Thursday, December 29, 2005

Catnap & Quail

My brain and my belly needed a rest after our large noontime meal. The plate of Christmas leftovers--brie en croute, crabmeat salad, roast venison, artichoke casserole, pickled shrimp, asparagus spears--were doing the Texas Two Step in my lower abdomen while my my head throbbed with invasive family questions. Par example:

"Exactly what page are you on in your manuscript?" (Dad)

"Whenrya' goin' to set me up with Paris Hilton? Y'all are tight, aren't ya?" (Cousin)

"What's a Bud on tap run ya' up there? Do they throw in the bar nuts for free?" (Uncle)

"If you have babies up in the City, they're going to turn out crazy. You know that, don't you?" (Sister)

"It's done when it's done, Paris is not part of my inner circle, I drink Sancerre--not Bud and procreation is the farthest thing from my mind at present. Y'all satisfied?" (Me)

Like I was saying, the chintz-covered couch had never looked so welcoming. Nap time. I dimmed the living room lights and removed all but one of Mamma's 2 dozen throw pillows, carefully stacking them on the coffee table. I had just nuzzled my head onto the shantung, poppy-red cushion embossed with an enormous pine wreath when a sudden




rang out from the fields. Silence. Five minutes passed--time enough to shut my eyes, ease my shoulders from up around my ears. Lovely thoughts crept into my mind... visions of Paris, Rome, Southern Boy feeding me oysters and champagne...




Damn it to hell. Quail season and the cousins were all home from college. New York's fire alarms, sirens and bickering upstairs neighbors had been replaced by the unmistakable sound of my cousins' shotguns piercing the still December air, echoing off the lake.

It's good to be home for the holidays. I think.

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