Retro Post: The Last Party

Not directly related to anything currently in my blog, this is a journal entry I just rediscovered which was written in December of 2005. Although I was well aware that the immediate future was almost completely unknown to me, I could never, ever have begun to imagine how differently my life would pan out in the years to come. Painful though it’s been, I can honestly say now that I’m grateful everything happened the way it did…

It’s two thirty in the morning, and our Christmas party is quietly dying down. I can hear conversations – Fareed is still holding court with a few straggling guitar students, but I sense things are finally wrapping up. This, our 19th party, was our mildest. It was nice to see some very dear friends for what might well be our final party here. Here in this house, in our town, our world. I can hear the laughter of young, long-haired girls I don’t know, and I see the lights of a car turn around in our driveway. I am tired, and I hope nobody takes us up on our ‘5 to 5’ thing. Last year Ray Quinn showed up at four. Hope not this year. Really, it peaked Elihu’s first party. That was the year I wore the ‘sound of music’ gown. Acres of dark green silk and a crinolyn skirt underneath to push it out all around. The year I was still big from having a baby. The year the upstairs bathroom was torn up and not functioning. That was the year everyone came. Oh well. This year we finally got the bathroom and the kitchen done and no one shows. I shouldn’t say that, those who showed were family, and that was good. It was a good night. I am tired, and I am ready to say goodbye to this place. I remember years when dozens of us sang carols around the piano – sometimes twice in a party – but tonite that was not to be. A measly half dozen of us sang. Although a thin crowd, it was nonetheless a nice moment. But so short. Ah well. Time to move on it seems. I’m too tired to keep this event going these days. Man, am I getting old?? What the hell??

I made gallons and gallons of cider and wine. The first pots never even got finished tonite. In the old days I could NEVER make enough. Ich. I’m a little sad. I am waiting for everyone to leave, and for my dear husband to come upstairs. I’m waiting for us to put our arms around each other and sigh. We’ll recount the night, although I have no voice left and can hardly speak. He’ll run circles around me energy wise, and chide me for being so pooped. Well, the triumph of the night was young Master Elihu. He looked a vision in his black velvet Jon jon and shiny patent leather shoes. He was so well behaved, yet I feel I neglected him most of the night. He is such a good little man, that son of ours. I was kind of disappointed that all the kids found the loose tinsel and globbed gobs of it all down one side of the tree. But a small price for the joy it created. I think I’m as ready as I can ever be to leave this home of mine. I believe things are winding down here. I am excited to live on first street in Dekalb. I am ready. I know we’ll need time there for it to feel like home, and right now I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel that way again, but I’m ready to try. I’m ready for something else. Something else. I just don’t know what.

The first two years of Elihu’s life we two did indeed enjoy this place. Fareed was gone most of the time, so it was the two of us who did the exploring. We rode the neighborhood on my bike, we walked everywhere, we browsed the Salvation Army store and bought trinkets. I can recall so many little delights; an old fiber optic lamp that Elihu insisted on taking apart, a little toy piano that played in tune. We discovered many odd and unexpected objects which added interest to our long days together. We went to the beach too. We did this all. Sadly for me, Elihu never liked the beach, so the very thing that we might have actually enjoyed the most – had he been a kid without achromatopsia – was in fact the thing he most resisted. Once, as we walked hand in hand along the water he said to me “this is like walking in a nightmare”. That gave me a new insight into his world. I’d made it my life’s priority to always live as close to water as possible, now here was my kid just hating it. God damn it. At least I’d made sure we got to the beach a couple of times. I had so hoped my children would grow up walking distance from water. Now the water will be a river in our back yard. Oh Elihu, when you read this will you have grown up in Dekalb, never to have known what it is to live steps from the beach?? It’s so close, it could have been our life, but now it seems it’s not to be. Why?? I must remember that I am tired of living in a fishbowl of a house, of knowing that in my yard and garden I am always being seen by someone. If it weren’t for that silly monolith of a condo building across the alley it might be better, but I can see by the next warm season there’ll be even less privacy in our yard.

It will probably take us a good year to really feel ok in our new home, but I do think the change will come. I am sad, and I just want to get this over with. If we’re to have our second child, I need to be in my new home when she comes (Sarah’s still on the roof waiting…) If we’re going to do this, I need to get into my new home now. I know this is selfish and idealistic, but I feel I must make my new home soon.

North First Street. Or is it 1st? Does one spell out a numbered street? Hmm. I do so love our address: 520 Judson. It’s a very handsome address. So was 1122 Lunt. Hell, Orrington Lunt and Philo Judson were pals and created the first plats of the area. See? I know that kind of shit about my hood. Who the hell made the first plat of Dekalb? Who fucking cares? I don’t… yet. I’ll try.

I hear the hard soles of Fareed’s shoes walking the house as he turns off lights and amps. Good man. Yes, he’s a good man. It’s almost three now. I’ve expressed what’s been brewing inside, and what’s been underneath the whole night for me. Here he comes. Please come upstairs, my love. I want to go to bed. I am so tired, and my head hurts. And you know what? I really don’t want to have another Christmas party. Nineteen of em is enough. May our 20th find us cozy in our home by the woods, just us and a few dear friends gathered in love. God willing.

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