I used to feel like I needed to Do Something on Friday night. It was, of course, the night for mandatory fun.
My Fridays are different now. It’s not so much that I used to do awesome stuff and now I don’t. It’s that I used to feel bad if I wasn’t doing awesome stuff, and now I don’t.
Around these parts, Friday nights are chill nights. We eat leftovers. We usually watch a movie, or read a million chapters of a book. The cat, the kid and I often end up all on the sofa for a while. I stare at the outrageous amounts of housework to be done. I do none of it.
In the crunch of fall, we leave the windows open at night, letting the hum of our streets seep through the screens. Outside, a car idles, the bass of its radio rattles our windows. Teenagers shriek with inflated excitement. They’re going somewhere and are trying so hard to be happy about it. I can hear the two year old upstairs chase her cat, tiny footprints scurrying across the floor, ending only with a parental admonishment. Families pass. I can’t see them from here, but I could describe them to you–unchanged for all these years. “Shabbat, Shalom” one woman calls to the other. I don’t hear the answer because a car rushes by, but I know her friend responded in kind. She always does. My daughter hums a song I recognize from pre-school days, something about “come in serene, sabbath queen.” They must have sung it at after school today. A horn honks, then another. Far away a siren bleats. A dog barks. The dishwasher hums, and the cat scratches on his post.
I think of Friday night as the hinge now, the night that bends the line between week and weekend. Tomorrow the door will be fully open, but tonight it’s just cracked enough that the light and the shadow mix.