They all believed it, everyone but Rita, who saw the addition for what it was—a mirage, something that her mother and father had invented to keep them all from cracking, the way the house itself was cracking at the seams.
Dani stills herself and loosens the tension in her shoulders. She places a yellow block on top of the fifth yellow block in a column of six. She has already created a column of six red blocks and a column of six orange standing beside each other with the red column first. She is obviously organizing a rainbow in the mathematical way Dani sees everything. Ellie knows better than to interrupt such projects; Dani’s reactions can be violent and loud, but after hearing Mel complain for ten minutes, Ellie needs this moment.
“That’s it, Dani. Mommy just wants to see your pretty face.”
But my husband stood at the very bottom and looked into the vertiginous space above us, spiralling up and up, and said he felt like he was gazing at heaven. A heaven that’s pretty hard to reach, I said. Per aspera ad astra, he replied. Maybe the slow way up will teach us how to get to our destination, he said, and then the house became ours, and we became the climbers, even more than we’d already been.
“Let’s love, baby. . .” Marvin sings – one of Josh’s favorites. He’s home already? She had planned to help him pick up his tux after he got home from school. Was he getting ready for his prom without her?
I ran into my daughter Alice by the train station one afternoon. I was on my way to pick up my car. It had broken down on a back road, because I’d driven it for twelve years without getting an oil change.
“You’re back,” I said. She had left me two years ago, and I’d seen her around town, sitting on the stoop of a coffee shop with a guitar, heading to and from the train station with her small black backpack, her boots, her oversized jacket. It had been awhile, though, since I’d seen her last.