Sunday, January 27, 2008

"G"ood Night

Tonight night I had the old pleasure of tucking Gannet in. It's been almost 9 months since I worked with him last, but as I said his favorite words and made his favorite sounds, he covered his face with joy. These word and sounds are routine, always the same, always provoking a delightful, mechanical happiness. It's only great elation that causes him to bury away his eyes, blind with laughter. His long fingers - scarred from biting himself, calloused from tapping, prying, banging, and caressing every surface - press hard over his eyes and nose. Laughter bursts from his mouth, flinging itself outward on strings of spittle. The sound is crow-raccous but his posture is strangely delicate. His body is almost always in fits and shivers but at these moments he sits upright and very still, hiding away in his happiness.

As I bent down to whisper goodnight he pulled me close and held fast till his cheek, crinkled from smiling, and his blue, twitching eye filled my vision. His face was wet with dribble, cool and slightly repulsive against my own, bu there we sat. He cooed gently while my view of his eye blurred from proximity as well as tears. When he proclaims his love in this manner he pulls me close to his world - the blur, twitch, bristle, spit, grip of it. At these times I miss him so much I can't stand it.

Goodnight little man.