Our cats have full roaming access to the whole house, and yet, all they want is a deep dive into the kitchen sink. We spray the water bottle, stomp our feet, clap our hands, put on stern voices, NO! GET! DOWN! BAD!, we’ve tried it all. J even became the blanket monster, draping the fuzzy chewed-up blanket over his head like a young boy becoming a superhero at bath time, those socked feet stomping on our hardwood floors with a deep growl meant to scare and a cape that flies. The blanket monster, though fierce and heroic, still didn’t train the beasts. They scurried away with puffy tails for a few minutes, but came back for another plunge, desperate to lick crumbs and chew the rubber sink stopper (a mystery).
One day, I lunged at growling Maisy in the food pantry, a second too late as she swallowed a whole rubber band in two gulps. We have yet to see that rubber band again.
Maybe we all just want what we can’t have.
We spent days with our hands in buckets of warm soapy water, wringing out rags collecting dirt and dust and dead bugs wiped from windowsills. At our home inspection before buying, the inspector noted that the windows were all missing screens. The screens are all downstairs, they said, we took them out because they block our view.
Piles of screens stacked against the basement walls, we scrubbed them down, dirty and rusty after years of useless waiting. We dreamed of opening our windows to smell the grass and the burgers on the grill next door.
And then, J went to take a picture of our deer friends visiting. But the camera can’t see beyond the screens, focused on the tiny black grid. Today, on this rainy day, I’m looking out through two layers of rain, droplets smearing on the windows and screens.
Maybe they were onto something, we both agreed. The screens will stay.
These days, the family that Zooms together, stays together. (The couple that downs Oreos together, stays together.) Meanwhile, we long for days of hugging hello and passing the butter dish, blowing out birthday candles in the same room. Dare I say it, we even miss routine teeth cleanings and the smell of strangers’ sweat at the gym.
It will happen, the sun will shine again and then we’ll want nothing more than a day at home to listen to the rain pour from our gutters and tap on skylights, to make hot shower steam mix with raindrops on the bathroom window and feel like home (with a book) is the only place to be on every stormy quiet Thursday.