Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Night rhythms

Tonight, after Alice and I finally got home, after Alice took her bath, after we attempted to FaceTime with L in Atlanta while Alice was in the tub, resulting in an anguished Alice reaching her soapy hands towards L's face enclosed by the distressingly small face of the phone, after reading books and kissing goodnight, after watching the debate, after doing some work and agonizing over the unkempt state of my inbox, after looking around the quiet apartment, I remembered that something good had happened today.  I had been worried about something for a while, and got a phone call in the middle of a meeting this morning telling me that things were okay.  When my phone started vibrating, I knew immediately what it was, and I was able to stride out of the conference room with the unquestioning confidence I can never seem to muster when I really need it.  I got my good news and came back into the meeting, taking that idea and folding it neatly and placing it in my pocket.

And then tonight I discovered it again.  To celebrate I decided to pour some Sambuca for myself and add three coffee beans.  As Alice slept and the city lay dark and still outside the windows, I cleaned the kitchen and listened to music, washing tupperware and making sandwiches for tomorrow, gathering all my ingredients for morning oatmeal, portioning my carrot sticks for lunch.  In the shadowy kitchen I let my iPod be my guide, gliding through the night with the slow, true old songs made for evenings like this. 

Ever since I was in high school these late hours were made for music and quiet.  Singing low in my night kitchen reminded me of the solitude that I don't often experience anymore, for great reasons -- but what joy there was to be found in those old slow songs, a voice worn and lowered by the length of the day, a clean kitchen ready for the morning, a glass of sambuca at hand, patient and restorative, and the memory of good news to absolve the day of worry.