I believe in fires at midnight when the dogs have all been fed.
A golden toddy on the mantle a broken gun beneath the bed.
Silken mist outside the window. Frogs and newts slip in the dark
too much hurry ruins the body. I'll sit easy, fan the spark
kindled by the dying embers of another working day.
Go upstairs, take off your makeup, fold your clothes neatly away.
Me, I'll sit and write this love song as I all too seldom do.
Build a little fire this midnight. It's good to be back home with you.
(I can't figure out how to do italics. Fire at Midnight is a song by Jethro Tull, and one of my top five favorite love songs.)
Yesterday was a long day. Matt had a union meeting, and then we met him for his union's picnic. Then we drove 90 minutes to another picnic, thrown by people I haven't seen in more than 10 years.
Chris was on the college trip I took to Krasnodar, Russia, where I studied for four months. He and I dated for about six weeks, until he met Nina. He dumped me soundly and started dating Nina. I pouted, he acted self-righteous, and after college, I hadn't heard from him. I found out through the grapevine, though, that he and Nina had gotten married.
Through the wonders of Google, I e-mailed him a few years ago to apologize for being an ass, and 10 minutes later I got a response from him, apologizing for being an ass. We've e-mailed off and on, and last night Chris and Nina threw a party for some of us on the original trip.
It was a small gathering; there were six of us, plus kids. It was good to re-meet Nina. She is a strong, beautiful woman -- something I wasn't ready to see 11 years ago. There was no awkwardness at all, which I had feared. As it turns out, one of the other guests had gone out with Nina a couple of times just before she started going out with Chris, and we all laughed at the sorded, scandalous group we had been then. We ate shashlik and drank vodka and told stories about the old country. Matt was the only one in the group who hadn't been to Krasnodar, but he fit in so wonderfully anyway it didn't matter. We screamed with laughter at things we had forgotten, and looked at photos, telling ourselves we hadn't changed a bit.
It was a long, long drive home. After we put the kids down, Matt and I ran outside to watch the Northern Lights. They were brilliant and went almost to the zenith -- odd for July. We flopped down in the grass and as we gazed, a meteor fell -- a long, lazy trail, dripping with sparks. Coyotes howled. A nightbird muttered to itself. It was hard to get up and go inside again.
It's good to be back home with you.