Whenever I spend a few days at my brother’s house in New Orleans, there come times when I ask him about one or more of his furnishings. Sometimes it occurs to me that a painting over one table may have been over another table at some earlier visit. Occasionally I seem to notice for the first time that two side chairs in the living room are not matching – something my brother plans deliberately in order to inject energy into that room. From time to time I feel safe noting that something in the house is new, undeniably new since my last visit. That kind of comment takes courage to make because I squirm just a little if the answer suggests that I have indeed seen the object before.
I sit where my mother once sat. I sit where my father sat. I sit where aunts and uncles and cousins and in-laws sat through the twenty-five years that this has been my brother’s home.
I sometimes even get to sit where I sat.