Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Adventures with Nancy

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Adventures with Nancy

I am standing at the sink in the cabin again, placing a heavy, wet bowl on the wooden drainboard by the sink. The red and white gingham curtains over the window in front of me are pulled tightly closed, as are the rest of the curtains in the room. I know somehow we are deep in the woods, but the curtains seem to be permanently drawn here, and I have yet to see outside. There is the warm scent of cinnamon emanating from the tiny oven. Erik is sitting on the soft, braided rug covering the plank floor behind me, playing with a wooden train set and making the happy baby noises I love so much. When I turn to look as I dry my hands, he looks up at me and smiles...

No more dreams for me. I didn't even make it to 3 a.m., and I am wondering how I am going to make it through my busy day ahead. Erik has group therapy at 8:30 today. I always manage to somehow make it when I don't get much sleep, although it requires auto pilot and a tanker of coffee. A lot of the time I don't realize how tired I am until Brian gets home and I am allowed to collapse. Of course, my throat feels sore this morning. I think the last week has been pretty hard on every cell in my body. It's days like this I am thankful I no longer have to don office attire, prop myself up, and look remotely lifelike.

I did have a wonderful weekend. We celebrated my father's birthday Saturday morning. I made breakfast enchiladas, and my mother brought over a warm-from-the-oven berry pie. Brian left us eventually to play in a flag football game. After some nice quality time with my parents and a nap, Erik and I visited Dominick and Kathy for a while that afternoon, although Erik ended up sitting motionless with a cracker in his hand for most of the visit in his horrible but familiar shut down mode. When he had enough and began to cry, I decided to take him home. The instant the door shut behind us, he snapped out of his trance and started happily yelling, "BUH BYE! BUH BYE!" It's beyond frustrating knowing a lot of people with kids don't see Erik's true self most of the time. I look at him slumped over and want to cry, although it happens a little less often lately and rarely results in tears anymore.

Sunday I wanted to get some exercise and wondered out loud if the neighbor girl would walk the trail across the road with me. Moments later, the phone rang, and it was her. She invited me to go to an antique show in the park. It was a giant show, and I found some sparkly rhinestone jewelry for a yet unplanned special occasion. The only part of the morning I didn't enjoy was seeing some of the things from my childhood on display, now considered "antique." That's as bad as hearing some of my favorite songs from high school on the "classic rock" station. From there, we continued our strenuous workout by driving down to the trendy Mill District and eating lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. I had wonderfully flaky fish and chips and a spicy Bloody Mary adorned with a nice, salty array of cocktail onions, green beans, and green olives. We have been on a quest to find a good garlic press for my kitchen, so after lunch we headed to a fancy kitchen gadget store on the West Side, which, of course, was closed. There was a children's store next door selling Erik-sized PJs for $30 and up, and we decided we weren't interested. After standing in the warm sun for a few minutes, she suggested going to the neighborhood tavern to watch some football and hang out for a while, as we weren't ready to go home. I grew up on the street where this establishment is located but would never normally dare to set foot inside. My memories of my childhood here in town include the news of a man being shot there once. As it turned out, we made ourselves at home laughing and having fun without any shots fired and only a few long stares in our direction. After some unsuccessful video poker playing, we were off to try the Golden Tee 2005 video game. I have always poked fun at the incredibly dorky types who play this game. Believe it or not, there are actually national Golden Tee tournaments. I have yet to see a woman playing this ridiculous game. For those of you not familiar with it, you begin by choosing a golf course from around the world to play. Of course, there is a constant electronic breeze blowing from various directions on the course that must be monitored at all times. You are required to forcefully thrust your palm along a large roller ball to strike your tiny dot of a golf ball on the screen. For some reason, this involves sticking your tongue out of one side of your mouth as far as it will go and kicking one of your legs backwards like a donkey. Why? Well, it's like the open-mouthed, carp-like face required to apply mascara. You can try not to do it, but it is dang near impossible. Lisa kept kicking the chair behind her and was visibly annoyed at the feng shui in this less than classy establishment. For the most part, I learn something every day, and Sunday I learned that when it comes to Golden Tee 2005, I suck eggs. I'll stick to pinball and Ms. Pac Man (more "classics"). Lisa felt quite good about herself, though, about the sound thrashing she gave me. Maybe next time I'll try exaggerating the leg movements.


Blogger Lisa R said...

Sounds like fun...I want to go watch football at a tavern with you :)

One of the beach house we stayed at one yr had a golden tee game...It was kinda funny you found all the ladies on the beach and all then men playing golden tee. It got to the point that they were not allowed to go home and make lunch because there was always a few gamews included in the break. HAHA

7:16 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I like your idea of exercise! Any time you need a work out buddy, count me in. :-)

12:45 PM  

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