Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I think I had forgotten to mention in this blog that a tree fell on Audrey's house last week. It is the sort of small, everyday detail that one overlooks. Well. As all the Ashevilleins know quite well, we've been experiencing some climate change repercussions: to wit, weird ass thunderstorms with damn near tornado strength winds. One came through West Asheville last Thursday and wreaked mad devastation on the whole neighborhood. There's a tree in my yard now, by the way, which is cool with me because I need some wood to build this crazy gate I have in my head, and the downstairs screens blew off the doors and we lost power but we got off lightly - poor Audrey has a tree in her bedroom. And her landlord is in Iceland. Her bed is also destroyed, which super bites because it is - was - a fancy king size bed and now she is spoiled: the affordable futon on the floor with which she was raised is no longer satisfactory but she's too broke to buy another good bed.

At any rate, Audrey has moved in with me for the duration, which is to say, until there is no longer an attractive display of branches coming through her ceiling. We do not know how long this will take - see Iceland, above - and so here we are, all back together again, which is sort of comforting, because it feeds my secret belief that Audrey is actually 11 or 12 and Miles is 3 or 4, which is apparently the age that they stopped growing in my subconscious, and sort of annoying because, you know, empty nest syndrome rocks. To illustrate, let me tell you this anecdote: Thursday night after the tornado-thunderstorm-hurricane-act of god (which I missed on account of being at work) had blown through we were all sitting on the porch around tenish, exhausted. Comments of hunger were made and naturally, I got up and started making grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches through my half asleep fog. I heard one child comment to the other that perhaps someone should help Mom and then I heard my darling daughter say, "No, don't worry about it. This actually relaxes her! She loves cooking for us - it calms her down to have us here and be making food."


Apparently I did something very wrong along the way in my parenting career.

ANYWAY all of this was a longwinded way to explain what happened when I got home last night, where I was greeted immediately by that same darling daughter. "Look at this!" she exclaimed, "Is this poison ivy or fleabites?" and put her leg up on the kitchen table for examination.
"I haven't even put my purse down yet" I protested feebly,
"No, look!"
"Neither," I said after a glance at a whole bunch of little red dots, "I think it's chiggers."
"Chiggers?!!? It can't be chiggers! Do you do nail polish or nail polish remover on chiggers?"
"Neither," I said, "Kyle says they don't actually live under your skin and get smothered."
"That's not chiggers," said Miles, who had emerged from his lair in the basement, fondly referred to as Teenage Wasteland.
"Aaaaaugh!" shrieked Audrey, "It can't be chiggers! I'm going to look it up on the internet."
"How was work, dear?" I asked my son, who has acquired a construction job,
"Nothing but modern day wage slavery," he snarled, "What do you think it was like?"
"OH MY GOD MOM come look at these skin rashes!" yelled Audrey from the computer room, "I think it's bedbugs!"
"Well that bed did come from New York," I said, "And they say New York is full of bedbugs -"
"And it will never get better," said my son in a voice of doom, "It's just going to be minimum wage slavery for the moneyed classes forever for me,"
"I have to go look at bedbug bites," I said apologetically as he disappeared down the steps,
". . . revolution. . . proletariat. . . capitalism sucks" came echoing upwards and I went in to the computer room to look at a monitor covered with pictures of weeping sores.
"You know," I said, edging away, "I think I'll go have a beer on the porch."

So, yes, the kids are back. But, hey, it's relaxing.

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