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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

tonight



She is not here. Just her toys frozen in mid-play. Dolls asleep in makeshift beds. Lego worlds hibernating, waiting for E to return. I have her six days a week these days, a huge spread of time. We make music together, learn the English alphabet, enjoy a galaxy of overlapped moments. I answer a thousand questions a day now - like what the soul is, what air looks like, where babies come from.

On the one day she is not here, the silence is deep.

Five minutes away and I miss her already, the snow still wet on my coat from bringing her downstairs. I find a half-eaten chocolate on my chair. She left it for me.

Comments

Sweet Baby Voice..
Love.
Ella said…
Your lovely daughter has a beautiful voice. You are doing a great job raising her. Take it from a mother who has raised 3 outstanding children. My heart goes out to you.
Omgrrrl said…
So, obviously you were able to answer the question about what a Soul Is.
Rabbit blogger said…
the explanation of what and where the soul is was much easier than where babies come from. besides, E says babies come from tiny stars before they are inside mothers and it was hard to revise that.

we go to solfeggio classes at a very serious music school two times a week. she struggles there for a number of reasons. her mind works differently than this rote memorization stuff (big surprise). ironic she can still sing her little heart out.

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