<!-- --><style type="text/css">@import url(https://www.blogger.com/static/v1/v-css/navbar/3334278262-classic.css); div.b-mobile {display:none;} </style> </head> <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12582298\x26blogName\x3dStave+It+Off:+1,+2,+3.+And+Now+You+Ca...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://johnbai3030.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://johnbai3030.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d188078595068074319', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Late Nights

I saw my grandmother infrequently as a child. Our family, all five of us, would pile into whatever jalopy we were driving that year and make the long trek to San Diego once a year... usually in the Summer or at Christmas. We'd spend a week reconnecting and that was it.

When I was small, she was the spoiling grandmother... the one who had toys and candy and pop in her house. Her five grandchildren all loved her very much. But then I grew up and couldn't be bribed so easily. It wasn't until I was 18 or so that I discovered a new way to love my grandmother.

Our relationship became about having wonderful conversations that simmered and cracked and broke open and melted together again. When we would roll into town, my mother, my grandmother and I would stay up drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes... laughing and talking until sunrise. I recall the glass dining room table covered with coffee rings and overflowing ashtrays and the gold-green shag carpet beneath us. The coffee maker churned out pot after pot of watery brew as we talked about everything under the sun. They taught me about art and world travel, and how women saw the world, and we argued about race and politics and I had the greatest feelings of family connection that I ever experienced.

This is something I've been missing for years. Since my grandmother died of emphysema... since I quit smoking... since my mother moved to Mexico... since I haven't had a big enough apartment to entertain people comfortably. But last night, Olaiya and I had a wonderful time entertaining two guests. Dan and Courtney came over to try out some delicious recipe trials (asparagus and morels sauteed in a savory shallot sauce and served over toasted baguette layered with creamy ricotta.) We finished a bottle of wine, then two. We cut more slices of bread and ate almonds and kept talking and laughing and figuring out answers to all the deep questions about how men and women get along. We drank Scotch whiskey and trusted one another enough to put our pasts out on the table and dissect them collectively.

Maybe we didn't stay up 'til 5 in the morning, but I remember checking the time and realizing it was well past midnight. And for the first time, a gathering of friends around our table transformed into something more. We didn't all get up at 9pm and sensibly head home. We allowed ourselves to slip into that dear and intimate place that I had forgotten about. And sitting here thinking about it today, I miss my grandmother so much that it makes me cry, but I'm grateful to have the kind of friends that help me finally remember what I've been missing.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home