“You’re Already Home”

For some reason, this emerged as Declan’s chosen mantra on the final night that Little Brother’s was open. He pointed at several different people, leaned into me and said, “he’s already home, mommy,” nodding, often putting his hand on my cheek and adding, “we’re already home, mommy.”

On Sunday afternoon, my mom and I were part of the wrecking (or, more accurately, preservation) crew at Little Brother’s. She managed to pry out a painting that covered the fireplace – a phoenix with the word Stache’s that painter Dan Work made there years ago. With some help from friends who came by, we also managed to bring down the Elvis, Billie Holliday and Karen Carpenter paintings that used to be the bathroom walls at Stache’s. Not to mention the bird painted on diamond-shaped plywood from the wall next to the sound board that used to cover one of the front windows at the old place. I took enough pictures of the dressing room, which was filled with fairly historic fliers from both clubs, to hopefully reconstruct the room in a photographic collage.

One of Dan’s doormen climbed a ladder and took down the Little Brother’s sign. We loaded it, and some odds and ends, including a life preserver that said “Save our Stache’s (and Little Brother’s)” into the trunk of my car.

Then I went to a friend’s house to pick up Declan.

“Oh mommy!” he said when I walked in the door. “You’re home! You’re really, really home!”

Dan spent a long night and extra day clearing out the place and cleaning. By Tuesday morning, the last few straggling tools were gathered, and the locks on the building were changed.

Meanwhile, Declan’s continued his monologues about the galaxies as well as random declarations, including “all aboard the choo choo train” and the old standby “just the right SPEED, just the right ANGLE” (which he chanted alone while practicing somersaults on the upstairs futon the other afternoon). Last night, the three of us sat around the dinner table at 6:30, which seemed awfully strangely normal.

In these first couple of days in this new life, the mantra keeps coming, usually while we’re sitting together, reading a book or watching TV: “Mommy, daddy, are you home?”

It’s been exactly what I’ve needed to hear.

Life soundtrack: Chris Smither, Leave the Lights On, “Leave the Light On”
Chris Smither - Leave the Lights On - Leave the Light On

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