The Netflix on Mike's Xbox doesn't want to work. I am sitting in my living room wearing spandex and the apron I won from a giveaway this year. It is handmade and served as my inspiration to make my sister an apron for her birthday. Today has been such a good day, the sensible follow-up to two pretty spectacular weeks.
I spent a week in Georgia with my family, watching The Walking Dead with my dad and stepmom, eating my grandma's roast beast and my grandpa's famous cole slaw, baking apple cake with my sister, and playing endless games of He-Man and She-Ra with my niece. Before I left for Georgia, I entertained fantasies of waking up early and sitting on my sister's back porch sipping coffee and scribbling new stories with southern accents. Instead I woke to a three-year-old's crusty eyes, stinky breath, and requests for cinnamon rolls and Backyardigans. For an entire week I didn't think about the impending career switch, the leap into a whole new pool where I was a new fish doing a job I wasn't entirely convinced I was qualified for. I didn't think about the impending winter, which moved into Massachusetts, as it tends to do, while I was out of town, threatening to delay my flight. I thought, instead, about the little boy inside my sister's belly, the way the air smells in the field behind my parents' house, the gears on my grandpa's four wheeler, and all of the different kinds of ice cream in my sister's freezer.
It was simple and necessary, a palette cleanse.
I gave in. I'm watching the first episode of Mad Men for the first time. Mike's on his way home, then we'll make pizza, and watch Everything Must Go, based on a short story by one of my favorite short story writers, Raymond Carver.
"My granddaddy smoked them, and he died at the age of 98. He was hit by a truck." I like this show already.