On Friday nights, he would come home through the side door and pour a whiskey on the rocks while she cooked at the stove. We’d play at their feet, sitting by the refrigerator where the warm air blew. Dinner of the good food would be slow and easy, maybe it was their foreplay, and as the evening came, they would pour more wine. He would eventually walk to the next room and we’d know he was getting his guitar and my heart would swell. This always meant they were happy. With the dishes and cloth napkins still scattered at the table, he would take his time tuning the strings. We would leave them for a while for our own baptism. Filling the bathtub with bubbles and toys, swimming for what seemed like hours, letting the grit of the week wash away until finally we’d emerge all wrinkly and powdered white. And when it grew darker still, we padded back to the table to sounds of John Denver’s Country Roads or Waylon Jenning’s Mama Don’t Let Your Baby Grow Up to be Cowboys.
Friday nights. In the green house. Slow and easy.