Friday afternoon, I drove home after work to see the family and celebrate October birthdays. My mom is on the first and my brother, Stefan, on the fifth. It was a very quiet hour and twenty minutes since the stereo in my car was still broken, but the other lonesome drivers kept me company. Every time I travel home, I feel like my trips are about as memorable as a dream, because although it may last for hours, the charge of my thoughts pass with the scenery, and before I know it I am awake and staring at my house.
Being home fills me with mixed feelings. I am overwhelmed with the comfort of smells and tastes, formally greeted by the differences that separate my life from my childhood, and lulled by the warmest sounds I know. I love being home, but each time I am more aware of the distance that grows between every reunion; the future and the familiar. 8:ooam Saturday, my mom and I picked up groceries and a cake for my brother’s small birthday get-together to take place later in the afternoon. I was startled by the sight of several bodies operating at such an early time of day: mothers in sneakers juggling cans and crying children, old people sitting wherever they could, waiting for nothing, and the workers who looked like they were one shift away from clocking out and never coming back. I felt closest to them as we projected puzzled looks in unison, almost on the verge of disgust. I reminded myself that with or without my help, my mom would still manage to do everything, and her quiet strength encouraged me to abandon my aggravation.
Together, we turned an empty kitchen into a gluttonous fiesta just before the first visitor arrived at 3:00pm, and I was honestly impressed that we had pulled it off. I had to make it to Richmond in time for my shift at midnight, but driving back I came to realize that sometimes it isn’t so difficult to attempt the impossible, especially when you’re looking back at it from the future.