and then, IT WAS LESS THAN 24 HOURS. there was a lot of scrubbing and scurrying and scraping and scratching.
friday afternoon arrived and shimmering huddles of faux traffic threatened me multiple times before moving along and we made it to the airport with a handful of minutes to spare. our parking spot was shaded and practically right inside the correct baggage claim. the children remained quiet in response to the alien environment. they were like strange, little angels. i sat them down on a row of connected chairs and put raisins and crackers in their hands. they nibbled quietly, suspiciously. while i was busy getting my boss off the phone and craning my neck to the left, robin appeared out of nowhere to my right. her face was just right there, greeting my children... one of which i had completely created while she had been gone for four years. the children, they call her Ramen. a tasty treat.
we didn't have to wait on no baggage carousel and so i took robin straight out into the oven for her first steamy taste of the 100+ degree heat that has been overstaying its welcome.
i had paid attention to the ten miles of stalled out traffic going back the other way on 635 and took us a different way to the lincoln heights summerfield hyatt hotel suites, or whatever ungodly name that place was where she had booked a room. it was clean and quiet and calm, with a disposal-equipped kitchenette, and i was ready to move right in, even if they had used false advertising by making it look like there was a bowl filled with pears in every single room. do they really expect people to believe that their guests just show up with a bowl of pears right before a room photo shoot? the walk in closet could serve as an extra bedroom or office.
i guess it must have happened while i was luxuriating in the bathroom, but all of a sudden, robin and children were parked down on the floor playing vintage cooties and memory. they sure did like assembling those cooties.
we eventually made it on over to the famed university place condos, where we were immediately cornered in the sweltering courtyard by neighbor bob. he talked about a falcon eating birds and a neighbor's squirrel-proofed bird feeder in addition to mentioning that alzheimers robert had passed away the week prior and joanne's children had whisked her away to the family vacation home in colorado to escape the heat and the grief. oh, it makes me so sad. he also told us how robert once decided he wanted to go downtown and so he just hopped on a bus and downtown he went. that's where he met up with the police, thanks to the bus driver's nimble telephone fingers. and let's be frank here. can i call you frank? it's a miracle that robert managed to live as long as he did and that his death was thankfully lacking in tragedy. because i tell you what. the robert stories i've heard were only the tip of the wandering, alzheimers iceberg. i am sure of it.
anyhow, i sidestepped just enough to finally escape us to the cooler insides. violet became robin's best friend. they spent time moving around cookies and brownies flavored with wood and paint. robin taught violet about the world of spatulas. at some point, robin felt like she was dying, but she just laid right down on the floor and kept taking whatever little people threw at her. she didn't vomit or poop or nothing.
i pulled out the old chips and hummus and violet happily shoved chip after violet-suckled chip right into robin's poor, helpless, sporting maw.
and then. it was time for some more airport. we stopped by the cvs-walgreen's where only one out of four consecutive patrons were there to buy something that wasn't cigarettes (we were the winning 25%!).
we got to the airport perhaps a little too early for round two. the plane was thirty minutes late, but finally, finally, there came adrienne. i was able to hug her just fine without a step stool. she said the sunset from the sky was practically a religious experience and that so far, dallas was looking lovely. i stood outside the bathroom waiting for adrienne while watching robin doing this liberty with the scales routine, only she was holding adrienne's bags and trying to ascertain what kind of kettlebells were inside. i think it's safe to say she and i were both a little disappointed that there were no kettlebells. only a very nice camera that takes photos of top quality, when combined with adrienne's top quality eye.
i had totally screwed up the car situation by taking the car with two car seats and so i unbuckled oliver's and slid it over 14 inches and robin acted like it's no problem cramming right in there next to it. she didn't vomit or poop or nothing.
i asked 14 times what people wanted to do about food and adrienne threw a dart at freebirds world burrito. i would soon discover adrienne was the secret decision-maker in the group. we got the smallest size of the obscenely-sized burritos while robin scooted off with her deconstructed burrito in a box. burrito salad, i suppose it must have been.
we stuffed robin back into the car with our feet and then stuffed our faces back over at the hotel before i left the two ladies alone to do whatever it is that two ladies do alone in a hotel room.