After several days of camping out in my apartment, I finally bid farewell to my guests late last night and early this morning as they took off to JFK and LaGuardia, respectively. Cinzia and Carla are on their way to Miami and Victoria to San Francisco. We all shared a great meal last night at my favorite local Italian restaurant, Mercato, where Josh and Jonathan joined us for dinner. I loved the animated switching back and forth between three languages so that everyone could understand each other. And inevitably, as the wine kicked in, we descended into matching slang in various languages for their respective body parts, trying to get an idea of whose language had the most varied terms for various pubic regions, always a fun game. We then headed back to my apartment to pack things up and get ready to go. Although I was happy to help out and it was lovely to get to know them, I was ready to have my apartment and life back. There is a kind of funny, almost untouchable presence that one’s home has that can disappear when things are not in order. And there is a smell that belongs to us in this order that we find familiar and comforting. I was noticing the other day that my place smelled unfamiliar, with the combination of three other people, their open suitcases, shower soaps and wet towels, and just the way that people smell differently from each other. This slight whiff of combination was unsettling after a few days, more so than the general chaos of three strangers camping out in my living room. Today I will clean and do laundry and reconnect with my own aura. Still it was nice to make new friends, and I have a feeling that our paths will cross again, perhaps in Italy (where I will be next summer) or Spain (where I will probably return one day) or New York, or someplace entirely unexpected.