|Oliver and Sophie, September 2001|
Oliver and I strolled with Sophie up to the CVS to pick up her Onfi, and while we waited for yet another snafu with insurance (8 pills cost just as much as 30, a whopping $70 co-pay) to be resolved that I won't bore you with, we entertained the open stares of two children. The fact that they were wearing their pajamas and their father was dressed in the long black robe with prayer strings hanging out didn't seem to affect their ability to openly gawk at Sophie in her stroller. The father apparently had no sense of irony, either. Both Oliver and I found this amusing, but when we walked home and ran into two little girls whom we see quite often in our neighborhood, as they ride their scooters up and down the street, yet who don't appear to feel any friendliness toward that freaky girl in the wheelchair, Oliver asked me whether he could have PTP.
What's that? I asked, smiling kindly at the girls despite their rudeness. It was a glorious day, and I was happy to have gotten through the snafu at CVS. I'm planning on making this particularly delicious dinner tonight, too, a one-pot meal with shrimp and tomatoes and spinach and feta and lemon. I also bought a cheap bottle of Lambrusco at Trader Joe's and was feeling all happy hourish.
Permission to Punch, Oliver explained, and when we crossed the street, using the new curb cuts that we'd wrestled to get from the city, he pushed Sophie's stroller ahead of him, then stopped, turned around and yelled across to the girls standing, still staring on the other corner:
What's your problem? Why are you still staring. YEAH! Keep staring! He shook his head like an old man, and we when we rounded the corner and walked toward our house, I asked him whether he remembered the bedtime stories I used to tell him and his brother when they were little, the ones about Sir Henry and Sir Oliver whose gallantry and chivalry were a marvel and whose defense of their sister Lady Sophie was the talk of the kingdom. He said, Yeah, I loved those stories. Then I thanked him for being so strong and gallant and asked him whether he felt better, expressing his anger, and he said, Not really, and I said that's the bummer about anger, although sometimes it's justified, and this might have been one of those times. Then he pulled the toy handcuffs out of the drugstore bag that he had wheedled out of me at the CVS because we had to wait so long, and as we pushed Sophie's chair up the small hill to our front door, we joked that next time we'd grab those girls and those small children and handcuff them.