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We're Out Here, Listening

October 26, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I told Doreen as much at coffee yesterday, after what was one of the more enjoyable church services Iíve attended. Enjoyable not because of the sermon, but because of the way Ralph Jackson and Helen Hartmann were making eyes at each other. I wouldnít in a million and seven years have put those two together. He's a good twelve years older and always wearing that cowboy hat. He bought some land down near the river and is building a house there all by himself.

Now, she's always talking away about places she wants to visit, and she can't seem to sit down long enough to count to three. Except in church. Which is where she was. Gazing. Moony-eyed. Something is up, and who could really blame them. Theyíre both from good families and they both work hard and she could always wear shoes with heels to make up for that height issue.

Anyway, I was telling Doreen about the show and she asked how I can listen each week without getting bored. As if I could get bored. Doreen, Honey, I told her —if you get bored, itís your own dang fault.

You have to pay attention. Which I was doing when Rich Dworsky played that song on the piano about summer slipping away. I got this ache in my chest and it hit me. Summer is gone. Just last week it was warm and windy and I was hanging sheets on the line. My arms were bare and men drove by on their motorcycles and all I wanted to eat for lunch was fruit.

But now itís autumn and piano music seems appropriate. Iíve got the slow cooker on low, filled with roast beef, carrots and potatoes. I packed up all the summer clothes in Office Depot boxes over the weekend and put them up high in the closets. Iím thinking of packing up the trampoline. Last night I spent a good hour out there looking at the moon. I did more than look, I paid attention to it. There was a kind of halo around it, and one dim star nearby. I thought I heard piano music but it was coyotes or someoneís fenced-in dog a few farms down. I wanted it to be piano music, you know. Playing something wild and lovely. Something you pay attention to by not paying attention.

I think Iíll write a letter to Rich Dworsky, and tell him about all this. And let him know weíre out here. Listening.

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