Would it ever occur to you to drive the wrong
way into a traffic circle?
Fifteen cents for the winning answer.
Honestly, I believed my father when he said
he’d been lost in thought, and had forgotten too late that one went
right instead of left. Never mind that he’d been driving this
circle for 19 of his 36 years. Never mind the oncoming streams of
jeeps, boat trailers, and beach buggies. Am I asking for too much
when I propose he was giving us the bones of something we could give
flesh to in another life? Life after life—and, oh, the grand
dinners beside the littered shore! And oh, the trips given up on
two miles before the tip of the continent! Who could ever say what
childhood was from here, what it felt like to be caught up inside
the mouth of it?
Outside on the woodpile, a cat looks satisfied
and suspicious. From his mouth, the wiry tail switches left,
right, left, right, and relaxes. The cat blinks, but I know what
that mouse is thinking: it isn’t so bad in here. Maybe I could put
up drapes, hang up calendars, find me a pole lamp. And hobbies!
And he’s too caught up in his glee to see the
muscles already working in that extraordinary throat.