Friday Mikes wake me up at some point and I’m basically comatose. He leaves me and I finally wake up around 12. I could sleep all day, but I really can’t. I sit at the kitchen table with him, and Mrs. stands in the kitchen doing things, as Moms always seem to do throughout the day even if no one is there to entertain. I guess I’m here, but I don’t think of myself as a guest.
I need to go home. I leave tonight. I have to shower and pack and hang out at home. I wish I had another day and I wish I didn’t feel awful. Mrs. drops me off and I walk in the house to find Courtney laying on the couch in the family room. You can’t walk into my house without seeing someone. Someone is always here. She and Chris went somewhere last night for someone’s birthday in north Jersey or something. Didn’t you drink? “Yea.” And then you drove home this morning? “Yes.” That sounds awful. “It was.” Ugh, I need to lay down. I need to shower and lay down and eat. And pack. Oh, why is the last day home always the worst??
When I get out of the shower I throw my suitcase in the middle of the living room floor and Kelly and Lauren are walking through the door with Brand. Mom has not met Brand yet, so Laur promised to bring him by today. Brand is sleeping and I’m jealous. They’ve brought a beer they had bottled at Canal’s. What kind is it? Lauren doesn’t know. Kelly starts saying it’s some kind of Santa Claus reindeer beer or something. Ohhhh, that kind. “Do you want some?” The last thing I should do is drink, but I convince myself it can’t hurt and will temporarily make me feel better. At least it’s tasty.
Sarah and Court join us. Soon Heather walks through the door, shortly followed by Meg. I wasn’t expecting people but I’m always glad to have their company. But now I’m really only motivated to sit here with Brand. He starts to get fussy and Lauren takes him. She thinks he’s hungry, but he’s not, so he continues crying. Not like real crying but enough to make me not want to hold him. We hear Mom pulling into the driveway. Sarah tells everyone not to worry. “Mom is the baby whisperer. Babies love her.” She does have a way with babies. She walks through the door and before she can even see us she hears Brand. “There’s a baby in my house!” Lauren hands him off and I swear, Brand quickly falls quiet and soon he’s laughing and smiling and perfectly content. Mom plays with him for a good 40 minutes. I’m glad they finally got to meet.
I had plans to go in the attic and bring back some specific things, but I just don’t feel like doing anything. Whatever, I’ll get it when I’m home in April. Dad and Chris get home and hoagies are ordered and put on a platter in the living room. Gotta have a hoagie when I’m home. Don’t think I’ve even tried one in California.
I really have to get my stuff together now, so I say goodbye to Brand and the girls. I always hate this part. I have to say if I was grateful for one person this trip it would be Kelly. She was with me every day and night and wanted nothing more than to hang out. We had fun.
Mr. drops Mike off and it’s more goodbyes. Bye to the twins and Sarah and we’re off to the airport with Mom and Dad driving. When you’re rushing and packing and making sure you have everything, it’s hard to actually process that you’re leaving. I give Dad a hug and he tells me for the hundredth time that he loves me and he’s so happy I came home. I give Mom a hug and she holds me a second too long. I don’t want to cry so I hurry off with Mike.
This is our first time flying to or from California together, so it’s really nice to have him next to me. This is also our first time flying Virgin America. We’re pumped! So many people have told us good things. And dude, with good reason. Checking our bags and again at our gate there is loud hip hop music playing. When I board the plane the guy scans my ticket and smiles at me. “Have a nice flight Ms. Stetson.” Oh, well, thank you. Entering the plane I see neon purple and pink lights lining the ceiling. And there’s Terrence Howard in the first seat. We totally make eye contact, which deters me from seeing Aubrey Plaza sitting next to him.
As usual, I can’t sleep on the plane even though I’m exhausted. We finally land and wait forever for our bags. It’s after 10pm, and we’re spent as we go outside to wait for a taxi. Oh my, it’s so warm! I’m pretty sure this is the same temperature it was last week and I was complaining about it. I guess you forget what cold really is when you live in California. I’m a little sad to be back. As we’re riding home, I stare out the window. We head down Venice Blvd and I love the familiarity of it. I love the sky and the palm trees at night. It’s very calming. I won’t say I’m happy to be home, but I am happy to be back.
*Dave Matthews Band