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8:15 -- Maggie wants me to read her a book, "Fluffy Chick," in which a chick hatches, ventures out into the world, falls down, and returns to the nest. When I read the part where Fluffy Chick goes back into the barn and finds his Mama, Maggie looked right into my face, pointed at me, and said "Ma-Ma."

Tres cool.

9:00 -- At the daycare, I park next to a Honda Civic. Its wheels are turned such that I can see that the front tire nearest me is balder than a baby's butt. I check the other front tire and see the same thing. The rear tires have some tread left, though they are far from new. As I'm getting Maggie out of the car, an Asian woman goes to the Honda, and I talk to her about her tires, we walk to the front of her car and look at them. She seems genuinely surprised to see that her tires have no tread, and says she will have to get that fixed. I hope she does.


9:50 -- I arrive a bit early to the coffee shop where my writing group meets. I chat with a man about the delicious coffee choices available at the shop, and we both head upstairs -- I to meet my fellow writers, he to meet his particular group, about six or seven men and women on the other side of the room. I glance at the newspaper while their group discusses things. I read that Indiana wants to outlaw all abortions except when the mother's life or physical health are "significantly threatened," and that several other states are considering similar legislation. The group in the room with me is discussing funerals and their costs and other details. There is some mention of funeral brokers. I think about how many people choose to make their living putting themselves between a service and the people who want or need the service. I get inspired to write a scene of my novel, and I get my paper out. One of the women in the group talks about attending her father's funeral last month, she's glad he never had to go in a nursing home, she's grateful for the people who came and remembered her father to her, she talks about feeling sad for what was and is no longer. When she's done, it becomes clear that this time is a "check in" time for the other group, and that each person will be speaking about themselves and their lives since they last all met together. The man I chatted about coffee with speaks next. "Well, it's been the month from hell," he says, and the others make sympathetic sounds. He suffers from winter depression, and though he got to visit warmer climes for a few days, he was quite sick while there and spent much time in bed. Still, he came home renewed -- for about three days. He says a woman who provided a caring voice to many was killed last week in an accident. She pulled out in front of an SUV that she apparently didn't see. He's stunned, and he's concerned for the people who turned to her for help, because he doesn't know who they are, what their needs are, or how to try to provide to them the comfort that this woman provided. As I'm listening to all of this, I'm still writing my scene where my main character receives a cell phone call from her prodigal sister, who refuses to say why she called. One of my writing buddies comes upstairs and says our group will be meeting downstairs instead today. I finish working on my page, while one of the others in the room describes the recent loss of a friend's 20 year old son to lung cancer.

Morbid, yet somehow inspiring.

12:10 -- Writing group went a little over time today, and I'm on my way home for lunch. I'm in the left lane, moving along about 8 MPH over the speed limit in moderate traffic. A semi pulls behind me, right on my bumper. Used to happen all the time in the midwest, but this is Oregon and we're not used to people driving that way. As traffic conditions change, the truck pulls back over to the right lane and speeds past me, then crowds in too close on the bumper of the guy in front of me. Fuck him, I think, and dial 911 to report him.

Be careful out there, everyone.


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March 2015

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