Susan's Blog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rainy, With a Chance of Happiness

We were supposed to go to the Cape last night for one more brief stay, returning Monday. By midmorning even I, a weather-report-ignorer, had heard enough gloomy weather predictions about Tropical Storm Danny coming in by tonight to make me call the whole thing off. Unfortunately, Nat was expecting to go to his favorite place on earth, and also, was waiting for me to pick him up at The House. The plan was to then continue down to the Cape, all together.

I went alone to get Nat at his house and did not tell him anything yet. I waited for him to finish dinner — even though I was there, we couldn’t just go home; he had to eat dinner because the plan had been to go “after dinner.” Charlotte had set out the plates, filled with food, and Nat just sat down and started. Donnie asked me if that was okay, and I shrugged. Let him eat. So I waited. I sank into the couch in the living room and watched while Donnie and the other guys brought in groceries. E kept grinning at me; he always seems happy. At one point I got out my cell to say something to Ned and when I said, “hello,” into the phone, E looked up and said, “Hello!” All the guys noticed I was there, hanging around, but they’ve all seen me so much that it didn’t really matter. I saw one of the guys — K — bring one small thing in and then sit in the corner, flapping quietly. It didn’t take long for Donnie to notice, too. “Hey!” he said, smiling. “Get out there and help!” K stood up and I saw he was smirking. I sighed, content for a minute. The House is really a good place and it was nice to be there, among Donnie all those bustling, smiling young men.

I did not tell Nat anything as we drove home together, pretty quiet. Soon after Ned got home, he and I conferred and made the final decision that we would not go this weekend, but that we would go next. No matter what. Even Max had informed me that he had to go one more time, to say goodbye to the Cape. Ben seemed okay, lost as he was in the game he was playing. “Boys, come in here,” I summoned them all to the livingroom and told them. The disappointment of an aborted vacation pressed in on us all like the darkening evening sky.

Nat was next to me on the couch, looking like a lightning bolt in his bright orange shirt and long sharp limbs. His eyes went round as he heard that we weren’t going. He said, “yes,” quietly, but when I said something about how I hate the rain he started to say that as well: “Hate the rain, hate the rain,” I looked at Ned, silently asking him if he thought Nat was going to be okay. Ned nodded. Nat’s shimmering, sheathed energy warmed the air around him. I said, “I know you must be disappointed, Sweetheart. But we will go in a few days. We’ll go next week.”

“Okay,” he said. Then: “Disappointed…”

I looked at him. His eyes were reddish and moist. I wanted to hug him but it would be like hugging Max: heavy, bony, rough-faced, and reluctant. Anyway soon he stood up and started walking around, gently whispering and moving his right hand, his puppet stim. Max had his phone at the ready to make new plans for the weekend. Ben was hopping off the armchair, to get back to his game. “Pancakes for dinner,” Ned said, meaning that I didn’t have to cook.

1 comment

Great post Susan, I wish you minimal traffic and lots of sun next weekend. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 9:39 am