She came at me suddenly, like a train out of a fog, like a stone down a well, like a bite from an unseen dog. A sting, a sudden stab, and she was there in front of me, assaulting me with eyes and silence. WHAT? I wanted to shout, as if to say, WHAT DO YOU WANT, but she blinked and took in a breath and turned her head just a tiny bit, and I had no recourse but to haul the whole thing back with me. It was going to be a long drive, snowing most of the way.
She called me from across the ocean, as if it were a river. “I’m staying,” she whispered from her hotel, “they like me here.”
“Oh,” I said, shrugging into the phone. I wondered if she could hear the resignation in my voice. There was a time when it mattered fiercely, like she was an appendage and I couldn’t bear to have her strained away from me, like an arm bending all wrong. Then, suddenly, she could slide softly off, across one ocean or two, and call me like that, and say things like “I’m staying,” and it didn’t really matter.