In my life there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life
~ Foreigner, I Want To Know What Love Is
I’d just walked into the kitchen after commending Lewis and Tyson for playing so well together in the toy room – instead of tearing each other apart and roaring the house down to a shivering shack, as is their usual shtick – and I’m smiling to myself as I’m stacking bottles of Diet Ginger Beer into the last tray in the fridge thinking, Wow, things really seem to be turning, I think we’re all going to be okay, when Lewis suddenly fumes in beside me with his hands balled into fists by his side, baring gritted teeth.
From down the hall comes the spine-tingling THAT’S WHAT YOU GET! from Tyson and I’m back there again, rising in the hope of a Cosby Show kind of epiphany before falling to a slump-shouldered acceptance of my parenting fate, when all of a sudden the doleful yet somehow uplifting tunes of Foreigners I Want To Know What Love Is rises from the base of my spine – whirl-pool style – and treats my overburdened braincase like it’s a dirty porcelain toilet, flushing away the useless residue and impressing a plan of attack on it’s white shiny surface.
‘Hey Lewy,’ I say, as Tyson joins us, dragging half an assembled train set behind him. ‘In your life… has there been heartache and pain?’
‘Yes,’ he says, forcefully.
‘Do you know if you can face it again?’
‘No,’ he says, before his expression softens, and then, ‘Huh?’
‘Can you stop now?’
‘Or have you travelled so far?
‘What?’ he says again, looking at Tyson and then at the train track, and then back at me.
I sigh, look forlorn and repeat, ‘Have you travelled so far… to change this lonely life?’
I look at Tyson who’s mouth is open, stupefied, his eyes following us like we’re playing tennis, and then back at Lewis and wait for a moment, before singing, with as much volume and effort as I can – because I really do feel it – ‘I wanna know what love is!’
‘Come on,’ Lewis says, tugging at Tyson’s jumper and leading him back down the hall, which becomes an extension of my own throat; a megaphone for my vocal chords, as I continue to sing, serenading their re-uniting with a classic song that keeps coming back to me at the most appropriate times, reinventing itself at the same time that it soothes me, by acting like a musical drug against my insanity.