Saturday, February 03, 2001


It is Saturday morning (at least, as Baslow writes this, for another ten minutes). Baslow forgot to turn off the alarm clock and was, consequently, awakened from a not-so-deep sleep at 6:15 A.M. He decided to feed the cats who would otherwise grow obstreperous over the course of the next hour or so. He then went back to bed.

At 7:55 A.M. he arose again. Mrs. Baslow was still asleep, as was Baslow's boy. Baslow's girl was away, sleeping over at the house of her friend, E.

Here a real-time bulletin must intrude: Baslow's boy has just requested that he be referred to henceforth, in these chronicles, as El Omnipotente. Baslow's girl asks that she be referred to as Pippi (as in "Pippi Longstocking", a name she was called at school when she briefly wore braids; She deemed this to be a better name than "Philostrate, Master of the Revels"). Their wish is my command (in this case). We now return you to the main flow of the narrative.

Baslow made himself a breakfast of toaster waffles, topped with strawberries, blueberries, banana, apple, and dried apricots accompanied by a cup of "Blue Ridge Blend" coffee provided by his niece, who works in a coffee shop in Virginia (thank you, Niece!).

While Baslow was finishing breakfast Mrs. Baslow came out into the kitchen. They went back to bed to spend a little time together. This is an important time of the week for the two of them. It is usually their most reliable and extensive opportunity to express affection (in numerous ways), discuss the state of their lives, talk about the kids, and contemplate the future. While they were thus engaged they heard El Omnipotente make his way to the shower.

They emerged after a while and Mrs. Baslow had breakfast while they sat and listened to Saturday Weekend Edition on the radio. Baslow had a second cup of coffee, this time a cup of "Cafe Verona" from Starbuck's, a gift from Pippi (thanks, Pippi!). He shared with Mrs. Baslow a sticky bun she had purchased at the Columbus Bakery the day before (thanks, Mrs. Baslow!).

They were joined by El Omipotente, who had finished his shower. For about ten minutes they talked with him about life, the universe, and everything. They checked on what homework he had for the weekend and when he planned to do it. They asked if he had any other plans. He reminded them that he was due, in a few minutes, to have his hair cut at a salon on Broadway.

Baslow began assembling his laundry, to take down to the laundry room. El Omnipotente departed. Pippi arrived home from her sleepover. Mrs. Baslow called C. and arranged for the two of them to see the 2:00 P.M. showing of Chocolat at the Sony Lincoln Plaza Theater. Baslow purchased the tickets online for them, to be collected at an ATM at the theater. Pippi did her reading homework. Baslow did his laundry. Mrs. Baslow took a shower.

Baslow returned from the laundry room to find El Omnipotente back, as well...shorn. There was a bit of a surprise, here. Since August, El Omnipotente has sported bleached blonde hair. He returned, however, with all of the bleached hair cropped away. He has returned to his natural dark brown color. Baslow's reaction was subdued, much to the disappointment of El Omnipotente. Pippi's reaction was a facial expression impossible to describe and somewhat annoying to her brother. Mrs. Baslow's reaction a few minutes later, emerging from the bathroom after her shower, was more dramatic and therefore more gratifying.

And so the day goes at the Baslow household. There is nothing extraordinary about any of it. Baslow will take Pippi and two of her friends to their rehearsal of Midsummer's Night's Dream. El Omnipotente will do some homework and then spend some time playing Final Fantasy IX. Mrs. Baslow will see her movie and pick up the girls.

There is just this: Thirty years ago Baslow would not have believed that any of this was remotely possible. Although, even then, he wanted this sort of domesticity for himself it would have been impossible to convince him that he could have a family such as he has, would end up spending a morning such as this morning. He is barely in touch, anymore, with the confused and pessimistic youth he was thirty years ago...just enough in touch to appreciate how far he has come.

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