Isabelle Davis

Pillow Talk

Isabelle Davis

“Close your eyes. Think good thoughts. You need to go to sleep, it’s really late. I’ll be right here if you need me.”

“Buuuuuut. Wait. When will you go to sleep?”

“When I go home.”

“Oh. But. Where is your home? Who is there right now? Will you sleep by yourself? Where’s Beagle?”

“I told you before, remember? I live in Bushwick. It’s a neighborhood in Brooklyn, just like your neighborhood is Cobble Hill, which is also in Brooklyn. My cousin. He’s my roommate. I am sleeping alone. You just threw him out of the bed. Look, he’s on the floor. Stop squirming, that hurts my arm.”

“Oh. I forgot. I forget sometimes. Snuggle me.”

“That’s not how you ask and also, only if you try to sleep. Otherwise I’m going downstairs. You’re a big boy now–”

“NO DON’T GO LOOK MY EYES ARE CLOSED I’M ALMOST ASLEEP AND DREAMING I SEE A DREAM RIGHT NOW.”

“OUCH. JESUS. Stop. Pinching. Me.”

Giggles.

“Alright, I’m going then. Goodnight.”

“NOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOoooooooo
ooooooooOOOOOooo!”

“Don’t whine.”

“You know I never sleep until the middle of the night. Every time. I told you this when you met me. I’m not really sleeping until the middle of the night time.”

“Hm. Right. You did tell me. My mistake.”

“Where’s your mommy?”

“At her house.”

“And your daddy?”

“His house.”

“Oh. I thought she was dead.”

“My mom?!? Why on Earth would you think that?”

“Uh, I dunno. I just thought that.”

“Isabelle.”

“Yes.”

“Why are your eyes closed? Are you sleeping too?”

“No. I’m just resting.”

“Don’t do that. You should play on your phone instead.”

“Go. To. Sleep. NOW.”

“Do you love me more than dogs and cats?”

“Sometimes.”

Hysterical laughter. “You’re funny! You’re the funniest person I know.”

“Thanks.”

More giggling.

“Shhh.”

“Um, Isabelle?”

“Hmm.”

“Are you ready to be a mommy soon?”

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Isabelle Davis

What do you mean you hate Bob Dylan?
Just what I said. I hate Bob Dylan.
But.
But?
But.


That’s like saying you hate the Beatles.
Well, I hate them too.

Breakfast with the Beatles is a syndicated weekend radio show found on most cities’ classic rock stations. It’s extremely self explanatory and extremely popular. It’s been running for over two decades and is hosted by Dennis Mitchell, a self-proclaimed “Beatlemaniac.” Equal parts nostalgic and terrible, its blueprint is designed for people who care about the gossip related to the band’s members, both living and deceased. It spends a lot of airtime trying to convince the audience that the Beatles are still making history, which, unless we are talking about Paul McCartney and breaking the world’s record for marrying gold diggers with no pre-nup, they are not.

It’s a mixed bag. Early hits, like “Love Me Do” or one of the Motown covers, will be side by side with “Savoy Truffle.” Sometimes it throws you a curve ball, and Ringo a bone, and appeases the younger kid demographic with “Octopus’s Garden,” and a lot of Rubber Soul is played. Major risks aren’t taken until the second hour, which means you will hardly ever hear anything from the Maharishi or Yoko years until the last half, which, looking back, is very considerate.

I listened to it almost every single weekend growing up. With my dad, while eating bagels with cream cheese and drinking mint tea. But not in our kitchen, and not with my mom. We listened to it in the small, L shaped breakfast nook of my best friend’s house, on the fake because it was more or less just a parking lot street of East Rochdale. When I was in nursery school, my dad would drop me off at her house, before work, to carpool. That was when we lived on the opposite side of town. Barely light out, I’d still have my pajamas on. That was when I still got chronic nosebleeds. He’d lay me down on the wooden bench in their living room (they didn’t get a real sofa until her mother moved out, and in an effort to overcompensate, her father bought a massive leather couch with cup holders and a massage component, which broke after the first month). I would, like clockwork, begin to cry.

Molly and I hardly knew each other then. Her classroom was next door to mine, and she was invited to all my birthday parties, but really, that was it. She always wore a flannel shirt, and her braid would swing in a circle like a helicopter. We became real friends in the fourth grade. That was when I began having real sleepovers, and not just the kind where you make your mom come get you at 1am, faking sick.

I would always have to stay at her house, and usually on a Saturday night, because Molly had cable and everyone knew that the SNICK lineup was infinitely better than TGIF’s.  In the morning, my dad would come to pick me up. Although, pick me up isn’t really the right term. And stop and chat isn’t either. Coming in for coffee would be the most acceptable, but really, if carrying-on-a-decade-long-affair-and-using-your-children-as-impetus-to-see-each-other legitimately was a saying, I’d go with that.

They would make us go outside and play in the co-op’s playground. We would swing on the swings, and remark, aren’t we just so lucky to have parents that aresuchgoodlifelongfriends? You never even have to go home. We could stay out here all day! They just love having coffee and talking so much. Suckers. We can play FOREVER. God, they are so boring. What do they even talk about? Who cares. Just asking. Your mom thinks my dad is really funny. What. She laughs in a funny way around him. I’m just telling you, so you know. OK, now I know. Well, I think it’s kind of weird. You only think it’s weird because, I mean, no offense, he isn’t funny. What. He can be, you just don’t know. I said no offense. NONE TAKEN.  One time I saw them hold hands. YOU DID NOT. DID TOO. DID. NOT. DID. TOO. I’m going back inside. I’m coming with.

We would immediately wish we had stayed outside.

Molly’s dad was never around. He was in the basement, in his “office,” which was really just a desk and a computer situated next to the litter box. He spent the majority of his time down there during that marriage. I think everyone preferred it that way.

The Beatles, though, were everywhere.

They were the LPs my aunts and uncles fought over when they spotted them under each other’s stereos, because CLEARLY, IT SAYS PROPERTY OF MARY DAVIS ON IT, ARE YOU FUCKING ILLITERATE? I THOUGHT I LOST THIS IN ’78. JESUS. They were animated and on TV, during the multiple viewings of Yellow Submarine we watched with our cousins, laying on their huskies, Wiley and Mona, like pillows. Their songs floated around our Christmas dinners, supplemented our drives to our grandparents’ beach house, and were always being played by my dad on his acoustic guitar and grand piano.

As a kid of parents from a certain generation, I think it’s considered mandatory to raise them to Help! and hope that they’ll grow up to have self-righteous and pointless conversations about “Let It Be” and Phil Spector. Saying that you were “raised on the Beatles” is like saying that you ate Cheerios as a baby. Almost everybody knows the lyrics to their songs and almost everybody has had at least one conversation about them. But almost nobody else hears “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” and silently and sadly begs, No I don’t. Please don’t tell me.