Thursday, April 10, 2008

Domestic disturbances

I came home from work yesterday, just making it in time to take the hand off of Dear Alex as Dear nanny J. was leaving - usually I make it in time to have a little debrief about the day, and a heads up about what's been going on around the house and with the kid. We had the usual hugs and a little play, and it slowly dawned on me that there were some things out of order - a broken lamp in the living room, a drawer handle askew in the kitchen, a print fallen off the wall in dear Alex's room - I started to wonder what had happened while I was out. (actually, that could be the subject of a lot of posts, I am constantly wondering what actually fills Dear Alex's days...) It was no one big thing, but the accumulation of mute signs that the place was falling apart around me. Not that foreboding, actually, but it fits with the strangeness that's been going on for the last few days, and made me wonder. I've been a little tired for the last few days, as I haven't really had a solid good night's sleep.
Outside, the City of New York has been preparing to repave a large chunk of Third Avenue, a very heavily trafficked approach to the 59th street bridge. What that means is that they've been doing the work at night - all night, with a giant pavement eating machine that makes an impossibly mournful growling groaning sound, so deep and ever-present that I think I've internalized it. That continuous noise isn't the problem - The giant pavement eating machine makes pass after pass, growling along and dumping the ground-up pavement efficiently into a semi-sized trailer that rolls faithfully along beside it, with the occasional ring of a stray large chunk of chewed pavement on steel a bright counterpoint to the heavy bass of the endlessly running machine. It's the jackhammers that wake me - all of the cuts around manhole covers and curbs require more precision than the gentle loud giant can provide. Even with fancy soundproofed windows, it's a constant - and I fall asleep tentatively, waiting for the next burst from the jackhammers. It's a miracle and a wonder that Dear Alex has slept through it the last two nights, especially considering that most of the noise is outside her window. It seems to only bother me.

So, it turns out that there's not a poltergeist in the house - Dear Alex and her busy two-year-old self caused the minor destruction that I came home to - pushing her considerable fleet of taxis (it's always the cab's fault) into the lamp bringing it to the floor, her attempts to see what was on the kitchen counter, hanging from the drawer handles pulled it loose, and slapping that print that's been hanging over her changing table forever finally brought it down. My sleeplessness is real, and the giant pavement-eating machine outside my window is to me only an apt metaphor for the grinding nature of how things are feeling to me now, counting down the days until Beautiful Wife returns.

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