Saturday, March 17, 2007


I want to write about the unit, the sadness, the insanity of it all, but the sun came out and I left work early to come home and move my tulip pots into the light, and rake dead leaves sitting too long on the back patio. I wanted to be in it. Inside Spring. I don't want to miss another one. I missed too many, too many sunny days spent inside a bathroom stall, too many moments for planting and regeneration spent in dark bars and back alleys. Too many long nights spent talking about all those things I would if only I could. And I can and I do. But that is abstract, and God is in the details.... or the devil. You decide.

A string on my harp spontaneously broke. Just up and snapped. It is repaired now, and on with the music.

It is Saturday morning, and Haley is asleep on the couch and I am not alone in my home the way I like to be, but I know that it won't be long until these girls are grown and gone, and that they also like their time alone. They are women. They need to regenerate just like I do, and for this short time, this time before take-off, we share this space. I miss my son.

Pearl doesn't care what our names are. We are pretty much all the same to her. Servants. She calls us Mira or Bobby Sue or Gilligan if she's really annoyed. She doesn't care about much but her sister. Her sister lived on the "other side" and came over each day to have dinner with Pearl. She wasn't ill, only old, and she died in the night. Pearl's family doctor made an appointment to talk to her and wanted to be the one to deliver the news. A family doctor. She's said they set him up in business years ago, and she's 90-something.

Pearl's husband died a few months ago and like most widows she misses him like a body part. "I'm too young to be left alone," she says to me. I just nod. I'm not going to remind her that she's 90. Deep down, she knows it. At the moment she's somewhere back in the days when she and Joe were dancing at O'Conley's downtown. She has that look in her eyes. "I'm a ship without a rudder," she says, sitting in her wheelchair, her sunday-go-to-meetin' leopard print mumu spreading around useless legs like frosting on a cake. She says "sunday-go-to-meetin'" as a joke. She is a modern woman still, checkered eye-glasses, chewing gum, a wicked sense of humor and appreciation for servitude.

I am up early and heading out soon. Husband is fishing. I am not. Too early, too dark and too cold for me.

Update!! first springer salmon of the season: 16 pounder, Sauvie's Island, 9:00 a.m. I don't have to figure out what we're having for dinner: salmon, rice, roasted veggies.

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