She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. The letter to her father protruded an inch or so from its leaves. He would be sure to see the “Daddy” boldly scrawled in black sharpie, emerging like a thorny stick from beside the spine. What would he do she wondered, without her there anymore? Would he miss her? He used to not be so bad like this. He used to laugh, and he even tried once to teach her how to shoot Chicago Straight over at the 211.
The other night she actually caught him hiding from her, behind an old tree, like a five year old. Why was he like that? Perhaps he would be glad. Well not glad but, relieved in a way, not to have to be anything to anybody again. She would never really get it, how he could like being nowhere, being nobody. She hated feeling immaterial. Her yearnings went unanswered. Longing to be somewhere, for somebody to have her, hold her, had become a steady pressure on her heart like a strong hand on an orange just twisting and pressing and squeezing out the juice. She placed her elbow on her knee and she placed her chin inside the cup of her hand and she sat there breathing. She supposed that the air would be fresher there, in New York.
She was allergic to mold. Mold gave her itchy ears and everything in Seattle seemed heavily laden with mold spores. Was it her fault for getting drunk and telling him about Bill? She must’ve been drunk, right? She looks like her Mother, that must remind him of the music and the times back before the jealousies. Maybe the Doctor…
She would never know now. You just can’t unsay things. There would always be this space between them. She would go. Maybe she could leave him if she was gone. She would start a new life in New York. Things would be different there and she would meet a man there and she would be happy then. Had he been right in running all that way and all those years? Why was he running? Why couldn’t she just let sleeping dogs lie like Mama always said to do? Why did she always have to go around asking why all the time? What good did it do anyway? Why couldn’t she have been one of those people who ask how? That would have paid off in spades, to be a HOW asker.
It was her turn now. Once in New York, she would begin to ask how. She would stop asking why and things would be different then. Being an only child of two only children, she wasn’t sure things could become different, but she felt certain that it must pertain to the questions that one asks. If only she could ask different questions. She stood up and gripped the handle of her bag tightly in her hand. She walked across the room and with her free hand, turned the grimy door knob. Opening the door, she looked out toward the harbor, almost hoping for a rainbow until she remembered the part about looking into the shadow and decided it would be best to head into the morning sun. She stepped off the stoop and she walked East with speed as if she was somebody, somebody that matters.