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New perspective on a different day.

I remember that morning as a Pink Palace day. We went once a month for homeschool class and to feed quarters into the robotic triceratops. I slept little and woke anxious because I was worrying about not being prepared. I knew I would need to pack a lunch for four and two were annoyingly picky. I never could trust my head not to ache so I should remember to put that Advil in my bag. Would everyone be able to find their shoes? A pair had gone missing. In the back yard under the trampoline? Trying to get out the door on Pink Palace day was running up a landslide. To my mind.

My heart jumped into my throat when I opened the front door to let out Old Lady cat and discovered that our other cat, Happy, had left a disgusting prize on the mat. She was a teen then and the old lady was barely middle aged. The rat lay motionless with his eyes slightly open.

Don't anybody step on it because I am not touching it.

With the morning sleep in the corners of their eyes, I scooted little boys off to dress and brush and shod themselves. We were definitely going to be late. I had the baby one's little jeans and red, white and blue socks under my arm as I flipped on the TV. I called him to me. Can you bring your shoes so I can help you? The morning shows were on.

We had a new president. I missed my little boys on their weekends away. Lovin' Man worked a day job painting guitars and wrote songs in our yellow kitchen. My Big Son had recently learned to ride bike. I tried my hand at murals and assuming too much.

The reporter was saying something but his voice was muffled. I didn't understand what I was witnessing was from the inside of a helicopter. I wasn't familiar with the World Trade Center or the Second Tower but someone said New York. Then I watched as the second plane crash into the second tower and I was confused. Why did that just happen? I don't know if it was then or later but I thought I saw a person jump from a window. What in the Wide World? I reached for the phone as the anchor scrambled to find words suitable for a television broadcast.

As if a plane hadn't just followed another into a building full of people who should have a handle on exactly where Afghanistan is located. As if they could control the paranoia leaking into the lost promises for a generation. As if the smoke would ever clear.

Soon after that Pink Palace day, I looked out of my bedroom window. The sky was dark blue but neither dusk nor dawn distinguishable. Happy had given birth to a healthy batch of four kittens. She let me watch, encouraging this new life. I could hear them mewing desperately in the corner as she returned to their box. It occurred to me that it was time to buy some curtains. Overdue, really. After all, we don't live in our parents' house anymore.


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