The Evanston-to-LA travelers arrived in time for a birthday dinner for Jessica at Blue Koi on 39th. I had not seen my son since Christmas. His relaxed mood surprised me. For the last month, the tension of term-end projects had riddled every call with him.
Jacob, the summer roommate, tolerated our accidental labeling of him as “Andrew”. Good spirits circled the table and livened the gathering. Afterward, the young adults went out for drinks and other pursuits, while Addao, Jessica’s eleven-year-old son, and I — the oldster — retired to the Holmes house.
In the morning, Patrick and I shared coffee on the deck. He described the screen play he wrote, with its hilarious sci-fi twists and turns. We drank mellow coffee and sat among the porch plants, as we have done so many other mornings.
Then I helped Jacob and Patrick clean out the car and investigate the mysterious influx of water. The best answer I could devise related to the car being parked for extended times in high snow banks. No engine fluid seemed to be involved.
We got everything ruined pulled from the floor and found an old comforter to serve as protection for their belongings. I added multiple cans of beans and bags of lentils to their food bag. Patrick came out of the house with two old towels to use as front-seat floor protectors. I found myself smiling. You know what those are, right? I said to him. A quizzical look crossed his face and I continued: Those are the Batman capes.
The Batman capes: Towels that Patrick and Chris Taggart had used as small boys. They tied them around their shoulders and ran from room to room. Na na na na na na na na na na, Batman! I succombed to temptation and told Jacob the story. We all laughed. Well, said Patrick, now they have a new purpose.
Then I hugged them both and drove to my new small satellite office in Clay County, where I, too, feel somewhat repurposed. And I’m not complaining.