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￭ in return for your navy blue shirt
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2004-02-20 | |
It looks like spring is here, I put some clothes on and get outside the house, you cannot stay in on a weather like that. I hear my own shoes walking together with me and I promise my toes it won't be long till they can see the daylight. I feel ecouraged by the lack of the barking on the street and by the peaceful, carriyng wind and I make a move, dancing like. An old red truck full of stickers with Budwaiser wakes me up and a greasy-blond-hair guy, like an old blooming hippie welcomes me with his absent eyes. I cross the street thinking that I will soon leave this town forever and I still don't know what kind of people live here. I pass the beatiful dolls house in the corner, Pinecrest with Chester Road, knowing that I still don't know why is hidding behind the huge, numerous windows. I suddenly feel, let's say delightful. I finally ask no more from life and it seems that she is not interested in me either. A green old Buick stops at the margins of my shadow and I wonder why is this town full with old cars and old people:
- Hi, Danielle.
She cannot ever pronounce my name correctly. I smile. She is my favourite stewardess, now around eighty-three years old, with thick black sunglasses on and a green coat, of course. She can cook the best crab casserole and play Ramona on the piano.
- Hi, Mrs Ruth.
Everybody in town knows that my car is stuck in a repair shop so she asks me where I am going. I cannot plainly state that I do not have any place to reach:
- I was heading to the bank, thank you for asking.
- Do you need a ride?
- Thanks, Mrs Ruth.
I know that she will notice what a beatiful weather stroke our little town so I give her the pleasure of the weather talk:
- Isn't this a wonderful weather?
- Yes it is, Mrs Ruth.
I then return the question to her:
- Where are you going, Mrs Ruth?
- I am going to the bank and then to the beauty parlor.
She is a regular customer at the Headmaster's and attends her appointments seriously. She probably used to be a beatiful woman. I can tell by her blue eyes and shinny lips. We pass Piggly Willy and I wish that, if I ever come back to this town I will find a new grocery-store.
- I wih I could go to the beach.
Now is her turn to ask me what beaches I have seen since my being in America. I give her the same answer:
- Mirthle Beach, Hunting Island, Long Island, Key West.
She always gets excited about Key West.
- O, Key West, that's wonderful. I have heard that you have to take a boat in order to get there.
I tell her that you can drive all the way down to Cuba, I know she likes that a lot.
She seems surprised as I tell her this for the first time.
- I've been there, Mrs Ruth.
- You did?
She goes to Mirthle Beach every summer and stays for two weeks, in a cottage. I always get excited when I meet old Americand that go to the gym a few times a week and spend two weeks on the beach, even when they are eighty- three. She drops me in front of the bank and I smile because she forgot to tell me how good my English was.
- Isn't that amazing?
I can forgive her, she is an eighty- three old american woman. She will have her hair fixed and she will go back home happy with her look. She will turn the Tv on, watch a few cooking shows and forget that once she used to be inlove with a catholic that her mom, the piano teacher, and her dad, the chief of town association, didn't like.
I keep walking on the main road, stop at the library where I have my usual exchange of greetings with the old librarian and then head to the cemetery. I pass the funeral home and a few churches looking like garrages and I see the tombstones, heart shaped, squares, crosses in the top of the hill. Why are cemeteries always situated on the top of the hill, I wonder. I see the green cover of the Baker- Denzel funeral home and an old grey truck parked on the aley. An old man stands on the left side of the pile of flowers, fresh and inocent, with his hands in the back pocket of his jeans. He is looking at something that I cannot see. I dont' say anything because I don't know him and is nothing to be said. So I pass him by and keep walking down, where are the little hearts, squares, dolphines, lambs. I have another volume of The cat in a hat and it is getting very windy. My little elphants are waiting for me always in the same place and I sit on the grass. I read aloud and I become so engrossed in my reading that I wake up all the cemetery. Then I see everybody getting up and coming closer. I am not scared, they see my courage and silently sit down, all around me, on the grass.
But I probably let myself fooled by the sun. Spring is not here yet. I feel the cold sticking neals in my bones. I start shivering. I have to go. Someone told me that is not good to wake the dead by crying. I am not crying, I am not crying, I go back on the same aley, where I cannot find the man in jeans, staring at the pile of flowers. I see his cap through the back window of the truck and I want to tell him the same thing, is not good to cry becuase you wake up the dead. He looks like he knows that already. He is standing still, inside the truck, engine off. He is not crying. It comes to that moment again when is nothing to be said so I say nothing and pass him by on my way back to my town with old ladies, old cars, old dogs, wondering that if I ever come back to this town, with another volume of The cat in a hat, will my listeners still wait for me?
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