Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walking at night

Another friend mentioned how weird the time shift is...I find it hard as well to spend all my free time in the dark, while looking longingly at the sun through a window at work. (although the sun has been hiding quite a bit lately...and, having taken the beagle out between writing that last sentence and this one, I can tell you it is raining cats & dogs out there right now) If I hurry home from work, we get about a half hour of greyish twilight for our walk. Now that I'm working less evenings, I'm enjoying actually exercising my own dog again. An hour every evening, if I feel up to it. The darkness is annoying, but familiar. I like looking in to the windows of the houses I pass, catching glimpses of paint colors and paintings. Walking through New Town means a lot of similar condos and row houses, and it's incredible how different every owner makes their own property. I don't take my iPod when I'm walking--I rely too much on my sense of hearing for traffic and other people--and that keeps my head clear to think. Tonight I caught a whiff of London, that particular smell that is a mixture of bus fumes, unchanged fryer oil and concrete. One whiff to sense it, one whiff to recognise it, one whiff to savor it and then it was gone.

Home smells like wool and cigarette smoke. That's what I remember from mom coming to pick me up from daycare--the scent I picked up as I hugged her hello, burying my face in her heavy eighties wool power suits. Home smells open, it smells like a house that has routinely had new carpet and adequate windows, properly working central air, unlike our apartment, which has none of the above. Walking at night at home smelled like grass--green and seedy if it was spring, hay if it was fall. There is one spot on the highway here, turning on to 199 from 64, where there is a lack of streelights, and I am always surprised by the constellations suddenly leaping out at me. At home, they were more consistently bright.

I'm not going home for Christmas this year. I am standing up in a wedding, in Florida, four days after Christmas, which would make a trip home very short. It's not responsible to spend money on airfare when I'd only be home for two days, so I am saving that money for when I can come home for a proper visit. This will be the first time I haven't been home for Christmas, the first time I won't wake up in my purple bedroom, or help roll meatballs or re-arrange my nativity after Mom has set it up for me. My roommate and I decided on getting a real tree this year (the money goes to the Lion's Club), which I am glad about, since I'll be here to enjoy it on Christmas Day. I will sneak out early in the wee dawn hours of Christmas morning and put Kizzy's presents under there, then pretend Santa has come. Not because he's my surrogate baby, but because I want to get him pizzle sticks, and he will eat them, paper and all, if I try to put them down earlier. I think I know a place where I can get some kringle. I will go to church here Christmas Eve and cry when we sing "Silent Night" just like I do at home--and I daresay Jeff will come over and we'll cook a big Christmas feast, if I don't get kidnapped by his family. It will be weird waking up on Christmas morning by myself, but once every twenty-seven years isn't a bad ratio.

In the meantime, I have Christmas presents to finish sewing and a bridesmaid dress to put together at some I guess I better get to bed. Good night everyone.


Jack Bunny said...

Nice post. Good word pictures. Makes me feel warm.

Peter said...

Wow, your really not coming home? Thats sad to hear, but I understand. Ben can only come home for like 3-4 days so his will be short too. I finally got a job so I only have Christmas/New Years day off so that sucks. Give me a call and I can tell you about the Sweeney Todd thing.

Samantha said...

Love the visuals! And I'm so impressed you've been able to make it home every year until now. I'm sure you'll be there in spirit.