Tonight: eating Italian sausages from wax paper with onions and peppers dripping onto our fingers, seagulls hedging closer, bare-bellied men with stretch marks shouting into cell phones, hawkers coaxing us to burst balloons or squirt water at targets, the smell of salt air, sticky taffy, the throb of colored bulbs, cigarette ash and bare feet, the wail of children and shrieks of teenagers, the soft shove, the quick kiss, the held hands.
Perhaps I was a bit overstimulated, particularly with all the colors, the lights blinking on and off, the hamster wheel rides spinning again and again. My days here have fallen into some semblance of a routine--waking just before Megan leaves for work, feeding Jack, watching Jimmy "mow" or listen to the slap of his feet as he runs in circles around the staircase and laundry closet that center the house, writing letters, preparing lunch, naps, afternoon energy burn, parents returning from work, relieving the diaper work to them, dinner, talking to Ryan, reading myself to sleep. There's a unique sort of grounding in routine (until tonight I hadn't left the property since I arrived), but there's a loneliness in it too, especially when the drifting of the days settles into those four and I am this extra someone who clings to her novel and reaches out in her sleep for the husband halfway across the country.
Halfway: I'm somewhere in that murky halfway point, straddling the two weeks I'm spending here. I have to say, there's a cozy kind of happiness here, an endearing love for these two boys, an admiration for this family that works, that love one another truly, but I can't help it, there's that word too: a loneliness while being surrounded by the bustle. A longing for the family I have built back home.