christastrophe (christastrophe) wrote,

Letters to Gonzo: Warren Zevon, John Belushi and Mary Lou Retton

I woke up and had this weird urge to clean everything I saw. I was excited about it; genuinely excited. I get in these weird moods, Gonzo, and I usually don't deny whatever impulse they force on me. I know that these moments are fleeting, so I write the play or song or whatever because that's where my head is. Or I take care of the theater budget. Or I practice re-mixing things in the home studio. Life is a series of waves to ride.

I walked around and bought cleaning supplies and a bucket and A Big Thing of Goddamned Bleach. They don't make Goddamned Bleach anymore, Gonzo. People know better: they have different things that aren't as harsh. But I was not satisfied with the level of cleanliness after scrubbing the tub with those other, wimpier chemicals, so I woke up and bought the thing of Goddamned Bleach and let it sit in the tub while I boiled the spinach ravioli. Then I put on a CD and made like Cinderella, hands and knees, scrubbing the bathroom tile.

Your mother called it a rampage. I could not be stopped. I scrubbed every inch of the bathroom, even the part between the tub and the wall that we never get to. I scrubbed the walls. I used three different types of cleaners and three different types of sponges and when I was done your mother said it smelled like a pool, it was so clean in here.

I didn't stop there. I cleaned the bedroom, I vacuumed the rug. I removed the windows and cleaned the inside and outside. I dusted. I pulled out the screwdriver and did some minor repairs I'd been putting off. Something went wrong with the cable and phone line and I fixed that too. Something in the air.

Uncle Adam came over. He's not really your Uncle, as in he's not legally related, but he's a good friend, and I call my good friends my brothers and sisters. You have lots of Aunts and Uncles, you'll find, in addition to your actual Aunt and Uncle Aaron and Shawn. Anyway, Uncle Adam came over to watch the Jets game. They were playing in their second consecutive AFC championship, and Adam and I were still reeling with excitement over their stunning defeat of the hated New England Patriots a week earlier. That was a good old time, even if your Uncle Eric made fun of Uncle Sleazy and I for supporting a non-Texas football team.

So Uncle Adam was snowboarding in Vermont and, on his way home, he wanted to see if I was watching the game. I told him to go ahead and come on over, but that we'd have to be mindful of the fact that today was your mom's due date with you, and she was having a rough time of it. But she wasn't dilated, so she just rolled around all day getting grumpy at you for making her suffer longer. Adam liked this idea of coming over better than going to a bar or something to watch the game, and when he came in he joked that we were better off with him there. After all, he could drive us to the hospital when your mom suddenly went into labor and he won the bet!

(Oooh! There was a bet: a huge, national betting pool over the day and time you would arrive and if you were gonna be a boy or a girl. Many people wagered. There were lots of cash and prizes to be won: theater tickets, gift certificates, cash money, DVD's, small electronics. An accordion. We were not fucking around.)

Anyway, the Jets were really sucking rope all through the first half. Goddamned Steelers were doing whatever they wanted, and that monster Rashard Mendenhall just feeding off every tackle, sucking the energy from it and propelling himself another five yards at will. It was like getting tackled was food for the guy. On top of that, our Mexican QB Superhero Mark Sanchez couldn't get a thing going. It was a trainwreck, but Adam and I decided to try to make the beer last until at least halftime, lest we drown our sorrows too early. 24-3 at the half, with the last Steelers TD scored off an embarrassing fumble recovery that had no business occurring. I slapped my thighs the way I do when it's time to do the next thing.

"Well!" I announced this. "Let's get some beer."

Your mom doesn't give a shit about football, can't even pretend, so I found her where she was rolling around in the bedroom. I told her we were going on a beer run and did she want anything from Mobil. She said no, not really, she's fine. I guess. Something was off. Your mother likes to keep it to herself when something is off. She never offers. I had to ask, "What's up?"

"Well," she said half-heartedly. "I think my water just broke."

It was hard to say. It wasn't like the movies, this big whoosh. Just a trickle. We investigated her clothing. She didn't want to be a bother, thought maybe it was a false alarm. "I'm sorry I'm getting in the way of the game."

I said we would go get beer and see how she felt when we got back. Then I took one step, turned back around, and said, "Nah. You put on some real pants and I'll put on some real shoes and let's go have a baby." And I found Adam in the living room in his winter coat and said, "Hey, instead of a beer run can you drive us to the hospital?" And Adam was excited because he'd totally fucking called it.


There was a TV in the waiting room, so Adam and I watched the end of the game with the doctors and nurses. The Jets almost pulled it off, mijo! It was a crazy good comeback, but the Steelers prevailed and they deserved it. It was OK. I like the Steelers. I root for them because my favorite political blogger roots for them. It's dumb.

You know who else rooted for them? The doctor in training who put in your mom's IV. We're pretty sure it was her very first time. It did not go well.

After about an hour they finally came out and told me that you were coming and it was time to go to the delivery room. I hugged Adam goodbye. I texted and called everybody in The Family. I told my boss I was not coming in to work. I took a picture of your mom in a funny hat in her hospital gown and sent that around.

It's now 5:30 in the morning. Your mom is getting some sleep. She's already been in pain, but they gave her some meds to knock her out before her doctor gets here in a half hour. She's doing so good, Gonzo. You're gonna be proud of her. Your mom's a badass.

Today's the big day, Gonzo. I am looking out the window at the lit up monument in Fort Green Park. We have a private room, thanks to your dad's old job taking him back and giving him nice insurance again. It's Go Time, little man or lady.

I am watching the monitor and you are giving your mother a mammoth contraction. She cannot feel it. She has her headphones in and she's snoring lightly. A woman in labor is screaming and crying in Spanish in the room next door. I will sleep now, in this pink bracelet my Aunt Moochie gave me before she beat cancer and this t-shirt I bought in New Orleans when we all went down for Uncle Junebug and Uncle Sleazy's birthday. There are so many people who love you so much already, and I can't wait for you to meet every single one of them. See you in the morning, kiddo.

- Dadtastrophe

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