08 January 2008

Kissing asphalt

The spouse was confronted by the spectacle of Milton, the cat who eats everything (add asparagus to the list), relentlessly gnashing his teeth this morning.

When he brought me coffee, he told me, "He was making the most awful sound. I thought he was heaving."

Milton also likes to eat the Christmas tree, which tends to make him vomit.

"What was it?" I asked blearily, trying to drag myself into an upright position. Lugging the son around is taking its toll, and I had to drive the kids into school this morning...not a happy proposition.

"It was Olivier!" he cried, referring to the neighbors' semi-evil tuxedo cat. Milton has a long-running feud going with Olivier, and runs out to smack him on the head whenever possible.

"What was Olivier?" I asked, confused. Just get the IV needle; the caffeine wasn't absorbing fast enough via my stomach.

"Olivier had his face pushed up against the French doors, and Milton was yelling at him."

"Wow." I thought about this display of boldness. Milton was really going to pummel Olivier the next time he got a chance.

"Okay, gotta go," said the spouse. He was off to a mediation in Century City, which at this time of day, would be a 2.5-hour drive.

The next hour is largely indescribable, but involves a breakfast tray, wrestling a 142-lb. almost-man into his school clothes, packing lunches, repeatedly hollering for the daughter to "go-and-eat-your-breakfast-right-now-I-don't-care-if-you-don't-want-Puffins," wrestling the almost-man into my Camry along with his crutches and overstuffed backpack.

"Mom!" he yelled, as I climbed behind the wheel. "My pills!"

I wait until the last possible moment to give him his painkillers because they need to last until I go over at lunch to dispense the next round. So, out of the car, back into the house, retrieve juice and pills, hand them to the son, put key in ignition, note with displeasure that we are now 10 minutes late leaving the house, and pull out of the driveway.

There is a reason that I walk the children to school, beyond the obvious health benefits. It is physically impossible to drive them unless you enjoy drag racing or demolition derbies. The spouse seemingly enjoys both and performs a maneuveur every morning that should be illegal in at least 17 states, including this one.

I'm not so bold, and my car is a lot smaller, so I do it the old-fashioned way: drive a mile circle around the school until I can find a parking place somewhere that is not a red zone and unload the kid and his gear and get him down to his locker. So what is a 10-minute walk is about a 20-minute drive.

This morning, I just gave up and parked in the church parking lot adjacent to the school. We have permission from the church to do so, so this should be easy, right?

Of course not.

In order to get home, I have 50 feet to get across four lanes of traffic to access the left turn lane. The last time I tried that at morning rush hour, I ended up three miles down the road before I even made it into the left lane. You think California freeways are bad during rush hour? They've got nothing on this road.

I parked, wrestled the almost-man out of the Camry and down to his locker, and then walked home.

Half an hour later, I retrieved my car from the church parking lot.

Milton wasn't the only one gnashing his teeth this morning.

Go listen to some good music: "Kissing Asphalt" from the album God Bless the Go-Go's by The Go-Go's.

No comments: