Where you are calling from

Old compass on ancient map

Did you get my message?

Did you see my email?

I sent you a text ten minutes ago.

Jeremy’s going away.  I wanted to call you, but my phone doesn’t get good reception at Jeremy’s place.

I left you voicemail last week about Jeremy’s “issues” – did you get my message?  I didn’t hear back from you.  Jeremy says I’m “too intense” for him.  He says he feels “stifled” and he needs “some space.”

I don’t know what to do!  I need to be with him.  I just need to be with him.

I’m in front of Jeremy’s place right now.  Call me!

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To Learn Sorcery

Best-dayMaryanne went into the library.  It was Winter Solstice.  She went deep into the stacks, to a particular shelf, looking for a particular book.  The book was called To Learn Sorcery.

Her grandmother had told her about the book before she left to winter in her condo in Palm Desert.  Maryanne didn’t know whether to believe the book existed.  Her grandmother had always been eccentric, and besides it was hard to get to the big  library downtown, two buses and a half-mile walk at either end.  But it was Winter Solstice, and Maryanne was in the mood for an adventure.

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When Taran went away to camp

CherishingTaran and Ilysa lived next door to each other.

When Taran went away to camp that summer, Ilysa tried not to be lonely.  She went to the library every day and found books to read.  She read about exotic places, like Mongolia and Uzbekistan.  She read biographies of famous travelers, like Amelia Earhart and Ernest Stapleton.  At night she watched the stars and thought about how Taran might be watching the same stars when he was at camp.

About halfway through the summer, Ilysa’s grandmother died.  Her whole family went to the funeral in western Pennsylvania.  It was hot.  For a week she couldn’t go to the library and find new books to read.  It was horrible; each day seemed to drag despite the family events around her grandmother’s funeral.  She felt bored and she felt lonely.

At the end of the week Illysa stepped out of time and traveled forward to the end of the summer, where she was not lonely and she was not bored.  Taran was home from camp, and he was glad to see her again.

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It was the fiery leaves

Reflecting-leavesIt was the fiery leaves above the lake I remember the most from that summer.  Tom and Louise swam all summer in the lake, but I didn’t like to swim.  The lake had gooey mud beneath the water that I couldn’t get used to.  “Swim out to the dock!” they would call.  “You won’t get your feet muddy if you swim right out here!”  But I could never get over the feeling of the slick mud on the bottom of my feet as I stood in the shallows.

Instead I floated on a borrowed inner tube, bobbing on the surface of the water below the leaves of the maples that overhung the shore.  The fishes and I enjoyed the cool shade under the trees.  When the sun was nearly setting, the leaves turned golden.

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One way to say he’s sorry

Repent-flamingo

The flamingo was a gift from Tomás.

That was typical of him – romantic to the bone but without an ounce of common sense.

It was meant as a gift of repentance, I knew.  But where was I going to keep it?  How would I feed it?  Clean up after it?  Birds aren’t the most tidy of animals.

It was a beautiful creature, no doubt about it.  Just like the woman Tomás took to bed last week.

I gave the flamingo away to the Cougar Mountain zoo.

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