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over the weekend, marty had to make a morning run to the grocery store. when this happens, my sleeping body will get nudged and told she is leaving and i'm on. i blearily sit up and look for the clothes that got dropped next to bed the night before. once she sees i'm staying upright, she leaves.

i immediately move to the bathroom, urinate, brush my teeth and walk out. bella, like an apparition, bounds towards me with a vigor that makes my foggy body tense as she nears. she brightly asks if she can go over to one of the neighbor girl's houses. i bless the request wordlessly passing my hand through the air. with a 'yippee' she spins on a socked heel and quick steps down the stairs. moments later the front door loudly slams. moments after that i realize i can't recall which neighbor girl she was off to visit. as i stand in the hall with a hand laced in my hair working to remember the conversation, alex rounds the corner in nothing but a pull-up, "i cold daddy!"

were you to watch alex and i help get each other dressed, you'd wonder who had less sense. or perhaps it is less interest in the outcome of the effort. on this twelve degree day alex walked out of his room wearing a pair of batman underwear, backwards, and green corduroy overalls. no shirt. no socks. now that we were appropriately attired, somewhat, we moved downstairs.

i was in the kitchen making oatmeal. alex came in carrying a marshmallow poker (from the fireplace) and asked for a flashlight. he was hunting treasures beneath the radiators. there is without doubt enough mystery in those cob-webbed recesses to warrant a jacques cousteau documentary. i hand him a commercial-grade magLite from the pantry. the heft of the metal tube causes the arm carrying it to sag by his side as he set out on his expedition.

i've now finished my oatmeal and am reading the paper when marty loudly enters the front door, several shopping bag handles looped over her forearms. she makes her way to the kitchen, heavily drops the load on the countertop, takes a breath, looks at me and says, "why does my son look like 80% of the men in porno movies?" i walk into the foyer, momentarily studying alex moving about the living room in his shirtless overalls and large flashlight. i return to the kitchen and sedately say, "it would be 90% if her were carrying a pipe-wrench."




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