Back room conversations, hot gossip in the kitchen. Everyone wants to be there, hanging out of an open door, smoking and listening at the same time. Multi-tasking, but not like the cooks.
Hangovers from the Eve outings the night before. Grinding of teeth round the table. Ungraciousness about table manners. Always in a foul mood when sober. Best kept topped-up.
Other families’ stuff, other couple’s stuff. Glancing round the room, hearing the sub context. Knowing who’s revealed an affair, who knocked some one out in a drunken rage, who needs a women’s refuge.
The years pass, people depart, couples split up, some put and shut up. Kids grow and leave. Slowly there’s a movement to just you or just you two. Your memories are all good, bad and ugly. You wonder if new ones will come and they do. They are the same. The same scenarios of drunkenness, volatile tempers, pathos, comedy, tragedy. Love, not love.
Life’s a play. But I’ve done with rehearsing for the same one. And with that comes more loss. Loneliness is being in a room full of people, or in a relationship where love is rarely expressed, a friendship that goes round in circles, one you have grown out of. Loneliness is being there the day after and soaking up the aftermath.
In life be brave about decisions, about gatherings, people, and mostly about yourself.