Today I went back to work. Gaby was home with the kids, so she was worried things would be super difficult.
At work, I had to use my computer, of course, and email. But I refrained from checking my phone as much as usual. That might not sound like an accomplishment, but, if you really think about how many times a day you pick up your phone for funsies, it’s a lot. However, since Gaby was home with the kids and wasn’t allowed to text (or use any screens) she did use the landline to call me…about six times. That sounds like too many, but when I compare it to the texts we generally send each other throughout the day, it’s nothing. It does feel like a lot when the phone rings so many times, though. There were many, many times I felt like picking up the phone to send her a quick text about random stuff I was thinking about, but I couldn’t. It occurred to me that I had to write it down for later, or just try to remember everything. I chose just trying to remember.
Gaby was busy today. She went grocery shopping. She made two loaves of white bread. She made a dinner inspired by Alice Waters, consisting of a lemon roasted chicken with garlic and parsley, jasmine rice, and carrot salad (the carrots shredded by hand). She prepared the material for the homemade cheez-its she wants to make for Cyrus tomorrow. In addition, she cut potatoes for french fries later this week. Today, she says, she learned what a 1950’s housewife might’ve felt like. She worked her ass off all day and couldn’t imagine a partner coming home, eating the dinner she spent all day making, maybe saying thanks you, and then going to bed.
One of the phone calls she made to me today was to tell me that Erika was reading on the couch, of her own free will, and that Cyrus was going outside to play…by himself. Gaby took this picture for you: She was making bread in the kitchen. It was warm and smelled of yeast, whereas outside it was 15 degrees with some leftover snow on the ground. From the kitchen window she saw him outside chasing the neighbor’s chickens, picking up random things in the yard, and running back inside to “check on” her. He did this for 30 minutes. For one of the first times ever, he had an urge to go outside.
The kids just spent an entire day without netflix or video games. (Erika and her friends did go to see a movie, but nothing here at the house.) Apparently, Cyrus was also working in his activity book and drawing, too. Erika’s friends are still here. Three teenage girls are doing facials in the basement. I’m not sure if the guests have their phone on them (I’m sure they do), but when I went down there to grab something, I saw them all playing with Erika’s new Polaroid camera. So. It’s possible to do things without internet.
I forgot to tell you how awful my morning was. I woke up to a dead car battery. Like, super dead. Like, I used dad’s charger overnight and it was at 14% this morning. So, Gaby had to take me to work. But not until I found my wallet. So, that took about 45 minutes of cussing and looking around the house. Eventually, I found the wallet. The battery is still dead, though.
Gaby picked me up at work with Cyrus, and we went to buy a battery. I came home feeling pretty butch about changing it, but my stupid car has some stupid battery bracket that I can’t reach without a long ratchet-y wrench. Don’t worry, I’ll have the tool to do it tomorrow. I’m telling you all of this because usually on days like this, I’d come home and have several glasses of whiskey and play on my phone while Gaby watches some sci-fi show I don’t like until we just fell asleep. But. I had just one beer, instead.
I think we sent out a few letters today. And I should mention that Gaby has been making a lot of phone calls. Like. Right now she’s on the phone. Right beside me. So, it’s hard for me to concentrate on what I’m writing. I’d wait and revise later, but it’s nearly our bedtime.
I’ve just told Gaby that I’ve noticed her phone calls. She’s made many. She is a communicator at heart. For example, she’s been on the phone for about an hour and a half with an old friend she hasn’t talked to in a long time. I’ve seen her posted up on the kitchen with the phone cord stretched.
Oh, one more thing, while Gaby was on the phone, Erika and her friends where in the kitchen trying to pick up and listen in. Ha. Just like old fashioned times. In the 80s.
And here is a picture I took today: I was putting clothes away and Gaby was on the phone. Cyrus has a record/cd player in his room and he called to me, “mom, can I listen to led zepplin?” I helped him get it going. Then, a few minutes later, when he might’ve gotten bored of it and followed me back into our room, I looked across the hallway and saw him staring at the record player, his arms folded and head resting, fixated by “babe, I’m gonna leave you.”