It’s early evening on a Tuesday. Bill is in the kitchen heating the soup I made on Sunday. Flanken beef with carrots and broccoli. The sun sits higher in the sky than it did two weeks ago at this time. I’m on the sofa. A cup of tea steeps on the end table, a book of Billy Collins’ poetry open to my right, my journal on my lap. I like the sound this pen makes as I scratch it across the page.
I’m in a bubble.
Like the bubble Bill and I float in when we walk along the beach on one of those ocean and sky days. Or when we go to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning for apples and bread. Or when we sail, the hull of our boat skimming through the waves, dolphins at the bow.
It is ordinary and I want to stay here forever.
My girlfriend Lena used to come over to our house. She’d hug me, call out a hello to Bill and make her way into my kitchen. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about her energy, spindly, splintered, disruptive. It was as if she didn’t fit in our home. “You don’t mind do you?” she’d say as she foraged in our refrigerator for almonds.“Do you have any of that green tea I like?”
“I don’t think Lena fits in our house,” I said to Bill one early evening after she left. She pushed at our walls, as if she took up all the empty space.
“You may be right,” he said.
Yesterday my friend Natalie came over. She toasted the bagel she bought at the farmer’s market. I made us tea. We sat at the kitchen table. I watched her small hands as she dabbed at the crumbs on her plate with her index finger and put them to her lips and licked. Bill came home from work. He gave us each a hug and went into his office.
“Natalie fits in our house,” I said to Bill after she left. Natalie makes herself at home in our home. She knows where the plates are, reaches for a mug, puts her dishes in the sink after we’ve finished our tea. She offers me half of her bagel. Her energy is easy, effortless, trouble-free.
Its funny, how some people fit and others don’t.
On this Tuesday night, the sounds of writing echo in the living room, the smells of soup swirl in the kitchen, and I can’t help but wonder about bubbles. How they slip through time. How they tap into other bubbles, bounce off or connect. Travel on in clumps of two or three or more. How their permeable skin shimmers iridescent in the sun.