Monday, December 10, 2012
Home is finding your way through rooms in the dark. Small sounds whose origins are parts of your breathing: the click of a dripping tap, the sigh of a highway, the meowing howl of peacocks, the shudder of a pipe in the roof, doors opening in rooms you know. The bed, the sheets, their clean smells. The garden. Full blown agapanthus and cold wet strawberries in pots. A stove top espresso pot and its pent up hiss of steam.
I lay in bed in the dark this morning and tried to picture where Vince was standing. I could hear him opening drawers, and I knew he was looking for the keys that I had used to let us into the Brooklyn apartment yesterday evening, after a hellish re entry at JFK whose utter disorder and ugliness and hour-long wait to get through a melee at customs made us long for the civilization of Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, and Cape Town International and Amsterdam's Schipol (where trolley carts are free! Not $5 a pop). I could not place the drawers he was sliding open and shut, not where they stood, nor in what building of what room in what country.
For ten days I have not missed Facebook, I have not missed checking emails obsessively. I have missed telling stories here, sharing beauty or incidents that demand telling, and I have missed the exchange of comments and reactions and other points of view. I have not missed feeling that there is never enough time to do it all. My inner clock has also been re-set by the jet lag of coming and going swiftly. I have been going to bed at a decent hour, before midnight, and, at least in Cape Town, rising before my husband, a first. I shall encourage my body to pursue this way of life. I like it.
Our short trip was wonderful, the experience of the birthday party for my father unforgettably good in a way I had not anticipated, the rare meals together with my parents precious, my mother's garden staggeringly beautiful. But I should not try to describe it all in one paragraph. There is coffee to be sipped, and work to be done, a rather sad unpacking, and then I will start organizing photographs and leaking Cape Town stories one by one.
Ferries are booming insistently and often in low mist that muffles Brooklyn, New York Harbor, the city. Even the copper spire of the church on Congress and Court is obscured.
There are still strawberry flowers on the terrace. The gravel is mottled and wet on the terrace floor. The tip of the cat's tail is brushing my ankle, as he stares out of the window. Traffic has started on the street below. Trucks are dropping off construction materials.
It is Monday in New York. The city does actually sleep, but now it is awake.