From Katherine





Dear Ingrid,

Sometimes it's just too hard to reconcile things. Once the light shines in your eyes, everything else gets that much darker. I wonder - how can I reconcile today with yesterday? Going to work with going to the beach? Beer with Wild Turkey? Everyone else... with you? I just can't see how I can make do with ordinary once I've had a taste of what I know is out there. Life would be so much easier if all I'd known was the usual.

And then, how do I reconcile the idea of my life with no you in it?

I'm driving with Marina, down that road - you know the one - the road we can never find the beginning of, and that comes out at that crossroads down by Rockbridge Baths. The sun is shining on the station wagon on a warm winter day, Jeff Buckley is singing Grace on the CD player, Marina has her elbow hanging out the window, and I am trying to do my best. Days like this are the only therapy I have now. I guess you can't listen to Grace and not hear that there can be good in the world. Even though you're gone. And even though he's gone. But still, you listen to that music - that voice - and you feel yourself throwing your body at life as fast and as hard as you can. That's what I need now.

I miss you.





Dear Adele,

The past can be a hard thing to get away from. There aren't any things I'm really ashamed of, but I guess there are a few that I wouldn't mind just forgetting. Things that I wish were out of my sight. Sometimes I think I wish I could just get in this old station wagon, drive far away, and not have to think about some of those ghosts.

But the past has got a pretty fast car. It's got one of those big old buicks with a great big engine that gets about eleven miles to the gallon. So while it's next to impossible to outrun the past, I'm hoping that the next time she has to stop for gas, I can sneak away down a side road somewhere and find a little peace.





Dear Alice,

I read somewhere that in any one gallon of water, there's at least one molecule that was once in the body of Christopher Columbus. Or Hitler. Or Jesus. Or, I guess, your mama. I dunno, maybe I didn't read that, maybe I dreamt it, but either way, as I look down on the hundreds and thousands of gallons of water flowing under this bridge, I can't help but think that it seems pretty damn unlikely that any of those water molecules will be back this way any time soon.

-Kate, Highland County




Dear Linda,

Go about six in the evening. Take the main road down past where 865 crosses over. You'll pass a split-rail fence on the right - once you're past that, turn down a little gravel driveway. Follow that down to where it crosses a dry creek bed and park in the little pull-off on the right. Get out and follow the creek line back through the grass field. Just before a stand of little cedars, cross the creek bed and follow the clearing up and over the hill. Look out over to the mountains in the west and tell me you've ever seen anything that makes you feel more like that summer when we had everything we'd ever wanted.

-Katherine, Rockingham County