When the air was still and the breeze cool, she looked off the horizon and stopped thinking. It was a wispy Sunday night, full of imprecise directions and unclear forecasts. And while she dwelled in the world of words, she was beginning to see that sometimes, words created nothing but clutter.

The only real way to make something happen, she thought, was to sit face to face with foes, partners, friends. Across a heavy wood table, decisions are made.

In the amorphous air of a phone call or the lofty nowhere of an email, nothing. Flesh to flesh, palm pressed into another, eyes not askance but in direct pressing view. Personal connection. Surmising the surroundings, understanding nuance, learning the details of looking away.

He called at 5:30 to say he was an hour away. “Could the kids be late?” Exasperated, she slipped into flip-flops and drove to get them on the early side. They leaped into her arms and ran to her car, ready to dwell in the comfort of love and home.

The righting moment – there have been many. But the biggest, the most profound, was the ride down a brief escalator in a tall glass-windowed building two years prior, after the lawyer meeting, after she saw the clear view of her new horizon, free of complications and of pinball-ricocheting madness from a mismatch.

She’d known it all her life, that listening to the little voice inside, that thing called instinct, would never steer her in a wrong direction. It was the second-guessing of herself that led every path astray, sometimes into collision. The first thought, the first assessment, the instinctive decision, always right.

She took that into her bedroom at night and into her work and let it inform her every morning when her daughter pleaded to do something unexpected (today it was not wearing a coat to school).

I’ve never been good at endings.  

Why do you expect this to end?

No answer. Just a long, soulful glance into eyes in which she saw her own reflection. She nodded. And she nodded again.


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