Friday, May 21, 2010


My last night in Boone I couldn't sleep, and I was tired of laying awake inside the four walls of my room, now empty. I sat up and looked around, one open window, one open door. Sheets gathered like a tide pool around my legs.

So I got up and drove through dark, tree tunneled roads to the way-off house of my friend Sarah. I stumbled into her living room and she knew what to do, because she is the mother of a three year old.

She wrapped me in a bright blanket and gave me fruit juice. Not wine, not whiskey, not coffee, but juice. As if I were her little girl.

I hugged the blanket around my shoulders and wound my fingers through its thick weave. On the outside porch, we could hear the scream of coyotes unwinding through the atmosphere. From growing up in the country, I recognized the warbled, unnatural cries as the sounds dogs make after they've killed.

Sarah drank red wine, her long fingers wrapped around the stem and the bottle. I listened as she told me stories; I felt too worn out to talk much myself. When I left, around 2 in the morning, she told me to take the blanket with me. She gave me a book to read, said it always helped to be involved in a book. Then she hugged me and I went away.

I'm now about 800 miles away from Sarah with only a meager chance that I'll see her again. I haven't slept very well since that night, but the blanket she gave me is at the foot of my bed, and I have this image of myself carrying a little kid around in it someday. A little kid who is mine, a little kid who looks just like me.

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