Yesterday morning, I got off work after having a terrible 48-hour tour in which I barely slept. I think I got about four hours of sleep, total, on my nap breaks. I was a zombie, and I was fighting a migraine because of it.
But I refused to cancel my Debauched Sewing Circle that was coming to our house at 11:30. I got a tiny nap and got up and made coffee (sweet, sweet coffee — I'm only drinking it every once in a while now, when I'm headachey, and it's so GOOD it hurts).
Veronica Wolff, Sophie Littlefield, and Nicole Peeler (in a guest appearance from Pittsburgh!) arrived on the doorstep, and the clatch began. Veronica had never used a sewing machine and wanted to learn. And while I know my way around a bobbin (despite learning the other night on Twitter that I had been putting it in UPSIDE DOWN for thirty years, thus my constant frustration with the jacked-up bobbin thread), what you might not know is Sophie is a triple-black-belt in all things domestic.
The quilt top she made before we got our Wonder-Woman topped tree, but which would look SO GOOD on our walls. I'm just saying.
Look! Vero sewing her first seam! She was awesome!
Nicole, well, she doesn't sew, and she'd just gotten off the plane. Luckily, we had things for her do, too.
And as I flitted from the front porch sewing room back through to the kitchen, I was filled with such joy. This, perhaps, was what my ideal life looked like: Casually hosting friends in the home I've made with the person I love.
(THIS is why I'm happy to be on the anti-depressants (if you haven't read that post, it's here). THIS is why I'm so glad that I can feel joy again, can connect again, can sit around and really talk and not feel as if I don't belong, which was such a terrible part of the depression.)
As we sewed though, my exhaustion migraine got worse and worse. By the time we were leaving the house to go to our next adventure, I was barely holding it together, so when we got to Sophie's, I took more pills and she put me to bed in her dark bedroom.
And the day got even better. I know that's weird, but as I dug my fingers into acupressure points and did the breathing that helps, I could hear laughter from the other room. Juliet Blackwell had arrived by then, and I could hear her infectious giggle, and I could hear Sophie chopping things, and the Dog's whapping tail, and Nikki's Chicago accent, and I felt safe and warm and happy and loved, so much so that the pain abated within 90 minutes, and the real honest-to-God-kill-me-now migraine never landed.
It has always been one of my favorite things in life, being by myself in another room, listening to people I love talk and laugh. Soemtimes I sneak away from parties just to do that. I love being the one washing the dishes in the kitchen after a dinner party. I try to refuse help. I just want to stand there, barefoot, doing the cutlery by hand, listening to people laugh. There aren't words to describe how happy that makes me.
By the time our significant others arrived for dinner at Sophie's, I was at the table with everyone, pounding Coca-colas (more sweet, sweet caffeine!).
When I was a little girl and looked ahead to my fabulous imaginary life, it looked like this, I think. As I grew up, I didn't think that fantasy existed. I thought I'd just been silly and naive. But it does happen, and honestly, it regularly happens, in part because I'm lucky, and in part because I've gone out and made it happen. I've surrounded myself with intelligent, driven, kind people who for some reason love the authentic self I reveal to them. We take care of each other.
That's a really great feeling. I'm not sure what's better than that.
Get a Free Short Story!
Subscribe to get a free copy of Socks for Alex, a Cypress Hollow Short Story, compatible with all devices!