As I sit at my computer on Friday afternoon, I’m feeling a little deflated. All week I look forward to Friday, but when it finally arrives I am tired, and I’m out of ideas. Should I go out to dinner? To a movie? Take a nap? I don’t really feel like doing anything at all. I’m drained, on all levels. My body is tired, my mind and emotions are played out. Even meditation is likely to be just a precursor to sleep. But fi I sleep now, even for twelve minutes, it will be harder to sleep later, I imagine.
This reminds me of Friday nights when I was growing up. My parents were both social people, and they loved to go out on Friday nights for dinner and drinks. When we were little our mom made us fish sticks or creamed tuna on toast before the babysitter arrived. I suppose we just ate it, and then watched a program or two on the big black and white TV before we went to bed, although I don’t remember that.
When I was in Junior High they left us alone. I would cook little frozen pizzas in the toaster oven. and then I’d cook. I had decided already to learn to make things that are usually bought. Things like lollipops. I had to figure out hard crack and the colors and sticks. We didn’t have molds, and it seems like I made them on aluminum foil or waxed paper. So many pieces of these memories have escaped me. What remains is the feeling of having to fill some empty time. The house always felt so empty when they were gone.
Tonight I”m reminded that a little piece of that time holds on, even more than fifty years later. The character of Friday night is loneliness.