Visiting my folks always brings back a flood of memories. This isn’t the house that I was born into but it is the one that I left. Even still, it’s full of things that remind me of all of my past.
As the years pass, my connection with the place becomes thinner. My room has slowly turned into my mom’s office. The basement is now where I hide away and where I sleep. Slowly, it is becoming a shared space with my sister and her husband when they visit. We don’t ever stay, the three of us, in the basement together, but they use the basement when they visit. We have yet to visit, the three of us together, at the same time.
I’m forgetting the roads I used to drive down, mostly because they look different. I’m sure the asphalt has been replaced but so have the facades of the buildings that line the streets. There are new communities to visit and old communities that look brand new, too.
I went to my favourite stationery store today and they didn’t recognize me. It was the first time since I first visited the place in high school. It’s where I bought my first fountain pen. Today, I bought refills for various pens. I doubt you’d find, anywhere in the store, a description of me written down.
A lot of things have changed. But, there is one thing that has stayed the same—an unexpected consistency: my favourite drinking glass.
I don’t know why it’s my favourite glass. Maybe it’s the curves. I remember it being larger than it looks these days. It may have been the biggest glass that I was able to drink out of as a kid, a time in life when size really matters. It could be that it’s always been alone, unlike any other glass in the cupboard. Despite all of the glassware that has turned over in my mother’s kitchen, this glass has remained.
It’s an unspoken truth in our home that the glass is my favourite. I silently harbour jealousy when I see other people, especially guests, drinking from the glass. I mean, there’s an entire hutch filled with glassware that we’re not allowed to drink from because it’s been reserved for them.
Seeing the glass in the cupboard is a small reminder that I belong in this home. It puts a hidden smile on my face when I open the cupboard to reach for a glass and see it standing upright and alone, tucked in the back, behind all of the glasses that have been stacked upside-down on top of each other. It’s one of the small joys in life that gets forgotten because it seems insignificant but is, in actuality, a priceless existential treasure.
The only thing better is when I get the chance, usually just before bed, to, quietly and alone, drink down a glassful of homogenized milk in one gulp; I get to drink my favourite drink from my favourite drinking glass. This is the comfort of home.