Coming home is not about the coffee.

I’m back. Two months away chasing bicycle stories and bicycle riders and bicycle photos.

Two months away is a long time. Long enough to forget lots of little details: the way the cats curl into little balls when they find a good pool of sun, the way the kitchen smells when the garlic first hits the olive oil, the way the backdoor knob comes off in your hand if you treat it too roughly, the fact that the 6th stair is more narrow than the others, the creak in the floor of my office just above Sal’s shop in the basement.

The mail comes with a slam and clap right around 3:00pm and always snaps me out of whatever writing trance I’m in. Sometimes I stand up and go collect it, sometimes I go back to what I was doing.

At night the sun comes low and yellow from the west and fills the porch so we sit out in the chairs and say hello to the passersby. Our Ray Bans match exactly except for the color of the frame and every time we put them on Sal cringes and says he doesn’t want to be seen in public like this. So just pretend I didn’t tell you that.

Two months is long enough to forget a lot of things, but I always remember the perfect comfort of my own bed, the soft light of my night stand, the comfort of familiar books nearby.

In the morning there is coffee. Strong and dark and hot. Made nutty with cream—just enough to produce a perfect caramel color.

And when my eyes are still sleepy and my hair is still crazy and I haven’t even really propped myself up onto my elbows yet, the coffee placed on the nightstand is all it takes to make me remember everything all at once in one overwhelming wave of recollection: everything I am is here in this house and there with that boy and maybe also inside this cup of coffee.

I’m home, man. I’m so home it almost hurts.




7 Responses to “Coming home is not about the coffee.”

  1. Wendi says:

    Love to you and Sally.

  2. Alex Cortez says:

    [x] like. I’ve been traveling for the past month or so and this rings true.

  3. chr15 says:

    On the basis of this I am going away for two months, just so that I can come home again. :)

  4. This is perfect. Very well written.

  5. Barb Rodgers says:

    This was great! You should write a book ( Forgive if you are already writing a book).

  6. Tison says:

    I just became aware of you a couple of months ago and just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate your writing style. It is silky smooth and easy, as if I was sharing your experiences telepathically or remembering my own memory. Because of some annoying OCD reading habits, reading can be tedious for me, but never with your words. With you, I am transported immediately to wherever you were and often forget that I am reading at all. Your settings emerge through natural imagery and are never labored. The descriptive language seems to disappear and leaves me with only ideas and images. Most importantly, though, your words are always moving, regardless of their content (I recently read something about a cheeseburger and a coke that brought tears to my eyes for no obvious reason). So effortlessly do you elicit a bittersweet longing for a more zestful life. Thank you.

    • Heidi Swift says:

      Thank you so much for this comment. Totally made my day. And, don’t worry, I know a few people who got all worked up over that dang cheeseburger (including me).