Friday, August 5, 2011

Dallas, August 5

It's like a rich old mansion turned greenhouse,
Thick maroon carpets, heavy crystal chandeliers, dark wood furniture, gilded edges, mirrors everywhere. The elevator is one of those stare-at-the-floor-or-be-staring-at-the-reflection-of-your-neighbor kinds. It's small and shaky, but it works. Just don't let it close on the wheelchair.
Rich foliage of snaky-armed trees shade the lace-curtained windows, shelter lounging squirrels outside, look old and grand like a southern plantation. There is a continual dew of sweat on the neck unless you manage to run fast enough from the tepid shower to the air-conditioned room without working up another one. There are salads with every meal except breakfast. Succulent plums if you want them. Pink Keifer.

And you feel like a part of a story. But you hope you are not a part that passes, not a character with a trivial role, not a sales clerk or a washerwoman. You want to be the cousin, the best friend. You want to leave stirrings in the heart like the pounding of stars into dust dissolved in wine.

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