Last night we’re sitting in our favorite pizza parlor. It’s so nice to have Ralph home and know he’s home for the weekend. I’m feeling very proud of him as he’s been riding his bike to and from work every day. In the Hogaboom driveway days go by while both our cars lay fallow as my husband, children and I use public transit and our own human power to get around. It feels liberating.
Tonight in the pizza place I can’t hear it, but on the television propped up by the kitchen I see an amusing commerical featuring a duck. First the duck somehow gets its bill stuck in a mail slot. Then the duck runs inside a barber shop and stands in front of a poster such that it appears to have a professionally-coiffed head of hair. Then the duck gets surprised about something and opens its bill really wide. I don’t know what the commercial is about but I like it better not knowing what I’m supposed to buy, and just watching the duck.
A party of four adults toting one baby come in. The baby is about six months old, a girl, bald, and dressed only in a little red polka dot romper. No fuss, no huge carseat caddy or special sippy cup or pre-packed little baby food containers. I like that. The adults are young and boisterous – one calls the other “retard” as the shuffle the tables around. The baby turns around to look at us often as we eat. When the baby drops her toy Nels picks it up. He keeps an eye on the baby.
A couple comes in, a few years younger than my parents. He is huge, massive, wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt, long silver-streaked ponytail, and full-arm tattoos. I actually feel very comfortable around men who look like this. They are usually very friendly, engaging guys. Sure enough, a few minutes later and he’s making goo-goo eyes across the room at the aforementioned baby. I notice he and the infant have the same shade of large, blue-grey eyes.
The pizza, pasta, fresh coffee arrive and my family digs in.