Bringing It On Home

The house where I grew up is filled with four people on this Friday night – the same number that filled it when I was a child – only tonight, while my parents are in Boston for the weekend, I am babysitting with my brother, and his two kids have finally drifted off to sleep. The snow is now falling steadily – the thrust of Nemo, in the limited capacity it brought to upstate New York. Still, we don’t yet know when it will stop, so there is a slight sense of tension, the possibility of being snowed in.

We watched ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ earlier in the evening, and this Sam Cooke tune is stuck in my head – ‘Bring It On Home to Me’ – not quite the ‘Babysitting Blues’, but it will do. Incidentally, the soundtrack to this movie is criminally under-rated – not just for The Crystals and ‘Then He Kissed Me’ – but also for this gorgeous bluesy tune. It puts one in the mind of the past, of lost regrets come home to remembrance. Not only about a lost romance, but about a lost love, or the ache of loving someone who simply isn’t able to return that love, not in the same way, not in any fulfilling way – and having to give it up and let it go; it’s how we learn to grow up, even if we’re in the middle of our thirties. That piano, that violin, and the longing in that man’s voice. How we beg for what is just beyond our grasp… and for what has already gone away.

My brother turns off the television and heads upstairs. I turn the switch to the last lamp and allow my eyes to adjust to the darkness. The comforting glow from the street lamps and the snow spills in from outside. It is quiet, except for the echoes of Mr. Cooke’s pleading in my head. In this house where we spent our childhoods, the Brothers Ilagan trudge upstairs, putting the place to bed until the morning.

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