Daddy gets his brain back.

Notes on fatherhood.
April 3 2003 5:23 PM

Daddy Gets His Brain Back

What spilled out when I cracked my head open.

(Continued from Page 3)

"Uh-huh," he said.

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"No," I said, "I still have a problem."

"Yeah?"

"I can't remember what the book's about."

"Give me a moment," he said. He didn't even try to hide it: I was boring him. I was boring the emergency rescue worker! I must have fallen asleep, as the next thing I knew I was looking up not at an emergency rescue worker but a lady doctor. "I hear you're a writer," she said, making conversation. "What do you write about?"

She was soon sorry she had asked. For it was then I remembered: baseball! I was writing a book about baseball. As she stitched me back together I offered her, free of charge, my literary autobiography. Every last detail, including the various articles I'd written for this magazine. I told her, for instance, I'd written about the birth of my child, which had occurred in this very hospital. I told her I'd lived in Paris, and written a letter from Paris. It was then that she perked up.

"I read those!" she said.

Inexplicably, I feel better.

"I loved those descriptions of you with your son in the Luxembourg Gardens."

"That was Adam Gopnik," I said. For the first time I felt something I knew I had always felt. The surge of irritation, the choking back of indignation—oh the horror, oh, the smallness of existence—was so breathtakingly familiar that I couldn't deny it: I was still me.

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