Taking the Punch

Beautiful but Unlikely

switched on

April 15, 1987. Taxes due. I flew home that day. I’d left work early, claiming a doctor’s appointment, and for once had the house to myself. I took three bites of the sandwich I’d bought along the way, then wrapped it back up and stuck it in the refrigerator. I washed my face, and getting changed, put the radio on. Shimmying into my clothes, I locked hands, arms uplifted overhead, a flying out-of-body experience—completely naff. Swinging through the open doors of the upstairs bedrooms; I was ready. I believed this as strongly as anything I ever knew.

Half an hour later, walking down the street, nervous energy bounced around inside me like billiard balls just racked and broken. Everything was ahead of me after waiting for so long. I’d been waiting forever. A few people passing by gave me curious or disapproving looks. ‘What’s up with her?’ they must be…

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