The News

Elizabeth Taylor had distichiasis- a gene mutation that causes you to have a second row of eyelashes and therefore look smoldering hot at all times. 

I’m reading about rare and ancient gene mutations, such as a gene that allowed Tesla and Dali to cycle through sleep patterns faster therefore requiring less sleep.

“I have that,” Charley says.

“No you sleep all the time. All you do is sleep.”

“I know you think I’m a genius; that’s why you married me.” I don’t think he realizes how close this is to being over. Or maybe he doesn’t think about it.

Sunday morning. I start the morning with an art show invitation from someone who blocked me on Facebook, and an admonishing comment from a protected blog about how pitifully I was handling my marriage. 

Then I fume for a minute, feed the baby, and pick up the Sunday New York Times off the pebbled driveway.

What do you have to say to me today, recycled roll of wood pulp? A picture of Trump participating in a sword dance in Saudi Arabia after making a $110 billion weapons deal; an article about 58,000 Haitians in U.S. possibly losing safeguard granted after a 2010 earthquake; two U.N investigators slaughtered in the Democratic Republic of Congo while researching a massacre. 

What is happening?

Halfway through reading about the killing and jailing of C.I.A. informants in China, I hear growling and turn to see my dog Duke pinning down my dog Freyja while my littlest dog Lady tries to hump her. There is literally insanity and evil happening everywhere! 

But the sky is blue, the breeze is warm, and Dakota is smiling. I’m reading the Sunday paper over a cup of hot coffee. Life is good.

Dakota starts crying. Charley comes out to the patio. It appears his grandpa collapsed but Charley’s tablet is fucked up and can he borrow my phone to read the rest of the message from his mom.

I lend him my phone. He logs in to Facebook messenger. His grandpa had a seizure or a stroke while visiting Charley’s uncle in Colorado. He’s just regained consciousness. They’re waiting to find out more about it.

It’s only been half a year since his grandma passed. I was in the hospital with preeclampsia and the whole experience nearly sent Charley over the edge.

He’s crestfallen. Life. Is. Good and hard and short and unpredictable.

I give Charley a hug. “I’m sorry I’ve been annoying,” I say. “I just want a change. Need a change. But I love you.”

“I know you love me. I love you too. That’s all that matters.”

It’s not all that matters. But it does matter. This is our family.

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