there actually is stuff going on, but I'm just too lazy. Maybe it's too hot? I got profoundly drunk a couple of times, staggered around in a black fog, slept, ate cookie dough, was in despair; slept. Combed my hair with a fork, like Ariel the mermaid. What else happened? On the fourth of July I took Stephen to meet that New England section of the family; we ate corn and potato salad and strawberry shortcake and watched incredible, illegal fireworks that my cousins set off over the dark, still baywater. I drove a car, which was a delight. The weekend before that I went home, to New Orleans, where my father languished temporarily wifeless. In the years since his youth he has grown rounder and redder, less academic, less Princetonian, more rumsodden. But still the Panama hats and the tweedy jackets, and still the expansive gestures and the expansive language. I can't tell if the pain that hovers between us even as we talk to one another is a real, mutual pain or one I have invented, painted on, an illusion; how guilty does he feel about me, about what he let happen to me, in his absence? We don't talk about it; we talk around it. I slipped out of the house to ride my bicycle around the streets; I danced with him in a restaurant to some creole music, and drank beer and ate gumbo; I spat with him into the gunmetal-gray Mississippi. I-P-P-I. We took a daytrip to Florida, where the sand has the precise color, texture, and crunch of sugar, and the water is the color you would really call sea-green, and a violet-breasted pelican swooped low over our swimming and shark-wary heads. But in his house, the night before I left, I saw these artifacts--words he had written in a book, on the back of a picture, a mandolin hanging on the wall that his sister left behind, my aunt, when she died two Decembers ago--and I knew something was wrong, that I had failed him somehow, or he had failed me, and that I was going having accomplished nothing by my visit; and I went home anyway, because I had a ticket, but I knew something was very wrong, and I found out a little while ago that I was right. But don't worry, everything's okay now, apparently. And my mother is back from her travels, by his side, being sweet and unhelpful.
And Oisin V. is a year old! and has wonderful, wonderful red curls. and can practically say my name. I bought him a chess set made out of little liquid-filled teething things.
except that it's time to HIT THE BEACH!!!!