Wild Goose on the Fly, where fact and fiction weave together to form a whole.
It is one of those nights too warm to sleep. After pouring a glass of wine, I open the slider door and settle into the comfortable contours of a deck chair. A sliver of moon gleams against the black sky. The sweet smell of a near by honeysuckle vine perfumes the air. I sip my wine and listen to the crickets.
The stimuli triggers reminiscences. The time loop telescopes, spirals and ultimately melts. Is it Now time with me as an adult or Now time with me as a young girl? I feel no need to make the distinction. The stars glitter as I let my memories about long ago places and long gone people flow like reality.
The door bell rings—this late at night? I answer. There she stands in a blue dress I don’t remember. I’m looking into eyes identical to the ones I see daily in my mirror.
My breath snares in my chest and one word staggers out, “How?”
“Don’t question, we’ve just an hour,” she says in a voice I had feared I wouldn’t recognize again.
She enters my house, which she has never seen, in a town she has never been, but the familiar lurks. There sits the piano her fingers once played. Tucked next to a chair is a sewing basket which once brimmed with her projects, but now hold mine.
She settles on the couch. I follow. We don’t touch. We never did. I marvel we are now a similar age.
Silence is in the room like another guest. What to talk about, the twists and turns of my life? About the children she has never seen? Should I relate it all like a glib multi-year Christmas letter? Then my words leap out like a deer bounding through a mountain meadow.
The mantle clock ticks, tallying the passing minutes. A chime marks the hour. She rises.
“Wait, there’s more to tell,” I plead. “Don’t go, please.”
Her hand is on the door knob. “Wait,” I say again.
She opens the door and walks out, “Mama I love you,” I call out. My heart is clenching.
She turns toward me and once again I hear the words long buried in the past. “I love you too.”
A light too bright to describe floods my view. I close my eyes. When I open them again, she is gone.
I pour another glass of wine and again go out on to the deck seeking the comfort of night.