Times When All the World’s Asleep

Note: for short people, objects in digital view finder may be closer than they appear.

Half-way through dinner at Auntie InExcelsisDeo’s last night, I realized that not only had I left Monday’s and Barry’s present at home but I’d left my lunchbox next to it. This is significant because my lunchbox contains stuff, things, and my wallet. I was half an hour’s drive from my apartment on New Year’s Eve in a car with a tire pressure problem and without my documents. It was a miracle that I’d realized anything at all. The crowd and noise around the dinner table spilled out into the living room, down into the basement and out onto the street. I was amazed strangers driving the Turnpike didn’t stop in for aperatifs but anyway: before 10:30 I got into my car and drove off. Daria, Todd and I gave Dad and his wife Darla the DVD collection of Father Ted, which Dad, as a disgruntled altar boy, will truly enjoy. We probably should’ve given him an oxygen tank. Darla and I share an ordinary revulsion for all things precious or baby pink or excessively girlie, so when she plunked down in front of me the Care Bear gift bag, I don’t know who laughed harder. I could’ve gone home happy at that moment but miraculously the actual gift was even better.

Nobody appreciates my propensity for violence and desire to chffonade like Dad and Darla. We found these on a Sicilian website years ago but couldn’t get them to accept credit cards. Maybe if we’d PayPalled a horse’s head I would’ve had one of these gratis. Regardless, I have one now! Joy! I’m thinking of assembling it and putting it in my kitchen window. So after Miss Sasha’s amaretto mousse, of which I have a small container in my fridge right this very minute, I kissed forty-odd people goodbye and drove home very, very cautiously. In doing so, I left behind presents, dishes and awesome leftovers. Yeah. What was I thinking?

The ball dropped, Anderson Cooper introduced the B-52’s and suddenly there were flashing lights in the cul-du-sac. By 12:05, the tiny street was filled with peculiar twenty-somethings, five police cars and two amubulances. Soon, my neighbors were walking around outside like the fair had come to town. A little more than half an hour later, one of the ambulances took away a woman I didn’t recognize supine on a stretcher and I have no idea what happened or what it meant. I was grateful however that I didn’t drive documentless after midnight hoping to avoid police of six entire towns only to find them all in front of my house.

Today, lunchbox and forgotten gift in hand, I drove back down to Auntie’s for lunch and leftovers. I possess pork roast and stewed chicken! I have gravy and poached figs! I have my pans and what passes for my purse. As you can see, Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, examined the Care Bear bag for paper-crunching kitty amusement and pronounced it “merely diverting.” We both need a nap.

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