Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

02 February 2006

Put pepper in my coffee, I forgot to bark on command.

Today is Genevieve's 20-month birthday.

She has recently ascended to a new level of brilliance that almost frightens us. It's a level that sometimes keeps her from going to sleep at night, because she's so turned on by her new ability to describe the world around her that she can't bear to stop. Colors: Geen. Boo. Wad. Lalo. Numbers: Wun? Too? Fee? Wun? Five? It's time to say good night to Papa: Bye-bye! Bye-bye!

Octopus. Truck. Airplane. Knee. Ball. Ice cream. Fax. She picks up the phone, or sometimes a calculator, and dials Timbuktu. "Allo? Allo?"

The slightest unintended brush against another object triggers an elaborate "owie" psychodrama involving real tears, kisses on the point of contact, and a detailed replay of the accident. Any attempt that Marla and I make to kiss or hug each other causes much consternation, of the "You might be hurting Mama/You're definitely diverting Mama's attention away from me" variety.

"NO!" It means more than you might think. It's very complicated.

Her smile is ... no, not dazzling. She's not a Mary-Kate or a JonBenet, thank betsy. It's ... swoony? Is that a word? Plotzical, maybe? Whatever the perfect adjective might be, it describes a phenomenon that has the power to sweep away all the circumstances of the moment and leave me utterly defenseless. Whatever else was going on becomes suddenly irrelevant. I am mush.

And it can vanish as quickly as it appears, Barbados to Reykjavik in 0.002 seconds, mercury shaking the glass tube with the speed of its descent. All is woe, and the sun will never shine again, never! Never! The emotion is so intense and so sincere that I can barely remember how easily it will change again, as soon as I gather my wits enough to point out something new and interesting.

Because no matter how happy or enraged or ecstatic or lachrymose she may be, nothing is stronger than the power of curiosity. Nothing can withstand the need to answer the question: "Genevieve, what's this?"

Happy birthday, squeevil.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More inspiration to make sweet love to someone today.

7:55 AM  
Blogger TC said...

There is nothing, NOTHING, like a lopsided, little grin to set your world straight.

10:12 PM  

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