Saturday, 22 August 2015

This painting is by my neighbour Caitlin.

I've been back in Hades for nearly 48 hours. I smile at people I pass on the street; they glance at me and focus on some point beyond my left shoulder. Down by the Rideau River, the din of the crickets and cicadas is deafening. The Resident Fan Boy let slip today, during a family chat in a restaurant, that one of his cousins has held a grudge against me for a year and a half, as a result of something I did in all innocence, and out of genuine affection for her late mother. My soul, recently opened by sea winds, mountain views and conversations with friends, is closing back in on itself like a blossom without sunlight.

This evening I wander home after taking the Accent Snob for a stroll. On a corner near our house is a string pulled across a front gate, with drawings attached with clothes pins, fluttering gently in the evening breeze.

25¢, reads the sheet in the centre.

A little girl the colour of summer is curating her collection, and I sorrowfully tell her that I don't have change.
"I'm supposed to give them away," she informs me gravely.
"Are you sure? The sign says '25¢'."
She assures me that I can choose a picture.
I ask her her name so I can write it on the back when I get home, and tell her my name and the name of my dog, aware that asking a child's name in these times borders on the creepy.

As I reach my front walk, a lady with a golden Lab cross asks me about the Accent Snob, and we exchange information on our dogs, but nothing about ourselves.

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