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3:17 p.m. - December 28, 2003
Mom & Partner, San Francisco last night.

Sister & Friends, San Francisco this afternoon.

Brother and (sheís not my girlfriend)girlfriend, a few minutes ago.

Damp towels in all the bathrooms. Too much food in the refrigerator. Scrabble and Monopoly sets on the living room floor. The heat high and the house warm.

The clock ticks in the kitchen.

My brother smiles, tells the non-girlfriend girlfriend, I love this part when I hug him and say May the road rise and he picks up, to meet my feet. Farewells like that since I was in junior high and impressionable, open to such things. She surprises me when she hugs me, asks for the same farewell, and I surprise myself when I do and enjoy.

Then they go and the bells on the door tingle and here I am listening to this quiet house. It is not being alone that is difficult, it is the goodbyes when people go their ways to vibrant and whole lives that resonate uniquely and hold up the sky. These times are the hardest because I am always the same, a ceramic sculpture once fired for form, again for color and everything subsequent doesnít stick.

I believe in happily-ever-afters, in love stories, love at first sight, how the earth turns on one good deed done to another. I believe people can lift their feet from the muck to walk and do great things, I believe that for every one there is another just right and paradise is all around, and I believe that there is no true darkness ever. And I believe in all these things for other people without doubt or hesitation, and for myself I struggle to trust solar powered walkway lighting at dusk. My part of the sky sags and is heavy and I am glad, I am thankful, that my brother and sister and mother and father each have full lives, how I revel in my motherís travel, my fatherís new-romance-at-53, my sisterís zest for everything, my brotherís booming laugh and phalanx of friends. And I am glad when I can be near because I pick up crumbs like a furtive bluejay and store them away, sometimes forgetting what I have but the pouch becomes heavier and heavier and it is only time until it bursts and I am let loose. And when it does I want to be awash and drown in the hopes I place in others and banish from myself.


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