Saturday, November 10, 2012

Singing Lessons

 I am making pumpkin muffins and thinking about killing my husband. 

"Oooh, pumpkin!", he squeals, walking past and grabbing on off the cooling rack. 

The squealing, it's one of the reasons I'm thinking of killing him. Because it's not a real squeal, it's a fakey squeal he does with these big, exaggerated eyes and crazy smile. He draws his arms up and flaps his hands like a tiny T-Rex. It is stupid. He is stupid. 

Everything about him is stupid. His clothes, his hair, the way he calls our son, 'Sport!' What does he think this is, Mad Men? He even smells stupid, and not an unpleasant odor like cigarettes or warm, raw chicken. He actually smells like stupid would smell, if it had a smell. I'm not a synesthete with that one exception. When I hear the word 'stupid', I smell Jeremy

He smelled stupid when we first started dating, but I blamed it on the bottles of Polo he wore, and the packs of Juicy Fruit he chewed. The smell and the boy were never so closely linked as those times when he lay on top of me in the back seat of his Camaro, sweaty and flopping around. Stupid...Jeremy...Stupid...Jeremy...Stupid...Baby.

My parents completely flipped out and Jeremy's mother, class act that she is, insisted the baby was not his. Even after we were married, even after little Rumley was born with Jeremy's sticky-out ears and the very faint smell of dummy. 

Yes, you read that right. Rumley. My dear mother in law's dear grandfather was named Rumley and she insisted, insisted, that we name our first born son after him. I put my foot down with Jeremy. I was insistent, persistant, and pissed. Jeremy got me to come around to his way of thinking with a jab to my right eye. Stupid, and mean. So my sweet boy, in addition to the smell of stupid and the sticky-outy ears, was destined to go through life with the dweebiest name in the history of names. Fucking Rumley.

But Rumley was still half mine and did manage to land with a few of my genes as well. He liked to draw and paint and dance and make things and he had an easy, quick laugh. More than anything, Rumley loved to sing. He sang when he got up and hummed through breakfast and chanted at noon and serenaded us at bedtime. He sang constantly, and beautifully. 

"I'd like to get Rumley singing lessons," I said to Jeremy one night. It was late and his back was to me in bed. He'd had a few beers, so there was a good chance he was already asleep. I sort of wished he was. 

There was a long pause, then a sigh, and then the slow word, "Well, he has a nice voice. Okay."

I wanted to jump out of bed right then and run to Rumley's room to give him the news. But I knew I couldn't, or Jeremy might change his mind. So instead I laid there with the covers pulled up to my chin, smiling like a fool, praying like a saint that what I'd heard him say was true.

(More to come)