There is no need to eat onions past 11:00 p.m., but there I was in the dim of white lights over the mantel in the kitchen, fork in hand. I wasn’t hungry. But a spinach pie and soggy greek salad were there.
The house was quiet.
You guys were long asleep in your beds upstairs. Actually, in the same bed, Baby Girl’s bed, where you both end up every night, sometimes toe-to-toe, sometimes curled up butt-to-butt, sometimes side-by-side which makes your dad and I laugh, saying look, they’re just like us in there, he’s even sleeping on my side…
Your dad was out at the annual Anheuser-Busch Holiday Party. He has at least two such parties a week this time of year. Tuesday night, he went to an Ugly Sweater party.
We spent the entire weekend looking for one–an ugly Christmas sweater is a really hard thing to find!–and when he slipped into bed at one a.m. after the party I whispered, barely lifting my head off the pillow, “how was it?” He whispered back over the mound of his body under sheets, “good.” This is the difference between male and female: I would’ve went into tales of shenanigans and who was wearing what and details of moose sweaters and antlers and snowmen, oh my, he simply said “good.” And that was it.
Anyway, there I was last night in the kitchen…
And the house was quiet, like I said.
And I looked around, scanning, like I often do.
The house looks just like the City apartment, I realized…
I was brought back to the smell of that old pre-war apartment on West 89th Street. The sound of the creak of the floors. That feeling I had once I’d get to the other side of that heavy brown door that would slam close, every time. I used to feel like I made it. Like this was home base. The whole mad City was going on outside me and I’d just leave it all behind. Home.
And last night I felt here in this house I, too, was home.