Take what you can get

I decided a few months ago to re-watch all seasons of TV show The Wire. I originally watched it in a post-surgical, drug-addled (appropriately) haze and blur, cramming the entire 5 seasons into the month I had from work, between vacation days taken as a result of the surgery, followed by the holidays. I originally thought I would buy each season, so I could watch them at my leisure and finally look at some of the extras, but that proved too expensive, so I requested them from the library. As I was nearing the end of a season, I’d request the next one. It worked out pretty well. I don’t have a ton of time to watch TV but what I watch is pretty filtered to specifically what I want to watch, so it takes less time than you’d think to keep up on what I want to see, especially with a Tivo, as I skip commercials. I don’t think I have just flipped on the TV and watched whatever is on in at least 7 years. I never have any idea what people are talking about when they make comments or jokes about a recently-aired commercial, and that’s fine with me.

Last night, I finally sat down to watch the last episode of the final season. Re-watching the show while not on Vicodin has been an enlightening experience. There are truly whole episodes I don’t remember much of, so it was almost like seeing the series for the first time. I skipped Dyngus Day festivities to watch it, as I knew I wouldn’t have time the rest of this week to see it, and it’s already overdue at the library. I wasn’t even to the opening credits when my soon-to-be 5-year-old son emerged from his room and stood there, not saying anything and staring at me through a plant. It’s dark in my basement apartment and I couldn’t really see him, but I saw him appear there and said, “You had better be getting up to pee, because otherwise you can just march right back in your room. It’s way past your bedtime.” He answered, “My bed is covered in blood.”

This will make you spring out of your seat, even if you ran three miles at lunch earlier that same day and felt like someone beat you all over with a metal pipe.

I vaulted myself over to him where there was blood pouring out of his nose. 2nd big nosebleed. Looks like he got my honker in that department, so this should be a messy childhood. Got him cleaned up and sitting still with kleenex, then got the bed changed, sheets into the sink with hot water and salt (I don’t know why salt, just something I think I read somewhere once) and a little bit of detergent and let them soak. He was antsy and didn’t want to go back to bed. It was still just a tiny bit light out, and still pretty warm – especially for April in Cleveland. I turned off the TV, grabbed a throw blanket and said, “C’mon, little boy. Come with me.” Slid open the screen door, picked him up and then sat down with him on the chaise lounge, covering us both with the blanket. “Why did you do that, Mom?” he said. “So we’ll be warm while we sit out here. Now you just calm down and listen to the woods.”

He curled up and stuck his thumb in his mouth – yes, he still does that – and snuggled into my shoulder. I held onto him snugly and we just breathed and listened as the geese honked, the birds chirped, and the motorcycles zoomed by on the highway nearby. We sat there for a very long time. My back hurt – the chaise lounge doesn’t have any padding and it’s not very comfortable, plus everything hurt on me, like I mentioned, but I would have sat there all night long if I could have. The moments where there is still a small, vulnerable, loving boy who wants to cling to me are increasingly fleeting. I couldn’t help but shed a few silent tears as we sat there, taking it all in.


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