It was a quiet week on Lake Laid-Off, my home town, out on the urban antheap. Not inert by any means, but wonderfully less complicated. I took some time away from the blog, reveling in Robert's precious little epigrams (about cows in space, and riding his bike to the jungle, and who invented bark). TwoBert is cruising like mad, and he's mastered hand signals for "milk" and "more." It's a matter of time before he waddles down the street and flips off his first bike messenger.
There was time for books, for dates with my wife, for a little culture. There's also been time at the gym--and the steam room, which is great for thinking but lousy for taking notes. As I type I'm desperately trying to re-create some really good phrasing that came to me during my last shvitz.
Relaxation is a wonderful thing, but when it's time to go back to work one must ready oneself for the return to the grind. I can only imagine that this is what my wife had in mind Sunday morning when she woke me up with a diaperful of TwoBert's garlic poop and said, "You have got to smell this."
Thus began the aptly initialed Sensory Overload Sunday, when my central nervous system took a day-long ride in the paddywhack machine.
We started with a birthday party at a LES pizza joint. It sounded benign enough until we found that 1) the place was about as big as my living room and 2) 23 kids showed up. Each kid got a helium balloon and an over-frosted cupcake, so they all ran around like agitated CO2 bubbles, threatening to strangle each other with the balloon ribbons, until the gathering mercifully ended and we all spewed onto Clinton Street.
For normal people, this would be enough for one day. But not us. We chose instead to fight our way through the crowds on Delancey Street, ride the squalid F train to Herald Square (which on weekends is virtually impassable with human clots), and walk to MSG to attend the circus.
I'm not much of a circus person, since circus performers are basically carnies with a bigger bankroll. But my friend scored some free tickets, and we pretty much got what we paid for. There were some fun stunts, like the Motorbikes in the Metal Mesh Ball, but the only animals bigger than a bread box were the elephants. No lions, tigers, or bears. The clowns over-pandered, the music was ear-splitting, and the popcorn cost $7/box. The only real selling point was the completely hott Mistress of Ceremonies, who kept urging us to Use Our Imagination! (Trust me. I did.) When the lights finally came up, Robert's first words were, "Can we get outta here now?"
For the next several hours I was kind of numb. We went home in a shell-shocked trance and collapsed on the couch. (At least I think it was the couch. For all I could sense, it could have been the bathtub.) When I woke up I was grumpy, groggy, and fidgety.
The transition back to work was remarkably seamless.