Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blow, Gabriel, Blow

Recognize the title? It's a Cole Porter song. It was the splashy finale in the recent "De-Lovely" biopic. Anyway, I digress.

Today another hauler came to do the job that Daniel had left undone. His name was Gabriel. I found him, too, in the Yellow Pages. And like Daniel, he called twice to reschedule before actually showing up. The second time he called he offered to come tomorrow, and I said, "Not to be rude, but I've already rearranged my day for you twice and I don't really relish doing it again." He sounded a bit cowed at that and said he'd be right over. And he was!

He and an unidentified friend who reminded me of Randy from "My Name is Earl" (great show!) filled some wheelbarrows with bricks and concrete and then told me they were going to the dump and would be back. I was sort of doubtful about this but then realized I still had their check. When they came back, it was getting dark but they gathered the giant pile of dirt, which amazingly seemed to fill the entire bed of their truck. There was THAT much dirt in our yard??

In the last shadows of the afternoon, I wandered out back to check their handiwork and was pretty pleased. Gabriel followed me so I announced "Well, it looks great out here! Thank you!" I was about to wander back inside when Gabriel asked "Do you have kids?"

"Not yet." Pause. "Why do you want to know if I have kids?"

"It's just a question. Sorry."

"No, it's okay. But why?"

"It's look like a mom."

I laughed. It was my first response. I guess it was a little bit like the response of Sarah in Genesis when the Lord appeared to her and said she would bear a son at the age of 90. "And Sarah laughed." But I think, really, that I laughed because it was weird. And maybe a tiny bit because I was pleased. You mean I don't have a big "I" for "Infertile" on my forehead? Also...what does a mom look like? Did I look like one before I got my LID date? Before I filed my application? Then I said:

"We're actually adopting a baby in a couple of months."

"Really!" He asked me a bunch of questions about where and when and how old. Actually he was quite nice about it. Then:

"Do you think you'd ever want to have your own kids?"

"I will have my own kids...I'm going to adopt them." I said, with my grim, patient, pedagogical smile, the special one I whip out on these occasions, as if pulling out the good silver for a holiday.

"Right, right," said Gabriel, and then unexpectedly, "I have a daughter. She's 2 and a half. But I don't live with her. I never got married. I get to see her every weekend, though."

"How wonderful!" I trilled. "You must love her very much." I found out her name is Ashley and a few other things and then I started to feel like the conversation might profitably be drawn to a close.

"I have a check for you! I'll go and get it." When I emerged with the check he and Not-Randy were waiting. "Thanks for everything--you two have a nice evening!"

"You, too. And good luck with your baby."

I laughed again. "Thanks! I'm sure I'll need it."

"Yes, but...a house is empty without a baby," Gabriel said.

"That's what I've heard."

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