So Many Cupboard Doors

After a visit back on Long Island

Contrasting birdsong, different voices dominant depending on the time of the day and the state of the weather and the time of the year. The clack of the latch of the window in the bedroom — and the way the upper window rattles as it makes its peace with the lower one. The spiny clatter of the wire grate, when you rub your fingertips across it — the one in front of the small, wall-hung wine rack in the dining room. The drone of the HVAC, an upgrade from after I left. The strong, spring-loaded lock you push shut with a foot for the glass kitchen doors to the backyard. The immediate, pulse-raising alert when the front door’s alarm is triggered — and always the thought: can’t this thing give the owner 10 seconds to turn it off? The rapid tap-tap-tap of the light timer in the room, and how I only hear it when I’m down on the ground doing some stretches before breakfast. The slow, mechanical whir of the sole skylight, another upgrade that came after I left for — maybe even had graduated from? — college. The sheer bravado of the downstairs bathroom fan, which seems like it’s intended for a much larger space. The unique sounds of so many cupboard doors, each of which I could identify from memory with ease. The slight tick of the one ceiling fan that has a wall knob to adjust its speed, whereas the others have battery-operated remotes. The fierce metallic affirmation when the garage door’s horizontal bar is rotated into place.

Got home to San Francisco late last night after 17 days on Long Island. I imagine I’ll visit my childhood home at least one more time, but I wanted to register these from memory — see how many I could summon up in one sitting.