The hot chocolate simmers on the stove. I’ve sweetened it with agave and melted chocolate chips because my last houseguest consumed the entire canister of sugar. It’s an experiment. I sprinkled ciinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne on the chocolate and poured a finger of rum in the mugs.
My son and I drink the chocolate in the living room, over his computer, while he shows me the computer game he made for his latest video-crafting class in grad school.
It’s so cool.
An hour later, he’s out the door, on his way to an evening with his generation of Taggarts. The dog snores in her bed. I have a sinkful of dishes, but I don’t mind. I’ll wash them and put a load of clothes into the washer, then take my tired body upstairs. The television will play. I’ll answer email, texts, and messages. I’ll coo over the picture of Brian and Sasha’s new baby, and go over my week’s agenda. I intend to work only three days this week. November and December brutalized me, and I’m due for a break. This working like a madwoman at sixty has gotten old.
I don’t mind. It’s Christmas. The usual suspects will be here for a holiday party this weekend. I’m feeling good. My heart beats too quickly and erratically. I feel feverish, a sure sign that one of my five viruses has kicked into active state. But I am truly not complaining.
Though I work hard, I actually get paid for helping people. The furnace is twenty years old but still roars. My cadre of friends stands by me. On Christmas Day, Patrick and I will serve as greeters at a shelter which serves the poor and the homeless. Then we will have a fine dinner ourselves, and a weekend of visiting and making merry.