I was away in Indianapolis on a working vacation this week. On the night of Friday, April 17, I drove up to Kentucky so I could spend Saturday with my family. Then on Sunday, Mom and I drove up to Indy together to meet up with her sisters Bev and Sally.
The four of us stayed in a house on the northwest side of town that I found on Airbnb. It had two and a half bathrooms and a bedroom for each of us. There was a kitchen table that we used as a computer desk and a dining room table where we ate meals (when we didn’t eat at our computers). The house also had a comfy living room, a sunroom, and a pretty outdoor gazebo with a fire pit. The kitchen was well stocked with dishes and pots and pans. In sum, the house was perfect for the purpose of our trip, which was to sit around talking, cooking, eating, watching movies, and playing on our computers—basically, to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. (We all live very far apart from each other.)
I was able to go on the trip because I combined it with work. I worked normal days, 8 to 5, from Monday to Thursday. The work I was doing was both mentally and physically draining for me, and I worry that I wasn’t very good company in the evenings. But everyone was very understanding, and I was at least very cheerful on the last day ;)
Mom and one or more of my aunts would always come up to see me at lunchtime. One of the days, we went to the Dairy Queen next door. The next day, Mom packed a lunch, but we ended up driving back to the house to eat it. The day after that, we went to an excellent Mexican place near my work, and on my last workday, we ate at the house again.
On the Sunday we arrived, Mom and I met up with Aunt Bev and Uncle Josh, who were staying in a hotel that night. We all had dinner at a nearby Cajun restaurant; it was decent. Once Uncle Josh had headed off on some business travel, Aunt Bev joined us at the house, and Aunt Sally arrived, and after that, dinners were all cooked at home. On Monday we had two small dinners: first roast chicken, then roast pork. On Tuesday Mom made her amazing chicken and dumplings; we also used the fire pit for the first time, though we didn’t have anything to cook over it yet. On Wednesday I was supposed to make almond chicken, but unfortunately I was exhausted that day…the thought of doing anything made my brain shut down, and I ended up just going to bed. I got up at around midnight after everyone else was already asleep, discovering graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars laid out on the counter in the kitchen. I microwaved a couple marshmallows and had s’mores, then warmed myself up some more chicken and dumplings. I piddled around online until around 3:30, then went back to bed. Thursday we had hot dogs grilled over the gas stove, as it was too rainy to use the fire pit. I think Aunt Sally thought Mom was crazy for grilling hot dogs on the stove, but I thought it was awesome. (I’m pretty sure we have done it before, too.)
On one of the nights, Mom, Sally, and I played spades online with my uncle Tom (their younger brother), who lives in Brazil. That was pretty fun, even though my team lost both games. (I only play spades like once a year. At least I succeeded in getting a nil and protecting my partner’s nil!) On another night, we watched two movies: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and An Affair to Remember. I’d never seen the former before, and I was pretty unimpressed with it. Of course, I adore An Affair to Remember, and I was pleased that everyone else enjoyed it as well. (I was a little surprised at how ableist it is, though…this is not something I had picked up on before.)
We left on Friday morning; Aunt Bev’s flight was at 8 am, and Mom and Aunt Sally didn’t see a point in sticking around, as we had to be out of the house by noon anyway. So Aunt Sally drove off north and Mom and I dropped Aunt Bev at the airport and headed south.
Since we’d left so early, we had a lot of day left when we got back to Kentucky. I ran some errands with AJ and we talked about music and home improvement stuff. Logan came over when he got out of school and we played pool and cards, and then Mom, AJ, Faye, Connor, Logan, and I all went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was really good; Connor and Logan each had a piece of Coca-Cola cake, which I shared with them :3
On Saturday, I packed up, goofed off online for longer than I really needed to, then hit the road a little before noon. The drive was decent; it was raining at first, but soon cleared up, and the weather was warmer and warmer the further south I got. I made it home at around 7, feeling very energetic and happy. When I finally pulled into the parking lot, I decided not to bother unpacking yet, and just see Sean first. I’d been looking forward to it for days.
The deadbolt was locked, and it took Sean a little longer than normal to open it for me. He raced back to his computer, apparently in the middle of something in his game.
“Busy?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said.
“Well, that’s a shame,” I said. “I had plans for you.”
He glanced up. “It won’t be much longer.”
I went back up to the parking lot and got my stuff out of the car, then set to work unpacking things. I had gotten mostly done and was hanging up shirts I hadn’t worn in the closet when Sean appeared.
“I guess it doesn’t happen very frequently that I’m ready to get you right when I get home,” I said.
“It never happens,” he replied in mock exasperation. “You’re always too tired.”
“Well, it happened today,” I informed him as we melted together. Eventually standing in the closet was no longer conducive to what we wanted to do, and we moved to the bed.
Afterwards, we took a shower together, kissing and talking. He was interested to discuss feminist issues and the film Maleficent. He also mentioned how I have ruined all movies for him by making him notice the treatment of female characters ;)
Finally, we got dressed and went to the car to head to Haru Ichiban for dinner.
“I’m so glad I’m home,” I said as he drove, taking his free hand.
“Me too,” he answered.
“Do you know what my home is?” I asked him.
I laid my head on his shoulder, and he leaned his head against the side of mine, and I closed my eyes and smiled.
Dinner was lovely; we had sushi and talked some more about movies and articles and what we’d done all week. Afterwards we went to Baskin Robbins, where Sean had a Reese’s shake and I had a soft-serve cone.
I was so happy, I ended up staying up really late last night chatting with a friend and reading fan fiction. When I was ready to go to bed, I went out to Sean’s desk to say goodnight, wrapping my arms around him and kissing his neck. When I started to pull away, he said, “Hold on,” then told his online friends he was going to bed too. We retired together, snuggling lightly and falling asleep.
This morning I awoke several times to the pleasant feeling of Sean’s hand on my ribs. I thought about getting up, but I didn’t want to move him, so I each time I stayed and slipped back into sleep. Eventually Sean was the one to get up. Watching him as he rounded the bed, I asked, “Are you getting up?” He stopped, came back to the bed, leaned over me.
After our second happy reunion, we went out for brunch at J. Christopher’s, holding hands across the table and chatting and smiling. I told Sean that my friend Kathryn thinks we are adorable. “Me being grumpy and you being cute is adorable, huh?” he said. “Hey, sometimes I’m the grumpy one, and you’re the cute one,” I countered. “We balance each other.”
In the car I kissed his knuckles and the flesh of his palm and he let out an extremely satisfying sound of appreciation and need.
It’s been really nice to be home, to be with Sean. I feel so happy and comfortable. I’m really glad I went on the trip, but I’m so glad I’m home.