In our 'dining room' rests a humming color copy machine, a computer print station, a scanner stacked on top of metal files of colored paper, a sleek black desk, and a laminator (stashed most often in the kitchen). Our one living room sofa came from the front lawn of our apartment complex, right before our fourth month anniversary. Prior to that, we sat on the red bench that Ricardo upholstered before we met, the one with the wooden legs like chocolate shaved down with the teeth of our puppy, back in the early months of dating.
We've discovered a few haunts over the years, ones that carry a whiff of home. There's Frankie's pizza, where we dined on Valentine's day last year before bouncing around at Sky High, a pair of thirty-something ten-year olds (with creaky knees and stiff backs). And Luna Park Cafe, where I had my first taste of burger in almost two years, in the early months of marriage when we frequented the turquoise vinyl booths with my crutches and tangerine cast, and we ate every single crunchy fry on our plates dipped in Aardvark-Ketchup cocktail sauce. Let's not forget our beloved Pho Tai in Bellevue, the site of our Christmas Eve dinner two years ago. And we've got all the Mexican tiendas mapped out from Kent to Everett, for those moments of churro maiz cravings. We know the shops with the best homemade tortilla chips, fried pork skins (for Ricardo), or pan dulce, and each time we walk in, I grin like I did at the paleta trucks in Mexico so many years ago.
I know the only brand of yogurt he'll eat, the bread he craves for his tortas or with a bowl of soup, how dishes in the sink weigh him down when he walks into the kitchen in the morning, the way he fidgets at night or plays games on his phone when he can't sleep, how he can crack a joke almost as soon as he wakes up and his groggy chuckle lights my tired eyes.
These are the things so often forgotten as a shared history is emerging, as a new life is woven into a work of art. In the knitting together of strands, the pieces merge to showcase the work-in-progress, and it's easy to forget each color woven separate. Sometimes, it's good to pause and remember, the beauty of the tiny threads.