I’m not late, see? I’m just very, very early.
New Years’ evening George had been banned from the computer for something or other and Mary came upstairs and asked me if I smelled something burning. At first we thought it was the heater, but then we realized it was just a bored little brother burning “stuff” in the kitchen sink in his room. (My mom said “I thought he was scared of lighting matches!” We said, “Well, I guess he’s over that.”) So I brought him downstairs and gave him a cello lesson, and he happily plowed through an entirely unrecognizable version of “Twinkle Twinkle.”
The next night Mary and Karen and I played Explorers, quite possibly, as I kept reminded them, the worst card game in the universe. But for some reason, it was fun. Perhaps because we learned that Sir Francis Drake “enflamed the British Isles with desire for new lands,” or maybe because we were eating fresh guacamole, or just because they’re two of my favorite people. All games should be so poorly thought out.
Yesterday I took a walk in the woods with Elspeth which wasn’t long enough, because we never end up having enough time to say all the things we want to say. And whether she knows it or not, that was easily the cheeriest I was all day, because being home is hard sometimes and seems to fit poorly, but friendship has a bolstering effect on the soul.
This afternoon I got an email from Laura in response to something funny I sent her a week or two ago, so not only did I get to reread and reappreciate my own hilarity, but I got to be reminded that I’m not alone in my awkward, uncomfortable winter idleness and that I have a whole semester left with some very dear people before the world opens up at our feet.
And just about an hour ago I had this delightful exchange with my brother:
A: I’m going out.
G: Don’t die. …Where are you going?
A: Oh! He cares! Look at that! I’m going for a walk.
G: No! I, um…yeah. (furiously reads newspaper)
So I walked a bit and came back by way of the Little Free Library around the corner from us where I picked out a memoir, and on my own block I was just cold enough to smell the winter in the air and the woodsmoke from our chimney, and I thought that there are few better feelings than a book under your arm. Here’s to actually reading it.