Standing there while the dog sniffed around in the grass on a brightly cool Friday afternoon, I decided to indulge him. I was in a good mood---I'd had a week off from classes, and had used the time I already wasn't getting paid to take myself to movies two of the days instead. Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski both have films in the theaters. Today I'd come home early; there wouldn't be frantic scrambling to get ready for a weekend at the other house, me thumping up, and down, and upstairs again, breathing heavily and sweating in a rush to scramble clothes and toys together while the kids mulled around uselessly, me barking curses at them. Elizabeth's kids are littler and go to bed earlier, so I try to get there earlier. I want to get in as much time together as we can and there's traffic to contend with.
"Oh, you're in a box," I said. He nodded. "OK but still, how was your day?" He had a long answer, but he only mouthed it. His breath came out in unintelligible puffs. I couldn't make out any of it and kept asking him to repeat. "Earnest goes to camp? You've captured the pancake of redemption? What?"
Finally I said "You need to work on being a better mime."
He gestured for me to wait a minute and jogged up the street to the house, his book bag shuffling up and down, swinging his arms out awkwardly to keep it it from falling. He came back with a discarded envelope and a pencil and huddled on the sidewalk to write something.