"Probably in the car we can play a game with our mouth," Myra says. She angles her head to capture my eyes. I stack a Renaissance book on another about Columbus. "Talking, I mean," she says. She emphasizes the T as if it were a lollipop.
Talking. It's a date, Myra and me. We go to the turtle place. We stop at the red tulips and point. Then, we halt at the saffron yellow poms of a wild daisy.
"Let's memorize them," I say, "lock them in our heads." Her willowy fingers in my palm, we stare at the little gold suns.
Then a half-skip at our heel, we trolly on. The gradual scape of rocks, we weave a gentle incline.
"Yeah, "I'm brave," Myra says. She steps over a lump of rock, a tiny staccato spring in her knees. "'Cause that's how people are supposed to be: BRAVE." I smile, her fluttery composure pulled tall.
We trip-trop to the edge, a rounded lip of stone. "Ya wanna sit?" I say.
"Look, there they are," I point to a hen and two drakes, trolling the water below, mallards. We watch. Feet the color of orange crayons push and pull them across the water, a blue feather pokes out from under each wing. The drakes rile, form a game of modified tag to impress the hen.
"Who do you think is the smartest person in our family?" I ask.
"Daddy and Mommy," she says.
"'Cause you're big and strong."
"Uh-huh," I say. The mallards skiff the water. One dives, and buoys a few seconds later.
"But Daddy's stronger," she says. "But you're strong. But not BOY-strong." One of the drakes, now in flight, skids orange feet into the water.
"Yeah," I say.
"Yeah," she says, a gossamer thread of strength there between us.
The date turns and orbits like a planet across the sky, that invisible tether there between us. When we finally circle back to the car, we roll down the windows, let the wind blow in our hair.
"This is my stor-y, this is my song," I hear Myra sing in the seat behind me, "prai-sing my Sav-ior all the day long." Each word arrives on time.
We finally pull in the driveway, slip through the front door. We step into the whirling jump rope of home, the rhythm bound up inside.
And then it's a couple of hours later. There at the piano, her head tilted, shoulders slack, I remember the scene that started the date: the lie.
She lied to me, baldfaced lied. And for all the slivering pain of that lie, for all blood and incision and sutures between us, for the dogged determination to have truth between us, I feel it again, that gossamer thread.
"Myra," I kneel down, "I'm really glad you told me the truth earlier." I encircle her with my arms, but she pulls away, searches my face as if seeing it for the first time.
"I feel like I want to touch this part," she says and strokes her finger across my eyebrow.
"Yeah?" I say, the full light of her face shone across mine.
"It's cute," she says, "and nice and brown." She traces the soft horizon of my brow. I smile into the solar system of her face. Truth, the empty fabric of space, holds us both.
5381. A neighbor give me a rooted rosemary cutting. I plant it out front.
5382. "My muscles are charging," Myra says and flexes her arms at me elbow first.
5383. I get to have a snagged cami replaced.
5384. Headband elastic.
5385. Quinoa salad with bacon and avocado.
5386. Salted almond chocolate.
5387. Face cream.
5388. Pizza and salad. Butterscotch cookies.
5389. "A few seconds ago I saw by your eyes that you wanted the sunroom clean," Jack says a coat draped over one arm and a book in the other.
5340. FABRIC in grays and blues and yellow -- the next quilt.
5341. A walk with Mom.
5342. The Mother Daughter Tea in Craig's hometown.
5343. Grilled cheese with smoked cheddar and raspberries, a friend wins a grilled cheese contest, and shares with us.
5344. Craig buys me new running shoes.
5345. I overcome another headache and land Sunday night, a sense of rest over my body.