The Bubble: Day 2 (last part)

So I’ve been telling y’all about my first full day in the Bedrossian bubble. After getting through the morning being a schoolteacher for the first time in my life, we broke for lunch. I sent the boys down to the kitchen to eat while I went to look for Sandy in her office. Lunch, Jacob told me, was sandwiches…so mine could wait for me for a few minutes.

“How’s teacher doing?,” Sandy asked when I knocked on the frame of her office door..

“Can’t rightly say, ma’am,” I answered. “But they sat still enough. Probably because I’m new. I’m sure this is fucking up my cool cred with them.”

“What do you mean?,” Sandy asked. “The boys adore you.”

“They do??”

It really hadn’t occurred to me that they did. I mean, I knew they liked me well enough. But ‘adored’?

“Do you think Maya would have gotten you into this bubble we’re in if the boys didn’t think you were awesome?”

Again, it hadn’t really occurred to me.

“You don’t have to work them too hard,” she said. “Dr. Peterson will be back soon enough. And it’s getting on Christmas vacation. Just keep them from tearing the house down and you’ll be fine.”

“I told them to start their own blogs. I think WordPress has a minimum age requirement, but it’s still good practice for them.”

“If it’s any good, we can always put it up on the At Home with Maya website.”

I asked her for news about Dr. Peterson. The boys asked me this morning, and I was curious too. Turns out he’s got symptoms – a bad cough, fever and he says he’s got no sense of smell or taste. He’s pretty sick, it sounds like, although Sandy said he said it’s no worse than a bad case of the flu. He says his doctor told him to stay home and get better. Sandy arranged to send him groceries (apparently he said it wouldn’t matter what since he can’t taste anything…which he told Sandy is totally freaky) and they’ll keep him tested once his symptoms go away. But it doesn’t look like he’s gonna be back anytime soon…

“Meaning we all can expect this bubble business to last until Christmas.”

“I should go have lunch,” I said. “Matteo’s probably finished his toast and egg whites by now. Although it’s surprising how slowly he eats for someone who must be hungry all the time.”

“You know you don’t have to sit with the boys until they go to bed, right?. Dr. Peterson leaves at 6:30 and the boys are good at taking care of themselves. You can have some grown-up time. Maya’s not thinking of you as a nanny. Just as a teacher. And a handsome jock.”

I was on my way out of Sandy’s office when I remembered about the Shakespeare. I asked her to order us three copies each of Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It. I even looked down the page on Amazon with her to find an edition with plenty of user-friendly notes. Sandy was dubious about my teaching the boys Shakespeare, but I had a good feeling about it. Mom would probably agree with me, and I was planning to call her and ask for a few pointers. She’s a school librarian, but she’s also taught some.

Belen made a good chicken salad sandwich for my lunch, along with a small cup of a not very good tomato soup – it tasted like hot tomato juice, which, I wasn’t surprised to find out, was what it was. “Tomato Madrilène” was what the dietician called it. In reality, it was almost the same thing as Matteo’s grossass salad dressing, only served hot. I like tomato juice as much as the next guy…but not hot. I like tomato soup too…but this wasn’t no tomato soup.

The afternoon was pretty chill, which was good. The boys said they wanted to work a little on their blogs, and then I told them to go to the back of the room and do some art. Turns out that they have an artist come in and teach them drawing and shit…but y’all know I’m no use to them when it comes to art. Still, they found something to do quietly until it was 2 and I could go and do what I was originally hired to do, take care of the boys’ sports time.

It was an 80° day again (or almost), which meant swimming weather, which made me very happy. Matteo said he’d be ok hanging out upstairs while me and Jacob worked on fielding and then had a good long swim. I needed to blow off steam as bad as he did lol. Then it was time for Matteo to face the gym, where he made an effort, probably because he was still getting over having gained a pound. I just wish that they didn’t make ‘diet and exercise’ one thing, like exercise should be a punishment like dieting. Playing sports has always been fun for me, and I think it could be fun for Matteo too if they didn’t make it seem like a bad-tasting pill he had to swallow.

I guess maybe I’m getting into a routine. I showered off the chlorine and sat down with a beer and tried to figure out the TV before dinnertime. ESPN is kinda pointless these days, so I tried to find another channel I liked. There were a shit ton of movies on…and it’s a smart TV so it gets Netflix too, only my Netflix subscription is one of the things I’ve had to give up. I was sure that Maya had a log in I could use…I made a mental note to ask Sandy about it tomorrow.

Then I reckon I dozed off, since Jacob woke me up and told me it was dinnertime. I was still in a robe, but it doesn’t exactly take a long time to put on a Dodgers tshirt and basketball shorts. Belen hadn’t even started dishing up the pozole (that’s the soup with the hominy but without the cow stomach) by the time I got to the kitchen.

There was one thing that I wanted to discuss with the boys, and over dinner seemed like as good a time as any. They deserved an update on Dr. Peterson’s condition. They probably had questions, too…and turns out they did. Mostly about was he going to be alright and was he going to need to go to the hospital and put on a ventilator and scary shit like that. I told them that he was home and said it was no worse than a bad case of the flu, but he couldn’t taste anything…which the boys agreed was pretty dang weirdass. I told them that Sandy was having groceries and shit delivered to him and checking in on him every day, so he was being taken care of, even if he lived alone. I think the boys were worried about him, and I think I got them to be a little less worried. That was maybe my biggest success of the day.

I nearly forgot to assign them any homework, and didn’t remember to do it until after we had lunch. I didn’t exactly know what kind of homework to give them, so I came up with some math problems out of their math books that probably wouldn’t take them a long time. I’m not gonna stick the boys with a shit ton of homework, although some math exercises are always a good idea if they’re gonna remember what they learned. I reckoned they’d need maybe half an hour to do what I assigned and then we could get together and watch a movie again. So I sent them upstairs and I went back to lie down some more. I was fuckin exhausted – teaching isn’t easy work, especially when you’re nervous about it and flying 100% blind.

The boys came over to the pool house after finishing their homework. Just like the night before, Matteo had his air-popped popcorn and Jacob had a microwave bag for the two of us. The movie they picked was The Polar Express, which I haven’t seen, and which I thought was pretty cute. The boys said they wanted to see it because it was December 1 and time to start thinking about Christmas…although it wouldn’t be Christmas for them until January 7…

I know Sandy said that I could meet up with her and the crew and have some grown-up time, but, when the boys left me to go to bed at around 9:45, I was too tired to do much of anything. I called my girlfriend and we talked on zoom…then I called Keaton and filled him on what was going on in the bubble too. Then I decided to take advantage of the jacuzzi again, even if it was fuckin cold getting from the pool house to the warm water. I made it, I think without catching my death of cold (like Meemaw says.) Then I came inside, had a beer and some snacks, showered and got into bed.

It was a long first day in the bubble. And I still had 23 more ahead of me.

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