Quarter of ten.
It was odd to encounter no one on my daily walk except for Karen in her Chevy SUV. Even so, we didn’t speak to each other. She was just arriving at the salon an hour early to get some work done. The sky was very dark gray, yet luminous. Out of curiosity I threw a glance at the coffee shack: business seemed to be pretty good. I saw four cars in the drive thru. I know that Bonnie Rose goes there early every morning. I haven’t seen Derek or his daughters in a long time. They live in the maroon house on the corner where it’s a blind intersection. Across the street from him is Randy’s used car lot, with the cars being possibly stolen. It’s a part of the neighborhood fallen into disrepair and disrepute. Next to Derek is an olive duplex where I’ve heard some choice profanities occasionally… The phone rings and it’s Karen inviting me to lunch on Christmas Eve. Chinese food. I feel like a character out of Les Miserables. Quite disowned and dispossessed, like so many other people with mental illness… The phone rings again: Eileen from my health insurance is concerned about any falls I might’ve taken. Do I have a cane or walking stick? Yes, there’s one in my garage… And it occurs to me that a family needn’t be biological to be real and true. A light rain begins to fall from a solid white sky, and the sound reassures me.