Me and Joni Mitchell

I climbed back into bed after wishing my Paulie safe travels for the weekend, only to find that the bed is too vast and cold and now my life is one big Joni Mitchell song until he returns.

If Joni Mitchell had a seven-year-old daughter climbing into bed with her every few minutes to warm the coldest-ever toes in the crook of her knees, followed by putting those toes in Joni’s sparkly roller skates then skating in clunks around the ceramic-tiled kitchen floor.

And if Joni Mitchell had an eleven-year-old son who ever-so-quietly, apologetically, inched the bedroom door open to whisper “hi mom, I love you,” with a long hug. Then “do you think you could make me some of that tea? It’s so good when you make it.” To which Joni Mitchell would of course comply. She would be pleased to know that her song ‘River’ brings tears to his eyes.

If Joni Mitchell also had a teenager upstairs, sleeping in with good reason – staying up well past 2am the night before and anticipating two friends staying over tonight – and Joni and I left behind to meet a new set of parents and convince them that yes, we have the teenager-sleepover under control. We know about teenagers. We will keep everything responsible and yes, parents of the visiting teenagers, you can trust us.

If Joni Mitchell’s cat had a weird scabby sore at the base of her tail and red sores around her unused nipples, sending Joni and the cat and the two youngest kids to the vet to find out what it all means.

If, when Joni Mitchell finally decided to emerge from the too-big bed, having failed at producing enough heat by snuggling with the fluffiest pillow which, no matter how many times she’s tried, doesn’t come close to replicating the feel of her Paulie under her arm, she walked into the kitchen to find that all was quiet and under control, only a little bit of burrito contents were on the floor, and Paulie’s stack of papers was in the same place as before. Joni Mitchell might simply write a song about all of it.

Yesterday I said to Paulie “I’ve never liked someone as long as I’ve liked you.”

I think there’s a song in there, somewhere.

paul mug

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