterati at which I felt like the proverbial moth, I wanted only one thing… to lean my head against someone.
To wipe my nose against someone’s sleeve. To feel their heart explode with mine.
The perfect way to hang a ‘don’t touch’ sign around my neck.
Don’t touch…danger of falling in love.
“Dad, I think I’ll tell Keegan today that I think she’s hot.”
Keegan is in Grade Six. He’s in Grade three.
“Do you think, like, that I should?”
“Yes.” Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes……
“What if she laughs at me?”
“Then she’s a fool and you’ll know it.”
He’s checking himself in the mirror, wondering whether the puffy eyes look good or not.
“I love you, Dad.”
“I love you too, Noah.”
Don’t touch, it hurts. Touch, it hurts. Don’t touch…