Yesterday I came home from an unsettling day at work to find my mother making dinner. She had put three place settings out. Is Liz coming for dinner? I asked, and she looked bewildered. You have three dishes out. She rolled her eyes. I always expect other people–I always think someone else is coming home, she said.
I wish. I wish there were a third presence. Someone who could take over when I get tired of answering the same questions again and again. Someone who could put the lids back on the bottles and close the cereal boxes properly. Put the twist-ties back on the bread-wrappers so the bread doesn’t dry out in a day. The other day I found a plastic bag of rolls neatly twist-tied but with a hole torn in the side of the bag–did she not remember how to remove the tie? And the nice ziplock deli bags with the sliced turkey–all balled-up in the refrigerator. I’m waiting for the others to arrive but they never do.