Absence

14 12 2007

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Signs that I have not been at home for the past week: the laundry is clean and folded, but not put up; the bathtub is beginning to mildew; there are piles of various, unrelated items on my kitchen table including but not limited to: 4 snowman dessert knives, bubble wrap, fake green apples, cords, Mr. and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers; every surface is covered in a thin layer of dust; the only food we have in the house is breakfast related; and, finally, the ultimate signifier of my absence: a clear sippy cup with a purple lid holding the ground-beef remains of the other night’s taco dinner (it’s in the fridge at least).

Where have I been? I have been in the online archives of Cornell’s “Making of America” collection; sifting through writings of Louisa and Bronson Alcott; away from my house and my child, who knocked three little tikes down on her way to the door when I picked her up yesterday afternoon. I’ve been at Audra’s house crying at midnight with the conviction that I am too stupid to write this paper, swinging on her swing, covered in a blanket. I’ve been in the library where students dressed as gorillas have strolled nonchalantly past and chunked bananas in the trash can by my table in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve been sweating in my desk chair, listening to the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Now I am almost finished, but not quite. Then it will be Christmas time… finally.

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