Thursday, June 21, 2012


The entire day, the sun was hidden behind clouds, one of those gauzy gray days you feel like screaming but she was calm, she was in control. Six-year-old Tommy ran inside when the school bus let him off all excited saying the bus driver had almost hit a buck in the fog and she smiled and kissed him and walked past as if she hadn’t heard. She’s been smiling all day. It wasn’t practice, it was her natural self: as, in high school, she’d smiled all the time. She was waiting for a phone call, she’d left a message on the answering service of one of the girls she used to work with, when she was working, and when the call came she had something planned to say she’d memorized, a strange man prowling the woods behind the trailer, a man with a beard, or maybe without a beard, probably a hunter, she hadn’t wanted to stare out at him wasn’t worried really but she’d mention it, then talk of something else. Not too much detail—that gave you away. From TV you learned that.

Joyce Carol Oates, from Love, Forever.

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