I sleep on my stomach, right palm on forehead, left hand under pillow…always. And my left foot? Angling ‘cross midfield, it chances on Carrie, nightly. Those inadvertent brushes ‘gainst her make not only for contented sleep, but remind me, in the midst of each rest, that we’re in “this” together…—-Which is why I don’t relish travelling alone. Comfort flows, you see, ending days with that lady. We share her load, my load, and life.

That stated, plans to fly east in tandem were scrapped last week when Carrie’s mom (The Artist Formerly Known As Mrs. Baskin) took ill. As such, solo went I through the friendly skies to the mountains of New York… to Chappaqua, where two beautiful boys live and thrive and cellphone calls go to die.

This was my first trip post-bris and what a difference in Eli: from eight days to eight weeks! The kid is stunning.

He’s got this wide, I mean WIDE smile that he breaks out and that leaves me giddy. You know how infants stare at you until light hits their eyes a certain way or they twitch a bit, and then we convince ourselves they’re smiling directly at us? Well this kid truly beams and his round, dimple-punctuated cheeks illuminate the room.

Max directs traffic, of course, and is still the star of the show. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Wally Pipp himself (the first Yankee to win a home run title) was New York’s first baseman for a decade before Gehrig took over.

So my weekend was nice. Better than nice: family.

Friday afternoon with the Millers, and at night with the Bogarts… all against a tapestry of Eli feeding, Max glowing, Eli sleeping, and Max displaying more talent with the internet than his charming “Deedee Bruce”.

We brought in for dinner. Not traditional Shabbos fare, but the post-game was special. “I’m going to take Eli for a ride,” said Michael. “It tires him out. You want to come?” (I jumped at the jaunt, only to find fatigue quite contagious. Within minutes of return I was bidding Good Night).

It was not quite 10, and after an unsuccessful effort to access the Netflix on the TV in my room, I called Cleveland. Carrie. She’d been sleeping.

So I did too. In New York. Alone.

There’s something about the fall in New York—must be said—that is special. On a crisp autumn morning, like last year, we went picking pumpkins.

“Is there a reason we didn’t do things like this when I was growing up? (I was asked).

I felt well the twinge, immediately imaging baseball and soccer and football and baskets….but pumpkins? Was it possible they didn’t have pumpkins in Ohio back then?

And then some more sleep—for all of us. Resting up, I suppose, for the morning’s trudge. This would be the fourth walk I’ve joined in on, a way out Long Island. Time was I knew no one en route; these days are different. I know most.

Again, though….a twinge.

Sitting under a tent, applying to give bone marrow, Stuart’s buddy Robert approached.

“What the heck are you doing?” he asked.
“Look,” I showed him, brandishing the form, ”I don’t have any of the diseases.”
“Yeah, but you’re too old.”

Walk over, weekend near done, we were convened at Chez Miller. Max ruled, (go figure), and the men watched football as the women (some unknown, but all with thick accents), passed Eli around … gingerly … like a century-old Torah. The closest I got to him, frankly, was when Caryn put the food out. Then, for but ten minutes, the exodus of estrogen to the dining room left a time slot open. (I could have held him longer, of course, but he wouldn’t take my nipple).

And then it was over. The weekend. I was gone.

Bumped from LaGuardia, my flight being cancelled, they shipped me by cab down to Newark. An hour and a half…plus…in a taxi…then another two hours, in an airport…and a plane….

And in thought.

—About Michael, and the world he is shaping
—And Meredith, and the kids being raised…and their health.
—And Carrie, who would greet me in Cleveland…with the smile of her ocean eyes….

And I thought of my left foot.

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