Friday, July 14, 2006


everyday i walk the same way to work. i have tried different routes but the one i use now works the best. it utilizes the side streets most effectively and that is essential, because walking along in a cloud of exhaust, on never-ending concrete with a view of ashpault, to a symphony of honks, is just too sad. now, i take a route diagonially across from home to work, past various houses and their pets and their home owners. there are the houses i like best and the little ones you wonder about everyday - apart from the ones you just want, like the giant cathedral that's been converted into a home. complete with covered courtyard.

second favourite to that one, is a tiny, one floor, semi-attached that has the most beautiful garden. the homeowner has planted every kind of wild flower and peonies, bleeding hearts, daisies and a giant rose bush. in the middle of all that glorious blooming beauty stands a small stone sculpture of a stone woman holding the scales of good and evil, the woman stands with her head down.

each day this garden makes me smile as i pass it and makes me feel better about things. i was thinking the other day if i ever see her i will thank her. i pictured her spritely and smiley, jovial and communicative." it's good that people beautify" i thought." there should be more beautification". everywhere. always.

three weeks later i final saw her. it was late and i was walking home from an outing, not from work. i walked by her house, the dark of the street was lit only by occasional streetlights, still her little garden glowed and the smell was bounding and magnificent as i got closer. one light was on inside the house and it bled out through a tiny window, blue light, frightening at first, perhaps because of the contrast with the myriad of oranges, reds and pinks from the garden.

i stopped and looked in, but only for a second. her grey hair rest on a pillow, wiry and knotted up like a bird's nest, she was spread on a couch, feet up in slippers. her shape highlighted by the light of the t.v. coming from somewhere just outside of my range of vision. blue flickering light. i had a wash of melancholy roll through me and looked away. i trotted off, feeling i had invaded her privacy far too much.

something in the angle of her head, the way she was lying, the unkind blue light of the t.v., the look of her slippers, made me unbearably sad for her.

her loneliness there, laid bare.

the feeling, the awareness, that she had her garden but little else.

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