When I stepped into our empty bedroom, the TiVo went into 3-speed reverse replaying every memory that lived there, and I sank to the floor with my face in my hands wailing. I thought I’d be stronger; two years of immunity would buffer my feelings, but I really knew better. Both Ricky and Mickey wanted to greet me at the front door, asking me to time my arrival for them. I told them that I needed a moment, and there it was––my moment.
Walking up the backhouse stairs proved even trickier while the loop of that morning played when I climbed the same stairs and everything changed. The door was stuck. I butted my shoulder against it, and two years worth of dust, cobwebs, and termite shavings gave way to a different sort of welcome. It was Haversham’s dining room, and my immediate glance went to the spot where that cursed couch used to be, the one that now rests with Billy’s niece, Amie, in St. Elmo.
Everything was exactly where I left it, or better yet, exactly where Billy left it. I overturned the big leather chair worn down by Bob over years and years of four-legged lounging, and sat for a minute or an hour when I heard someone on the stairs. It was Mickey, all smiles and looking more beautiful than ever. We hugged then sniped, a well-worn pattern in our friendship.
The movers were supposed to deliver my clothing and furniture on the day of my arrival, but I'm told they won’t get here until Tuesday, which also happens to be Billy’s 43rd birthday. On Friday evening, Ricky and I went to the Promenade so I could buy a shirt and pants for my first day of work tomorrow. We went to see The Aristocrats, easily the funniest movie I’ve seen in far too long. I'm probably biased as I've worked with, hired, or developed over half of the comics in the film.
It’s a disorienting Sunday. I’m hobbling through so many ditches of memory and anxiety, and I miss Joe. I’ve so much to write. My thoughts are jumbly and far less than literate. The ocean breeze holds promise. As I sit on our old living room couch that’s now upstairs, I look around me and feel surrounded by the love that made this house a home.