I could think that maybe I dreamed one of you, but not all of you; the carnage of my kitchen proves that you were here, really here, and that this house bore witness to a party the likes of which I haven't seen in many years. You were here, and I remember sitting in my favorite spot in the the reading room, far-cornered on the thirdhand couch with a drink in my hand, looking from one face to another and smiling to myself as I clutched my drink. "You said you wanted a birthday party!" was exclaimed to me over and over, as Yet Another Geek came here with proffered alcohol and food.
You sat on my couches and snored away in virtually every room. I tiptoed over and around you each morning, amused to see you all here, gathered together in one place for the express purpose of throwing a good little bash.
The day before you all arrived, I stood watch over my stand mixer as I made four batches of cookie dough. I watched the paddle attachment circle and spin through the dough and wondered what you would all make of this house, of my quiet little life, of each other.
In the end, past the cleaning and the tidying and the labeled cabinets and the FAQ in the bathroom, I wanted something very simple: to surround myself with my geek family. Between drinks and food and private little conversations I studied your faces, each and every one, so that on days quieter than these I could savor these moments on my own time.
My house is quiet without you, but my heart is so full it aches.