the Monday morning after a long, lovely, crazy party of a weekend and
when I wake up, roll out of
bed, pad barefoot across the hall to the bathroom, the house seems
quiet: so quiet, the white noise thunders in my head. Outside, I can
hear the birds twittering and the occasional rumble-swoosh of cars, jet
fighter planes from the nearby air force base descending in a grumbly
crescendo overhead, but here, indoors, thereís just the sounds of my
feet on the floor, then my own morning routine: the swish-swish-swish of
the toothbrush, the rustle of my running shorts being quickly pulled on.
In the kitchen, my boy is getting ready to leave for school: I can hear
the bang of drawers and the creak of refrigerator doors, the scrape of a
mayo jar pushed across the tile countertop, the soft crumple as Asher
opens a bag of sandwich bread. Soon Iíll hear the flat slaps of his
sneaker-clad footsteps coming towards me: weíll kiss goodbye, and the
house will be mine alone.
Most days I like this time,
when itís just me, my thoughts, and the quiet of an empty house. I
like the peace and the serenity; I like the selfish feeling of knowing
that this whole space is mine and mine alone.
This morning, though, I find
myself feeling a little wistful, and sad, and wishing for company. Iím
missing those days not so long ago back in college, when I shared a
suite with two, three, four official roommates (plus the seemingly
ever-present non-official roommates, a.k.a. significant others), or
further back in time as a kid, when I lived with my parents and two
younger brothers Ė full homes, lively homes, homes wonderfully noisy
with the sounds of laughter, and gossip, and good conversation, or (less
frequently, itís true), that warm, happy glow of shared silence.
Mostly Iím missing this
weekend, when our friends Spencer and Lisa came to stay with us, and for
a few days, we had housemates, and I remembered how much fun that could
Spencerís a friend of my
sweetieís from grad school; he used to live here, until this past
December, when a big group of us helped him pack up and load the
contents of his one-room bachelor pad onto a truck, said our
goodbyes as he made the move cross-country to be with Lisa. It was a
little sad, to watch another one of our friends move away from Tucson.
But this is the nature of having so many friends who are in grad school:
you get this tight-knit circle of great people whom you adore, and just
as youíre all starting to feel like a makeshift family of sorts, folks
have this pesky habit of finishing up their dissertations, getting that
doctorate, moving on, scattering apart. In the name of love, Spencer did
things a little backwards, actually: moved away first, finished the
dissertation second. Which is why he was back here in town last week, to
give his defense talk, with Lisa here for support.