Watching a friend’s cat, I let myself in, find the pans hung in their same places, the lights of the wi-fi still twinkling. There is something in the smooth surfaces of someone else’s table, the soft fluff of someone else’s cat with her petite head nudging my hand. Her neediness is not the neediness of my own pets, this mail not my mail to be sorted and dealt with. Nothing new gets added to my lists between these walls. I could sit all night reading a magazine in the brown chair, cat brushing again past my legs. Then later, at another house, a pile of shredded manchego waits, a wooden spoon we take turns using to stir the risotto. The sausage a gift from a friend I don’t know, have no need to thank. I could take a week off just to sort through my home, its piles, its unclipped price tags. But in other people’s homes, nothing is left undone. Over time the rice plumps perfectly. And if the lock sticks as I’m leaving, I don’t mind. Just jiggle it closed and move on.
December 28, 2015
When I went to bed last night it was 75 degrees out. When I woke this morning it was 48, windows downstairs fogged to opaque. The day changes as the year does, dramatically, when you aren’t looking. I ate kale on New Year’s Day in a Belgian cafe in Greenwich Village. I ate Italian sausage at our dining room table last night, broccoli rabe with a ton of garlic, windows open to the breeze. Luna made a seamless run from window sill to Andrew’s lap. And 2015 leans toward its close. Practice. Reverence. Play. I began there. Two hundred pages later we dance to Vince Guaraldi while waiting for dinner guests. I weep to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in church on Christmas morning. Someone shit in the stairwell we took from the parking lot. Everything happening imperfectly. But 2015, it was a good year, in its grace and its improbabilities. Coyotes howled to sirens behind the fence. Cosmos bloomed at Christmas in the yard. I stood on a roll of white paper for a photo. You can’t predict. You can only pay attention. And most this year I did. I did.
December 27, 2015