Jane Ouveille Gilbert

dc tourist hodge podge

The rumors I had had in mind were no different. The Sun rose. The Moon sank. The day’s decoys continued to deceive and to elude. By afternoon, no further change to the cycle of time was possible. Still, what lies I had believed in, I still believed in. The stew I had made with dried figs, turmeric, and other unguents had satisfied a hundred, possibly more, hungry guests. The hillside was filled with children, some of them mine, sledding, crashing happily down the slope. Candles before a sidewalk church I lit in privacy to mourners marching towards the nave, as yet unseen. Cloves of garlic by the dozen I had planted, also on my own. Once, decades prior, I was told: by fifty, you will have planted your head in the sand, you have so much to give the world. And I am seventy now, and for over twenty full years already I have defied this childhood prophecy I neither kept nor inflicted upon another. Naturally, too, as I take either a handful of cash, working as I have for many years at Comme d’Habitude, or watch a stranger’s hand swiping a plastic card for payment, none but me, none but myself, need ever know a grain of this. None but I need ever, like the seed of truth, burning alive, hidden as I have hidden mine within the tiniest fennel stalk, know a thing of this at all.

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