The Natural Course of Things

It had been a long time since she awoke with the rising sun rather than to the harsh trill of the alarm. At 3:30 a.m., she descended to the kitchen for pulpy orange juice and a red plastic cup of water to still her racing heart. The rest of the night passed without complication and she slept in the arms of the night as if it were the first night of all.

In the morning, work came on carefully, at a manageable pace. It was a day unlike many of the ones just past, where the minutes happened one at a time and the work was clear before her. Stay inside the lines, sang John Mayer. But she was ok if the jagged smear of crayon skirted the perimeter or even dallied in the white space.

Is it hard living inside metaphor? she imagined him asking.

It just happens, she would say, pointing to trees and birds and a low fence and limbs cut down by weather or the electric company. The moments are tangible, she would continue, like marbles. And she practically felt them inside her palms.

She remembered Aspen and Oregon and Israel and then she forced herself to stop remembering. It is now, she said aloud to the empty house. The pulse of the music reminded her of her racing heart in the night. On the wall, the colors of produce from a New Yorker cover and poems by Yehuda Amichai and J.D. McClatchy.

She had visions of what it would be like to hike in the Banyas. She didn’t know when but she knew she would get there one day and, closing her eyes, she could taste the waterfall above her.

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