I love hearing people talk about a piece of writing that got to them in some way, whether they like it or not; the passion in their analysis is beautiful.
The children's section of the bookstore is full of possibility and vision. Richly illustrated picture books show moonlit skies, animals reveling in meadows, wizards roaming the woods with wands flashing. The walls sing with color. It's sequestered from the rest of the store, a world apart from the blander adult aisles, the racks of sweatshirts and wrinkled magazines.
I like this stretch of neighborhood, especially in the morning hours. On one side of the street there are trees and a branch of the public library; on the other side there's a post office, bookstore, and a smattering of tables beneath an awning. The day isn't too hot yet, people look pleasant and determined, and there are no lines at the post office.
She buys me an 18-month planner. It has a pale green cover with gold butterflies and scrolling leaves.
On the phone she blocks me out, so I resort to email. For several minutes I type, explaining what it is I feel and why it is I need to be heard, a claim to attention I rarely make; and after checking that the words aren't angry or hurtful, but just too firm to ignore, I send it off instead of saving it as a draft that will never see the light of day.
The other room hums quietly with the T.V., with her footsteps, drawers opening and sliding shut. The place doesn't feel like a vacant shell.
My fingers on the keys feel coated in it.