Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Just about the time she is ready to ditch this place, Spring happens. When she starts becoming restless, looking for a way out, the doves commence their cooing. Her grandmother called them "rain doves," a fact she never questioned until later in her life and a fact that she analyzed and understood as a woman. There is a certain way that coo sounds when it is anchored close to the ground by black rain clouds that causes a person to notice the loneliness in the voice, makes the tone more pronounced than on bright, sunny days.

March 1. She took her break and walked under cloudy skies, to the bagel shop on the corner and bought her breakfast, sipped the hot, strong coffee on her trek back home. As she stood there waiting for her bagel and coffee, she looked out the plate glass window that faced Newton Street, the main thoroughfare through her town, recognized the way the traffic moved, the way the buildings looked, the way nothing had really changed in the past twenty years.

She has lived here longer than she lived anywhere. Only 18 years were spent in her parents' home. Only seven years were spent in her first relationship and marriage. Only seven years were spent in her second relationship, only one of those as man and wife. She might be the poster child for the term "seven year itch." Or else she is the poster child for the term "enabler;" for staying anchored to something bad to make things good. Who knows how her brain works? Sometimes not even she has a clue what neurons are firing at the exact same moment to produce thoughts she finds comforting or frightening.

Twenty years in this little town.

She has walked from her pretty brick house on the hill to this bagel shop dozens of times. She has made the split-second decision to forego the bagel shop and instead get a chicken salad sandwich at the deli across the street dozens more.

Nothing has changed much in twenty years and Spring is happening once again. She nods at the doves on the green wrought iron fence and smiles at what must be the third or fourth generation of the same dogs contained inside there, barking mercilessly at her. She could close her eyes and walk to her house on the uneven sidewalks. She is home.

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