Today marks Larry's first full week at home. It's been great for me, less so for him. On the very first morning, I went down to the kitchen, looked at the coffee maker and said, "Oh, honey, I forgot to get coffee. Can you run out and get some?"
He rolled his eyes and said, "Well, I guess I'm your bitch, now." Then he laughed, and I'm pretty sure he really was joking.
Also, Elvis has come to live with us. Years and years ago, Larry's sister, Julie, went off to this place on the north shore that sells lobsters and carnival supplies (because the two things go together so well) AND ceramics (because what's a lobster dinner without a clown suit and a ceramic cast of dogs playing poker?) Anyway, she picked out a bust of Elvis, spray painted it gold and wrapped it in paper. Merry Christmas! It lived in Larry's bedroom until his bedroom became our bedroom. Then it went to work. But now it sits in the bay window of our house, and every time I come home from an errand, I jump out of my skin thinking that someone has broken into our house and is lounging on the couch near the window, someone with ducktails and a creepy tan. Everyone who comes to the house asks about the status of our Elvis fandom. I'm giving it one more week.
I have loved having Larry at home. Freelance writing as a career is terribly lonely and isolating. So is motherhood. I have abated this loneliness by developing the alarming habit of talking to myself all day and by indulging in a rich and full fantasy life. Now, I have Larry, which is better. On Friday, we went to Panera and set up our laptops and worked all morning. Then we went off to the salad bar at the grocery store to get lunch; then we ate outside in the backyard. Then more work, more chatting. Then the kids came home. Perfect day for me.
It's less good for Larry who has been uprooted from his friends at work and from his former identity. He admitted that he called his own number at work the morning after his last day to find that his voice mail message had been erased. His email account had been closed. Several times a day, he says he has to stop himself from calling work to check in.
When he's up, he threatens to wear a housecoat all day. He threatens to spend four hours a day at the gym, so he can be ripped for summer. I call it the prison yard fitness program. He also threatens to take another job. A couple of local publishers are courting him now. One took him to lunch and by way of introduction, declared himself to be a good Friend Of David Ortiz. For this, I've given him the nickname Fodo. (More on him later) Another guy who wants to hire Larry only takes meetings while reclining on his chaise longue. I said to Larry, "Do you really want to work for someone whose defining ambition is to be Big Daddy when he grows up?"
I'm trying to convince Larry to become a documentary filmmaker. "Well, that's practical," said Larry. Practical is not my job here. Never has been. Geez. What's the harm in trying something radical, just once? Plus, this is what Elvis would want. I'm pretty sure of it.