The last time I remember rolling over to see double digits on the clock I had a Jordan Knight poster over my bed and I was exhausted after missing my curfew. But what’s old is hip again and just like NKOTB I’ve returned to my glory days when I could sleep for hours without a thought of cleaning the house, getting to work on time or hitting the farmer’s market across town just to make jam from the organic raspberries only in season two days a year.
I’ve thrown all those responsibilities to the wayside and along with them the expectations I have for myself as the perfect wife, employee or friend. Because really who are we kidding? I could never live up to those standards no matter how much jam I make, dinners I prepare or elections I win. The list never gets finished, it just gets longer and I never seem to make it all the way to the bottom where I’ve carefully written “do nothing”. In pencil. Just in case I need to erase it.
I’ve arrived here in Buenos Aires a failed wife, a neglectful friend and an electoral loser. My anxious drive to “do something” has been completely extinguished by doing too much.
All those failures seem to fall away when below the equator. In a city where one is asked “what football team are you” and not “what do you do” I’m in good company. I’ve given up all responsibilities of choosing restaurants, navigating neighborhoods and making sure every. day. counts. on this vacation. I’ve even quieted the voice that whispers in my ear “only 28 days left…27…26” to a bare murmur.
I would have slept longer you know. It wasn’t the light streaming in, or the sixth sense my alarm was going to go off or even the shift of weight on the mattress when my husband blearily rolled out of bed that roused me. No, it was my absentminded, rock star husband who brought a steaming mug of coffee to my bedside and chided my indulgence. “You really should get up,” he said, worry etched in his face, “it’s past noon!”
No matter. I plan to keep this routine up. I’ve already taken more naps now than in my entire previous decade. I haven’t read a newspaper in three days.
I’ve consumed hunks of red meat, bottles of malbec and stretched out in the sun at a park. If I play my cards right I won’t wake in the am, eat an organic vegetable or do any other responsible action the entire time I’m here.
Walking back tonight after wandering for hours through Recoleta, I noticed the light. San Franciscans know what I’m talking about, that diffused golden light that filters through the trees and backlights every building. It swept down into our tiny barrio and its smooth brush blurred every edge into magnificence. We stopped walking, transfixed by the sight, holding hands.
Reconnect with my husband. Check.