I return home, not as dramatically as two weeks ago, but just as discombobulating. A nightly bottle of wine, an apartment full of five, and dancing until three, yields to dinner tea, two parents plus one brother, and bedtime by ten. I sleep for nine hours on the first night home from Montreal. Am I tired or bored?
I need to communicate better with my parents. I thought I would replace idle chatter with nightly heart-to-hearts. Those conversations have yet to happen. My father prefers instead to synopsize news or science articles. My mother comments constantly on what I am doing or wearing.
Although these familiar patterns depress me, I ought to fight them less and swim with them more. I can’t change my parents. I can reduce my frustration with them.
So I engage my father in the construction of the icosahedron. We drive in his truck to Home De(s)pot for PVC pipe, phone connectors, and tape. Back in his workshop, he instructs me on his circular saw and drill press. We turn an all-afternoon San Francisco task into thirty minutes of precision with my Dad.
I’m not sure what to do about my mother except keep her up-to-date with my comings and goings. I called home yesterday afternoon from the road in Burlington to announce that I might be late for dinner. Traffic moved faster than expected and I showed up on time. Alas, no food for me as I had missed her important culinary time. Retreating to my bedroom, I ate a stashed, sullen Montreal bagel.