Today a car-full of boys splashed my skirt and legs with a puddle as I stood on the corner, waiting to cross the street. It seems I am always waiting to cross the street.
I am doing things to avoid others or thinking about others. Writing instead of waiting. Writing the novel instead of letters. Telling myself: think about how the ice melted in your raspberry soda before you even reached the house. It is that hot. Think about the carpet. Think about that freckle on your knee.
This week begins the first actualization that my life will change. This week I brought Famous Muffin to live with my sister.
Famous Muffin was born two summers ago on the wrong side of Grand Rapids, Michigan (the far side of Wealthy Street). He was found in November, on the first really cold day, the day of the snow, the day I cancelled class, in the parking lot of a gourmet store as he cried under a car. The origins of his name are mysterious. Really we just liked to say it. He was sick with a sickness that required $500 in antibiotics. He lived in my bathroom for two weeks. He caught his tail on fire from a cake-scented candle. He once got trapped in a windowpane. He brought down no bats during the Great Bat Winter of '04, but he did learn to fetch like a dog.
I brought Famous Muffin to Ohio and I watched my brother graduate from the same high school that haunted me ten years ago, and with my mother and siblings in the guest room, I started showing things, which is what I do when I run out of words. Look, here are pictures of the ones I love. See, here is a map of the place I am leaving you for.
I opened my suitcase and I brought out clothes. A pink dress. A yellow dress. A white lace skirt. All thin, all sheer. And my mother who wants me to stop flying so far away, my extraordinary mother who will never read this, my mother said: Those are your California clothes, aren't they?
Yes, I said.
Fetch the ball, Famous Muffin. Good luck with your new life in Akron, Ohio, where there are no closed doors.