vendredi, décembre 11, 2009

The echo of cowbells

My friends left about 15 minutes ago. Don't get up, said the retired journalist who had also been one of the more scintillating guests.

She and her husband, a former editor, had gotten here before everyone else. I, of course, was in the shower. I am never quite able to pull it together before guests arrive.

Actually, they all were scintillating. Once started, conversations didn't stop until the last guest had closed the door.

Out into the chilled December air they all went in a blur of hugs, leaving this room, which had been filled with tales of domestic poverty and foreign wealth empty of all but me and the two cats.

Large buildings in Dubai. Music in the high mountains of Switzerland. Waves in Hawai. Stories of places I hadn't seen, and some I might never see. I let the thrum of chat flow around me, offering a perspective occasionally but mostly happy to let them talk.

Smiling was easier with feet propped up on the sofa.

Reclining I viewed volcanoes, transexxuals and huge glaciers through their experienced eyes -- pleased not to leaving my house tonight, even for beautiful sandy beaches or views embracing two thirds of Switzerland. Someday.

Afterwards, I hobbled to the kitchen to put the seafood stew away. My food is dicey, so the conversation better be good. Happily, most of the plates were in the dishwasher. I'm not used to chronic pain, and I'm not very good at dealing with it -- sometimes you can't just grit your teeth and get through it. Next Thursday-- the epidural.

But I am pleased when my guests enjoy themselves. Put the right people together and they will create a wonderful evening, regardless of the hostess.

I wonder if most single people hang with singles. I wonder about friendships and what makes them endure.

My pals are by no means all single -- or a particular age -- or a particular political conviction. I'm fortunate in the ones I do have -- they have to tolerate difference -- and, apparently, spend a lot of hours on airplanes .

And they have to know how to hold a conversation without lots of help from this hostess, in the kitchen, or on the couch.

Now...can I get off the couch and wend my slow way to the bedroom? I can't count on the felines to help with the kitchen cleanup. These cats are worse than kids when it comes to tidying up -- although Inky did try to help with the tilapia.

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