Wednesday, April 4, 2007

grande skim angst

Someone please spike my latte with Drano, or at the very least a strong single malt. It's come down to this - I'm sitting in a cafe on the Hill on a rainy Wednesday morning, pecking away at the Macbook keyboard, casting dirty looks at the somber and unattractive patrons surrounding me. I might have experienced a Kafka metamorphosis in my sleep and woke up a tragically hip, wanna-be. Is that my skin crawling or are those actual bugs? One thing is for certain - I'm a zombie today. In fact I'm half tempted to ask this crusty guy reading the Post obits on the couch next to me if I can have a bite of his brain. After all, he doesn't look like he uses it much and I haven't had any protein today. That's mostly because I need to save room for beer and hot dogs at the Nationals game this afternoon, assuming the weather clears up. If it doesn't, I don't really care. At least I'm not at the office today. After the Jackal's tummy problems last night, I would have zero game for office dynamics.

Around 1am the gagging cough followed by the most pathetic moans down the hall, jolted me from the bed. I knew this was not Baci, our chocolate lab, because his retching comes with heavy bass tones. This noise was all treble, so my heart sank into the acidic sea of my stomach. To borrow a line from one of my favorite Richard Prior stand-up pieces, I "opened the door, man, and the funk rushed out the room, knocked me to my goddamn knees." Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but there was a funk, and my knees did shake for a second. Then instinct took over and everything flowed rather smoothly, the only exception being Jack's angst over his "banky" being tossed down the steps with the rest of the puke-saturated refuse. I dabbed his hot body with a washcloth as he rested his weary head on my shoulder, and his mom brushed his hair with her fingers. I have to say, part of me enjoys it when he's under the weather because it's the only time his fierce independence takes a break and he actually cuddles with us. After a couple hours of him cat napping, tossing, turning in our bed, he decided he wanted to go it alone again, so we dispatched him back to his room and tried to salvage some sleep for ourselves. 

Before I passed out, I reflected for a few moments on the minor event and how it was handled and made a connection to something that has been nagging me about the recent sprouting of "alternadad" memoirs in books, mags, and blogs. While I really dig all of that stuff and admittedly find myself reading it on a fairly consistent basis, I can't help but wonder if it's merely a bunch of dads (some moms too - dooce, etc.) patting themselves too much on the backs for exercising their basic paternal instincts. I mean, the Jackal puked in his bed and I reacted to it with not much window dressing. Yes, I am sitting here blogging about it, and in some ways I am putting myself on trial with this debate. Is it pure enjoyment and journaling the parental experience or is it so much over-glorification (I'm too tired to check if that is a word)? More to come on this topic, but it's a seed worth planting here. At the end of the day, whether I'm a fan or not, this movement affects me. It's akin to a movie you walk away from with strong feelings of hatred - you might not have liked it, but it affected you in that it elicited a heavy emotional response, making it a successful piece of art.

Okay, back to life and my growling stomach. I wonder if any bars around here are open this early...

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