Wax crayons of every color were littered throughout my childhood. I love color. I loved crayons, though do not remember the last time I accidentally – actually sat down and colored. I remember sitting at the dining room table at Nonna’s house and she had this blue/teal plastic box that held all these crayons. In constant disarray, impossible to organize, they were worn and wrecked but of course, still colored. I wonder whatever ended up happening to them. Or why we never bought new ones. I must’ve had so many coloring books as a child. An Aladdin-themed one is coming to mind.
I loved going over Nonna’s house as a kid; The promise of pastina with pecorino romano cheese – I used to love orzo at peak liquid absorption so that it wasn’t soupy, but was almost like risotto-like in it’s consistency. I would load the bowl with cheese and savor it, eating from the outer edges of the bowl to the inside. Surefire salty, starchy goodness. I might do almost anything to eat that one more time, at that age, in the house, with her.
If I recall correctly, the dining room table had over it a delicate table cloth, over that a plastic covering. When we would sit for meals, Nonna would drape a tablecloth over a third of the table, the one side closest to the kitchen, and we would set it that way. Of course, the tablecloth would be further extended if we were expecting more people, or if my cousins also were over that day. I remember the rough worn-ness of those table cloths. Usually plain white, simple. Nonna would sit at the head, the ticking pendulum of the wall clock behind her. It would chime. On the hours and half hours. I remember the original one, but it must’ve broken and she got a new one. That one is now in our house, but the chime is turned off.
I remember the grooves of the white hexagonal tiles in the floor and what it felt to play on them, fall on them, feel them with my hands. I wish as a child that I had helped her out more, but of course I was completely oblivious and naive to all her ailments. I was a child. And had some time I think, to make up for it later. I remember playing upstairs in the hot, humid, dusty office because sometimes I wanted to be alone. How many hours of TV did I watch in that house? Enough for a lifetime, probably. Back when on-demand meant bringing over a VHS tape, which I often did when PBS (or secretly Nickelodeon) would not suffice. The house is in my memory forever. And I will –