Saturday, December 31, 2011

“Safe at Home,” a reminiscence by Jennifer Smith Gray

"Woman on Couch" by Mari Mackie
You sit in your LazyBoy, feet up, head resting. Your eyes shift between the pages of a Nero Wolfe caper (glasses off) and the ball game (glasses on).

I lie on the couch, not watching the game, not talking to you, but wrapped in the quiet ease of both.

Late September chill spills down to the basement, though the furnace sits idle until next month. I tug the afghan up around my shoulders, snuggled in a half-dream.

A word from the sponsors steers you back to your novel. You cough, turn a page, and light another cigarette.

The voice of the Tigers jumps in and out of my head. The crack of the bat and Ernie Harwell’s play-by-play wakes me in waves. Between plays I drift back.

“Bullshit!” you jeer and I know the ump got it wrong.

Ernie, more delicately, agrees.

The room slowly dims as the sun angles behind the tall pine. The side door opens with a screech. Practice is over and the resident soccer player thunders down the stairs to off-load muddy cleats in the laundry room. Mom calls down for supper.

“The bottom of the eighth!” Ernie says, and I know the soup and grilled cheese will be cold when you and I make it to the table. I settle back in to daydream another inning.

“Trammell to Whitaker … Double play! … Two for the price of one.”

Saturday afternoon.


Jennifer Smith Gray is a graduate of the University of Waterloo's English - Rhetoric and Professional Writing program, and has extensive business and technical writing and editing experience. In recent years, she has been nurturing her inner creative writer, working on short stories, personal essays, and memoirs.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Great image! I love the visual... for me it is my Dad in a green cracked vinyl recliner, watching football and Pasquale cooking shows, but the couch and the afghan and the dozing is identical! May have to make soup and grilled cheese later today, to end the year in style! Happy New Year to all!! JSG - I am enjoying all of your writing, so well done! F.H.Lee

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