Pad Thai and cleanup

The person who helps with our cleaning is here for the first time in months. Call it a personalized sign of our reopening. Megan immediately noticed the dust, something my wife and I have taught ourselves to see beyond. She then started right in on our floors.

Music’s been playing out on the street for the past three days. Instead of the hard hiphop that’s usually the norm, the dudes on the stoop across from us are playing sweet soul, Quiet Storm balladry, sultry sounds that match the weather and lift spirits.

We’re going to drive up to Glens Falls when Milo wakes up. Before this all hit we spent a weekend at a grand old hotel there, and went out to dinner at a Thai place where the kid tried pad thai for the first time. He’s had it since, but wants to retry what he remembers being the best. Long drive for a memory, he admits, but it’s better than being home while Megan gives everything a good clean.


Fawn makes me promise I won’t stomp around after she leaves, noting everything she’s moved to new spots. Allow me my feelings, I respond. It’s part of our ritual.

I attended five Zoom sessions this week: twice as silent reporter, once as employee, twice as project leader. I enjoy looking at the rooms behind participants’ heads, the vacant stares of people as they try to listen to others, the occasional off-screen reach for a glass of wine, or a smaller glass with ice. Even when leading the sessions, I dislike the time wasted, as well as the various alternative activities I undertake.

During the drive to Glens Falls pad thai, Milo speaks about his dream of the moment, coming soon, when the city returns the local playground’s basketball hoops. Fawn says she looks forward to being out of the house more, and spending less time on the computer.

I’m not sure what I want. I realize I’ve enjoyed much of this time, even with the fears and the political worries watching our split nation.

In the back, our dog Berry rides with her head out the window, looking for other four-legged creatures. She’s in the moment. She likes everything … including Megan, the cleaning lady, even though Berry and the cats she abides don’t know the difference between clean or dirty, safety or threat.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.