I had already not spoken for some time. Even to the cat I was quiet. To go out, I would knock against the back door, and she would slip away. Watching her paws pressing into the mud, I knew she would be back soon. The rain had continued for weeks even. And I was not afraid of running out of any supplies. Even as a child my parents rarely spoke to each other or to me. Supper was candlelit and never impolite. I can’t recall feelings of anything being, or ever having been, incommodious. My riches and fine belongings were locked away in Oregon. Turnips, burdock, and beets made up a great amount of my daily diet. There was a chance that I would see the late sugar frost and tap the maples. Then for days I would light a fire and boil it gently down to syrup. Further needs, if there were any, had been taken up by the sawing and splitting of wood. At night when I washed my skin down with handfuls of snow I could see still how beautiful my body was.