A Lazy Sunday

by Alice

It’s a fairly typical evening here. But I suppose it’s worth noting simply because I’ve never noted it before. The dog is lying on the bed, staring into the floor-length mirror, ears perked. I think he’s looking at himself. There are nose smudges across the surface from all the times he’s checked himself out before, at closer range.

Jon is playing some computer game involving territory and its expansion and defense from intruders. It looks like something I’d enjoy if you added characters to it and wrote it down in a book with all of its plots, plans, deceptions and last-minute victories. As it is, I don’t ask any questions.

As for me, I’m sitting in the corner chair, reading, writing, online shopping. This day has been much like any other lazy Sunday, but I spent much of it absorbed in a book of historical photos of Hoboken, trying to piece them together. I know a lot that I didn’t know yesterday, but I can’t quite grasp the nature of a lazy Sunday in 1890.

We have cars blasting techno as they wait at the light outside our home, and little kids setting up toy truck show within  the sidewalk square’s space outside their front door. People stop at the grocery store for this week’s dinner supply and the women take advantage of the warm weather to wear their favorite sundress for perhaps the last time before winter.

So did carriage drivers whistle down the cobblestone streets, stopping every now and then to let a trolley pass? Did everyone go to the butcher-shop and the bakery? Or just the poor and the servants? How many 12-year-old girls would be going to school the following Monday? Was public school mandatory? Looking at a group photo at an annual clambake, I can’t quite tell whether the people are middle-to-upper class, or immigrants in their Sunday best. The men all have handlebar mustaches and the ladies are in floor-length dresses with hats.

Surely someone kept a diary or wrote letters that captured the lazy Sunday I’m looking for. The question is whether anyone thought it was worth sharing. And whether it made it to the 21 century.