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May 7, 2003
Stalled on the highway in a construction zone, I inhaled tar fumes deep into my lungs hoping I'd get high or, at least, paved. A Chinese-American pop-pianist was being interviewed between songs on NPR. Her songs were like children, she explained. She was their mother. I killed the radio altogether and listened to the white-hot noise of highway construction. Tar and noise and shimmering heat. I closed my eyes to all of it.
Against movie-screen eyelids, I watched my daughter unseen. I had cleaned out my closet and given her one of my old shirts. Through a crack in the bedroom door, I saw her close her eyes and smell the shirt. She smiled.
Someone behind me honked my eyes open. Traffic ahead of me moved. I left that stretch of highway slightly more constructed than when I'd stalled.
© 2003 by the beastmaster