Mike’s (my?) nephew + 1 left this morning. We had a great time; I think they did too. I had this fascinating sense of having watched someone come of age. I remember when he liked cartoons and Pokemon cards. Then he was obsessed with everything Mac/Apple. Then he discovered he loved art. Then there was the first girlfriend. Somewhere along the way there was a divorce, a death and a move to another country. Now there’s a long-term relationship, the purchase of a home, talk of having children. I was most surprised to realize I was part of someone’s memories of growing up. I’d never imagined myself as anything but an ancillary figure. The boy who plays the tree (at the back of the stage) in that particular school play. I was, of course, the star of my own play- but I presumed I had no role in anyone else’s (except Mike’s, personally). I had no idea that when I was buying and putting up paintings or excited by a piece of furniture, or setting the table, or playing music- people were watching. Much less that any of those things would become part of the storyline of someone else’s life. Spain and a certain house that’s a certain way with certain people and a certain way of doing things are also part of other people’s identities. I never really felt part of a(ny) family, not in the way other people do. This visit made me realize that I kind of am. At first I was slightly disturbed. Did I do it right? Was I a decent human being? Was I helpful? Did my presence have a positive or negative effect? Neutral? Could I, should I have done anything in a better way? Too late to re-examine the whole thing now. I was very pleased that there was warmth. A lot of it. I was also pleased at how well matched this young couple seems. I told them they can join us for the holidays whenever they like. I have the impression they might well take us up on the offer.