Everyone's asleep but me, which has happened maybe three times since Fuss was born.
Time to blog!
We lunched at our favorite Mexican restaurant last week, which we've done a couple of times a month since Fuss was still in the womb. Jose & his sister Litzy have had one of those Disney nature doc time lapse views of his first five years, from in the tummo to in the front pack to now, just running around the dining room like a Spanish anarchist looking for a barricade. They've watched him go from eating nothing, to eating salt, to taking chips with his salt, to only eating beans, then only eating rice before finally arriving at an enlightened intersection where he salts a chip, piles it with rice & beans then downs the collage whole.
They have a row of novelty vending machines back by the wine bar, which has exerted its glamour on him over the years. He does stuff all the time that revives desiccated old memories in me, stuff I never have and except for him never would have remembered, like the feeling of looking a vending machine in the eye with empty pockets, wondering what magical artifacts they'd disgorge if only I'd had some change to ply them with.
Which of course makes me a sucker for his wide-eyed pleas, even though adult me "knows better" and understands vending machines are capitalist sinkholes baited with cheap junk.
The lineup changes from time to time, and this particular afternoon Fuss called me over to observe a new offering-
"Look, dada...GOLD JEWELRY."
"MMmmm." I Mmm'nd noncommittally, already hearing his next sentence.
"Do you have any money?"
"Not right now," which was true because I didn't.
"I want to get jewelry for someone I really love."
Cousin Fiend, I assumed, who we were picking up from school later.
"Sorry, Fuss. I don't have any change."
Undeterred, he hit up Mama with better results.
Outside at the car, he handed me the plastic acorn he couldn't open.
"Look, Dada, it's got a RING inside."
He looked at it with a furrowed brow.
"Dada, even a small ring can still fit on a big person."
"Sure it can."
I wrestled the packaging open after a bit of struggle and handed him the ring, as flimsy as anything made of metal could possibly be.
He held it in his fat palm, considering, still slightly worried.
"Dada, isn't it beautiful?"
"It certainly is."
"Here, Dada, hold out your finger," grabbing my hand.
I extended my index finger and he tried to get the ring on it, but it hung up on the cuticle of my fingernail.
"Let's try this one instead," offering my pinkie.
This time the little ring cleared the first knuckle before butting up against the second.
I wiggled my finger, the ring flashing in the sun.
"Do you like it, Dada?" Concerned and uncertain.
"I love it, Fuss."
"I love you, Dada."
More memories, of things never being what you expected, always shoddier, a put on meant to trick you.
It's nothing I can change about the world, but I will always take his side.