“Fun fact,” my wife says, turning from the counter and the shallot she was chopping so she could toss me this sideways little grin that makes me wilt a little with love inside. “This also doesn’t call for shallots. So. I don’t know what I’m making!”
I laugh, mostly because I’m glad she’s happy and having fun. But also I laugh because I don’t know what to say or whether anything needs saying.
I laugh, too, because for some reason everything my wife does reminds me of something else she’s done or said.
Like finishing a half-marathon last October:
One of the things I tell her I like about her cooking (she’s been cooking for going on seven years now; started with her own tomato sauces; worked her way through various rubs and marinades, baked dishes; currently she’s into quinoa, potato quesadillas; tonight, she’s doing an arabbiatta pasta) is its spontaneity — her spontaneity. I get reminded when she cooks of those nights she and I used to spend a few hours together in an empty classroom in the Arts building on campus; while I’d read or write, she would add definition to a charcoal or pencil sketch she’d started in her 2-D Fundamentals or Life Drawing class.
I sit on the floor, leaning back against the dishwasher. Our kitchen was once a galley-style kitchen. It still is long and narrow, with the range and fridge on one side and the sink on the other. A thin area rug covers most of the laminate floor.
In his plush dog bed beside me, our dog pokes his nose from beneath the blanket I’ve thrown over him, touches it to my forearm, then resituates his forepaws and hunkers deeper. Like me, he’s anxious to eat. Also like me, he’s zonked.
I wrote the preceding scene a few nights ago and have spent time the past few days wondering what to do with it. At the time, I wrote simply to find my feet. It helps sometimes to focus on the now like that. Especially at the end of a long day, while struggling through decision fatigue to finish the daily writing task…
It occurred to me this morning to use the scene as a prose snapshot of sorts. Because when I think of home I think of my wife, our dog.
Other things come to mind too. I think of my first job. I think of the work I do now, teaching writing. And my own writing — I think of that, too.
I think of those closest to me, family:
And I think of mornings.
A good morning at home sneaks in and lingers, like sunlight through the little window in our kitchen.