"Hey, cous," I began, as I sometimes do.
Hannah looked up from the mop she was dancing with and smiled. "Yes, love?"
"You know how you used to house-sit for folks all the time?"
"Ah," she sighed, "those were the days."
"Do you ever miss it?" I asked carefully, hoping she'd just say no and return to her funny dancing. But Hannah is more thoughtful than that, so she leaned hard on her mop and pondered the question. When she ponders, which is a very particular kind of thinking and not to be taken lightly, this cousin of mine squints her eyes and hums. And eventually, she will give an answer, as she did now.
"Let me preface it by saying," she insisted, "that I haven't drunk real milk in over three years."
"Noted," I noted, and she continued.
"I do miss it in some ways," said my thoughtful dear, "but" - and here, she looked around at our strange abode - "now that we live in The Station, and we have folks coming and going all the time and making themselves at home, I feel like I'm actually house-sitting for the whole world. So, I can't really miss what I'm still doing, right?"
I agreed, so glad to be house-sitting with her in this place of ours-and-everyone-else's. She went back to her dancing with the mop, who had two left feet, and I returned to my whittling.
A new arrival came shuffling in from the rain and introduced himself as Knack. We gave him a cup of tea and a pen to sign his name somewhere. Smee popped by to help the newcomer with his bags, but realized upon sight that this was a long-lost nemesis of his. Without anymore warning than was absolutely necessary, swords flashed and bags were utterly forgotten in the tumult of war. I dropped my whittling and Hannah raised her mop high. We were part of this fight now, whether we wanted to be or not. Fortunately, we did.
"Hey cous," Hannah asked me, then, in the throws of battle.
"Do you ever miss... whatever it is you did before?"
"Not at all," I answered swiftly, howling at the top of my lungs, for this was not the time to ponder and I had no mop to lean on, anyway.