The sunshine is back. And I take walks because I can, wearing open-toed shoes, with painted toenails winking up at me. I have lived here enough to know that soon two o’clock will be exhausting, a velvet cloak. But for now, I walk.

I see my neighbor’s flowers bloom. He’s very sick, people tell me. First his wife, and now him. But every day, his tribe of old men, with button down shirts, suspenders and caps, stop by around two for a copa and a good argument. Nobody speaks of things beyond that drink, that moment, the feel of the breeze.

My dog got cancer about a month ago, an aggressive bitch of a disease. We did the things you do, and even the things I swore I would never do. (Who gives chemo to a dog? I guess I do). I made the call, and petted her. The vet, Miriam, met my eyes, and I nodded.

The house is too quiet now.

I went to middle school orientation, yesterday. When the kids were babies, I used to say, “At least I’ll understand them when they are in middle school!” I was so, so, so, stupid.

Today, he still holds my hand, fingers interlaced. He doesn’t have a phone, or a girlfriend, or a desire for either. He wants me to go to school and eat lunch with him. It won’t last, I know this.

So many little losses, so many privileges that come with loving.

I know that even my walks in this town will not last forever. The weather will change, boxes will once again be loaded into moving crates. I can set my watch to change.

And so I take another step. The only choice I have, and such a honor to have it.



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