At the other end of multi-earthquake day…

April 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

I get home first and make a plate of hors d’oeuvres. There’s no doubt HM will be famished when he walks in. I am not. I have not been hungry since the first earthquake hit at 4:30 this morning. I drink some water.

HM will be home soon. That makes me happy. He’ll make me laugh. I’ve been somber and deadline driven all day. Likely he has, too.

I light candles on the dinner table and find some of those pretty unnecessary napkins I am prone to buy (why? I dunno).  I fill two huge glasses with ice and water and set them on the table.

My phone rings.

Oh, the wonderland that is my purse! One of my all time fashion requirements, regardless of what VOGUE has going on, is a large bag. Which I have. Several.

And so as the phone rings I root madly through my big leather bag. Not here! not here! not here! the phone’s not here! and I know I’ve only another ring left before he hangs up.  I lift a book out of the way (it’s a soft bag so everything tumbles to the middle and the bottom. No, I didn’t put the phone in its special little pocket on the side – my bad!) and, oh, there’s another book (a Victoria Thompson mystery) in the way, and I move aside a glasses case (in which I keep my MP3 player) and another glasses case (in which I keep my glasses) and the phone’s still ringing but I seem to be nowhere close to getting my hands on it. I move aside my makeup case and then my lipstick case (I am lipstick crazy) and then I see the tiny blue screen shining.

And HM has hung up. A patient fellow, he is, but six rings is all you get before my phone cuts to my message.

I know it’s his “I’m almost home” call. I reload my purse. It all seems so stupid, these bits and pieces I carry around. This morning, the earth literally rocked our world. This evening, I’m reloading my spring bag with personal stuff, stuff I think I need at hand. I often say I am ready to hop a plane to Paris, in case HM calls and says “Let’s go!” (You never know with him – it’s possible).

And yet, as I put my mini-album with the kids’ and other family pictures back in the bag, and toss in a lipstick that somehow escaped its case and throw in the extra set of my car keys, I feel a certain comfort in this, this ritual of packing away precious-ness, of keeping those I love around me, of having what is, in a sense, this hobo stick, something with my world in it to carry around, a totem against the world’s randomness.

I hear HM in the driveway. The dogs are going mad to see him; they’ve been nervous since the first quake. I patiently wait my turn and when he comes through the door, I throw my arms around him.

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