Sunday, November 26, 2006

785 Days, 1 Hours, 21 Minutes, 56 Seconds

Hunters? He asked over lunch earlier. Of course. Hunters. The more she thinks about it, the clearer it seems. Who else would bother to lug trash all the way back to the trees by the edge of her lawn? A white plastic bag, what looked like parts of a flashlight. Legal deer hunting continues for another week yet, but if she stayed she'd be hearing gunshots long after that. Each fall signs are posted on her land, facing the wrong direction. Eighteen years ago a neighbor found her house with the door wide open, thermostat up to 85, all the covers from the two upstairs bedrooms brought down and piled on her bed, but nothing missing. Hunters. For some reason she finds this thought comforting.

785 Days, 13 Hours, 41 Minutes, 46 Seconds

And what if that person dumping trash out back is really her? That's how it seemed when she bought this place. What if the aging caretaker, who also picks up trash, mows the lawn, and plows the driveway, decides to stay at his daughter's forever? What if she's really alone here? That's how it was when she bought this house.

785 Days, 14 Hours, 18 Minutes, 47 Seconds

Granville, NY. Thanksgiving weekend. The four hour drive up took nearly six, and going home promises to be worse. Someone's dumped trash out behind the trees, there's a stack of skids in the marsh near the barn door (once she thought to use skids for a coffee table). The mattress, too soft compared to what she's used to, and twenty-four years old, should probably be turned. But she hasn't the energy to remake the bed. She wakes up two mornings in a row limping. Christmas shopping should be full force, but Saratoga was empty and the stores closed at their usual time. The mall parking lot was crowded but they still walked along with that hollow feeling. He fell. At least, once it's loaded in the morning, the Backwards Bush clock keeps count without being online all day. 785 Days, 14 Hours, 13 Minutes, 11 Seconds. How many hours left before the end of the holiday season?