Scrubbing It Out
1 Day, 30 Miles

The Search For the Historical Charlie

Smile he said

On Sunday, Jim and Charlie had two great bike rides, one local and one from Liberty State Park to Bayonne. It was raining or rainy all day, and even raining sometimes while they rode. But getting wet is not a reason not to ride bikes.

Charlie had slept till almost 11am on one of those gray, wet mornings when staying under the covers is the preferred option. Jim suggested a black car ride (passenger front seat for Charlie, of course) and they got a hand truck at Home Depot.

Rain, manic nights of insomnia, behavior woes, a new patch on the wall, a lot of talk about an uncle and a dog, 36 miles biked: That's the recent history around here

We had it on our minds while, after returning from Jersey City, we crowed over what a great weekend it was. Charlie, who'd been merry in the car on the trip back, had descended straight into anxiety after it hit him (based on his lunchboxes not being in the refrigerator) that he had a day off from school Monday for Columbus Day. He fell asleep from 7.30 to 9.30pm, watching Barney videos, though not (based on the sounds emanating from his room) his favorite about 'let's play school.'

He woke and snacked and paced and our assurances buttressed his spirits. He had a spell of trying to sleep then came to sit next to me on the blue couch and started sorting through a pile of photos from his toddler and preschool days. Looking at photos can lead to trouble for Charlie but so far he seems ok with it (so far); I've been wondering, does he wonder, why I am not little like that anymore? What happened to those clothes, toys, that house? 

I sat beside him reading and intrigued that Herodotus could turn so swiftly from talking about the Scythians (in the steppes in the north) to the Libyans around Cyrene so quickly. (There's a similar contrast of peoples of the cold of the north and of the warmest regions farther south in Book 3 of Virgil's Georgics; I'm not sure if anyone has written about Herodotus and Virgil?). By 1.30 am Charlie was yawning and struggling to keep his eyes open and went to his room on saying 'bedtime.' And couldn't sleep. At 3am, I found him standing in his room with a certain troubled look.

I urged him to lie on the old blue couch and covered him with some two blankets, both from days of long ago and therefore too small for someone his current size. I turned off all the lights and put Herodotus on the floor.

I wonder if Charlie's room has become too full of bad memory ghosts, too much history, for him to sleep on nights when his mind won't stop moving.

The riding days are the ones people say aren't rideable


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