After many years of wandering, I no longer have a home in America. Instead I visit friends -- some of whom are, by now, quite well-to-do. Not that they think they are well-to-do. Inevitably they will confide, quite solemnly, that they are only just getting by. Despite my forlorn appearance and strange history, they are really most hospitable.
“I am SO sorry! We have a few errands to run. We’ll be gone a few hours. Will you be OK by yourself? You won’t be bored? This is the dog. Here is the garden. This is the pool. Here is the hot tub. Sorry the gym equipment is fairly basic. This is the beer fridge. Here is the liquor cabinet. This is how you use the coffee maker. For ice you push here. That’s the computer, it hooks up to the TV. Careful not to confuse the hand pumps! This one is hand sanitizer. The other is silicon lube. Here in the nightstand are all of my toys. Have you ever seen one that does this? My friends joke I’ve got the largest porn collection outside the Vatican! Are you sure you’ll be OK by yourself? Do you get nervous? Do you get bored? If you start feeling down, don’t be shy, take one of these. All these are for nerves. I just mix and match. You’re sure you’ll be OK? Please -- make yourself at home!”
Then, of course, I feel guilty. Because I love my friends. I love their company. I came to see them. Certainly I don’t want anything to happen to them. I want them to thrive and flourish, to go forth and succeed in the world. And I want them to return. I do. I want them to come home. Eventually. Not too soon. The first thing I do, when I am finally left alone, is pray that they will be delayed.