I miss you.
I remember those times when you would roll up, all cool and slow, and we would greet you like a long-forgotten friend. You would show up with your hat full of rainy-day ideas, bags stuffed full of lazy afternoon notions and un-hurried schemes, splaying them on the carpet in jumbles and heaps. We didn’t worry about the mess. Mondays were for messes.
You always brought the crossword, sometimes smudged from the freshness of the ink. We’d take turns, boyfriend/girlfriend, pencils scrambling to fill in those blank, little boxes. Boyfriend took sports. Girlfriend always fared better with books.
When we were awake enough to hear rumblings, we’d head out for brunch. Proper brunch; not bagel and cream cheese brunch. New York brunch. Bloody Marys and mimosas and corn beef hash and eggs anyway you like them. Hash browns and pancakes and coffee strong enough to clear the cobwebs from a hung-over mind. A blue haze of burned off alcohol and cigarette smoke clinging to the ends of our hair.
When the sun was shining, we would sometimes stroll through SoHo and window shop, stopping for an icy coke and a pretzel on the corner. All those things we couldn’t afford, didn’t need, didn’t want, but were too pretty not to stop and stare. Sometimes we would stroll through the Met, indulging my weakness for ornate furniture and mid-century costumes. Or maybe the Guggenheim or MoMa, one of a thousand and one splendid galleries in SoHo. Sometimes we’d simply recall Central Park in fall.
Remember those wintery, rainy afternoons of television marathons? There was that time we watched the whole first season of The Sopranos in one day, listening to the rain tattoo a beat on the window sill, safe and cozy inside. Take-out for dinner. Indian? Thai? Mexican? Burgers or Chinese, maybe some gourmet sandwiches from the deli on the corner. Or maybe just toast and tea. Those brunches were big.
Sometimes we’d fall asleep on the sofa in the middle of the day, for no reason other than we were up while the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.*
You haven’t come around lately, my old Sunday friend. You’ve changed. I guess you don’t want to hang around when the day begins at 5 am, when an infant wakes and hunger cries pierce the dark. Or when you have to set out sleepily in the still chill morning for sports practice. It’s not so much fun when errands take over and television is restricted and food needs to be bought and dinner needs to be cooked and scuffles refereed.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of you, my old Sunday lover, in a board game played after dinner on a winter night, or when the family cuddles up with a bowl of popcorn and The Goonies. Sometimes when the long-ago girlfriend/boyfriend, now husband and wife, put their laptops away and settle in for a game of Scrabble I catch a whiff of my old Sunday friend. Sometimes, during the dark, Danish winter, when the wind is howling and the rain is blowing sideways I will sneak a nap, and warm under a quilt, I may see a ghost of you, Sunday, in the shadow of my bedroom door.
I am not complaining. I have sticky hugs to see me through. I have the comfort of vows and the security of love to keep me warm. I can go into those shops now, the ones with the too pretty things to not stop and stare, and sometimes even walk out with a bag over my arm. I have Mondays and Tuesdays and all the other days marching forward, taking me with them. I’m not complaining. Not too much.
But if you’re ever around, my Sunday friend, stop by.
And bring the crossword with you.
The line referenced above was blatantly lifted from the below poem. One of my all time favorites.