Last night, instead of blogging into the night, I decided to go to bed early. This was done primarily to explore the option of maybe getting something resembling intimacy on the table. We had just finished having a conversation whilst I was trying to read some of you. So I turned the PDA off and we talked about the kids. Earlier in the day we had a conversation and it terminated abruptly after she interrupted me for the dozenth time. So this time I mostly kept my mouth shut and had to really fight to keep from getting annoyed.
After talking she proceeded to get ready for bed whilst I finished my reading. 20 mintes later, I went into our bedroom and she was lying in the inverted position wrapped in her rug. I gave her some kisses consisting of a series of short pecks which she sort of returned. It was dark and I had my glasses off, so I didn’t whether or not she was grimacing or rolling her eyes. I would have been okay just cuddling for a bit. I attempted to put my arm across her chest, and she tried to move it away. A brief but comical struggle ensued as I attempted to drape my arm acrooss her, and her trying to push it away.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“Your arm is too heavy! I can’t breathe!”
One would think that my biceps are the size of midsized sedans by her protestations. It was as if the sheer tonnage of a single arm of mine was going to crush her ribcage into her spine or puncture a lung. One of my mighty arms, resting against her mosquito-sized body, threatened to squeeze the life out of her like oil from an olive press. Extra virgin, of course.
I layed there for awhile, with my arms straight down by my side until my snoring woke me up. I switched to my regular sleeping position at her request.
My great grandmother came over on the boat from Ireland at the turn of the century, eventually divorcing my great grandfather. Unheard of at that time, in the Catholic church, no less. My grandad had the run of Chicago, along with his older brother since their mother was trying to scratch out enough to take care of two boys. He watched his brother fall off a roof and plummet to his death before he was 10. By the time he was in eigth grade, he was always in trouble and had pretty much quit schoool. His mother shipped him off to Iowa to stay with relatives, hoping they might be able to handle him. These folks were rough and tough. Each day, they sent him out with a .22 rifle and one bullet. That was his dinner. Whatever he shot, he ate. If he shot nothing, he ate nothing. Grandad learned to take careful aim and make every shot count. He also came to love fishing more than hunting.
Two summers ago, grandad was going through his routine. Grandma had died twenty years ago with alzheimers and cancer in her lymph nodes. He cooked and ate supper, fed his dog, and did his crossword puzzle from the local newspaper. He finished the puzzle, washed his dishes, sat back into his recliner and died at the age of 86 with his dog by his side. The same one Thomas had disliked a couple summers before Mom later checked the completed crossword; it was 100% correct.
The above has nothing whatsoever to do with last night’s sleeping with Arwyn, except that I do have a rather rich Irish history with elements of tragedy in it. Very hardy stock. I read somewhere about a curious Irish practice at funerals described as “keening.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, or heard it from others, but I do think I’ve done it. And I think I did it last night in the wee hours of the morning. A very long, mournful moan that came out from the depths of my soul. Arwyn gave my foot a vigorous shake (remember her head is by my feet) but I had already awakened myself. Not so much from my own noise as much as the vibration of my own bones as they resonnated to the hollow and haunted lament of my inner self. It’s as if the voices of my ancesters were calling out and protesting somehow.
This morning I experimented with another holiday gift possibility; caramel corn. It turned out pretty well if the way Arwyn and the boys were gobbling the stuff up is any indication. I’ll pass on a helpful tidbit: any kind of popcorn can be microwaved. Simply put 1/3 cup into a paper lunch bag, tape the sack shut and nuke for 3-4 minutes. The bag can be reused over and over to make as much as you want. I made about 8 quarts using only one bag. No need to buy the expensive “microwavable” popcorn with all the extra junk. Put your own junk on it! All popcorn is microwavable. Save a buck or two.