I haven’t been home for this extended a time (7 days) in four years. I wish I had brought my camera to capture the things that used to be so ordinary that I forgot to notice them:
Two tuna cans and a Spam can full of cigarette butts on the rail of our porch- sorta covered in snow. A gargoyle on the stump in our back yard- also sorta covered in snow. One hundred and eighty four individual instances of lighthouses- on hand towels, on shower curtain rings, on paintings. An encyclopedia series from the sixties where all the facts are outdated because our population has bloated and because the lines of countries shift. Judy Garland overdosed.
A lopsided Christmas tree, each branch holding something from somewhere else- Cape Cod, Maine, Tokyo, the Paris of the South. There are three ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornaments. And a disco ball I bought in Mystic, RI and a sock puppet from… can’t remember. Jackson Five Christmas songs are playing in the background and somewhere my dad is feeling sentimental.
A gem-bedazzled pimp cup that says Sexy Bitch, and a sweatshirt for every day of the month. A rack of still-knotted blue, gray and green ties because my dad doesn’t know how to re-tie them. There’s a varsity jacket from ’61. A cheerleading skirt from ’00. Two empty dressers. A trunk of awards and pictures, movie stubs and love letters. Four identical toothbrushes (though two are hardly ever used)
A carton of soy milk untouched from Thanksgiving, seven varieties of Pop Tarts, an almost empty tub of cookie dough that has never seen the oven. Lean Pockets.
The closet under the stairs that smells exactly like the attic. A TV remote whose battery is failing but if you push the buttons really hard…