A path guided her into a sanctuary of lake and forest. After miles of walking, she sat down. The bench absorbed the skin on her exposed back as it melted onto the white wood. Swans with their regal necks bore into the water, cracking its surface that hurled wet chips like a cannon; but then, their volume liquefying, sprites bursting out from their dense center, they dispersed into drops. Watching this virtual fountain eject tiny disparate streams made one think of dancers in tight formation about to spread apart, but they did so in a uniform way, each body moving in rhythm with the other.

Her hands were sunk into the dancing depth, the dispersing thickness, and as the five fingers reemerged out of the pool like toy soldiers standing tall in salute, specks of earth populated her skin like bugs. But bugs they weren't. Time became a feverish embrace. She thought of the dishes piled up in the sink -- their clanging resonated in her eardrums, or was it the birds chirping?

They should have met here after first stopping by the grocery store to stock up for their picnic. A grand meal in the park was to be the offering. And yet his face could not be remembered. Trying to remember his eyes only made visible the keys dangling out of his pocket and jangling melodiously. The question to be asked was why there was an unrequited smile when their eyes met. Why this empathic "I miss you" spoken by his sweet grating voice that would melt the heart?

But no, hearts couldn't melt. The smiles, the I love you's, the bear hugs, all had the rhythm of necessity, of a procession of ants that were emerging out of the tiny cavity near her shoe - evenly spaced out and lined up in a row one after the other, all identical. She grasped her chin and pulled at it until the head was turned down to see the ground and the ants. When their eyes couldn’t meet, what would happen to the I love you's?

If the pressure on her chin was too intense and awakened sensations of gravity that dragged her down to the bowels of the earth, would there still be a smile? A rock took flight from her palm, alighting and making a bloody gnash in the water. The froth on the lake hissed and shivered. The picnic could be canceled. Making her bad mood the scapegoat wouldn’t be a problem. But horror of horrors, his understanding would prevail over her sentiment. There would be hugs and I love you's issued from lips backed by unshakeable smiles, lips laughing at her capriciousness. But would she smile back?

Day eight: Last night we let the girls stay up late. They danced in the living room while we were waiting for the coconut macaroons to finish baking. The flavor was perfect, but we have to work on the texture as they were very crumbly. I made soup for the girls yesterday and they both gave it very positive reviews which was nice. I made some stock, but it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped it would. Today I head back to the chiropractor. He thinks that my back is better than it was although the lower right is still very inflamed. I've been better about icing it, but probably not as good as I could be about it.

I had a very good evening yesterday. We had a strange supper that was bits and pieces of things we had in the fridge. I'd like for us to be better about planning meals so we're not constantly running to the store, but that takes time, and I'm glad that we're trending in the generally right direction. There are two friends of mine who give me feedback about what I write. I'm really grateful for the friends that I have, and my ability to make them easily. It's strange that the better my mood, the less I want to write. I feel the need to try and figure things out when I'm upset or down, and today I don't feel either of those things so this will be very short, but I wanted to be faithful to my streak.

Take care,


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