Saturday, November 18, 2006

angela in disguise

I took the long way back, by-passing the bus and walking through the park. We’re in a gold time. The trunks are black and wet and the leaves are off but not gone, still on the sidewalks, bright yellow gingkos, and in my blue coat, we almost matched, almost opposites on the color wheel.

I dreamed last night one of my favorite teachers tapped me on the nose and said she was excited for my second book.

Second book?

One of the roadblocks I set for myself is that I keep on writing and re-writing the first.

I am doing it right now with an entirely different sort of book (a different sub-genre even) that begins exactly like my first sort of book: a father taking his daughter to school. Things are different—the school, the daughter, the prose, me. But the story starts the same. Then it goes different.

Things are different on the same path in different directions. On the trip there, I rode the bus. There was the bus, cheerful driver, bright fogged morning, elderly men in tweed, standing up, the rubber hand loops, the girl beside me who looked so much like my old student Angela but in disguise (dark glasses, wig). I complimented her shoes just to hear her voice, just to be sure (I wasn’t).

Walking back, there were leaves and hills and a basin, nannies with babies in black carriages, joggers, the threat of rain. I wasn’t sure I could find my way back on foot, except if I kept the road on my right, like the river in stories. I kept the road on my right. I’m trying to notice different things. I’m trying to pick up every leaf, and this time, remember to press them in pages.

On your desk, there’s a piece of paper dotted with our names.