Around the Bend

About the Author
  SELECTED STORIES by Laura Beausoleil
The Fawn
• Around the Bend • JessieA Happy ChildA Loss of Memory
A Deep Purple BeautyPoor FrankMeeting Henry MillerLes Mutiles
What Can We Do For You, Mrs. Ross?I Was Here But Now I’m Not
The Moustache HouseMexico

Around the Bend

I don’t know what it would have been like if I’d settled here, I told him. Because you see the first time I came here I lost an earring and now every time I turn a corner I think I’m going to find it.

He thinks I’m deranged. He told me so. He looked me in the eye and said I was. Maybe I am. Sometimes I walk along not caring about anyone at all and I can feel that not care hardening, so hard that I don’t care at all what anyone thinks about me. And when I don’t care like that I feel like I could do almost anything at all and it wouldn’t matter.

Today I have something else on my mind. It is the earring.

I am very confused about this. I don’t know for sure whether this is the dream I saw or not. I was walking on the same street I am on now, but once I looked up at myself in a store window as I was passing. I noticed that I was very tired. That I was beginning to look my age. And then I saw what I thought might be the earring, but it wasn’t.

I asked him to please keep an eye open for it after I leave this time. He looked at me in a strange way, but said he would.

I don’t know what it would have been like if I had settled here. Maybe I would have had one of these cute little houses and maybe this business of the earring would never have come up.

I tried to stay, I told him when he asked why I had left. But you know, I said, how I am, how I never really get attached to anything.

He laughed at me, he said that, no, that’s not right, that I am like a crab who gets its pincers around someone and won’t let go.

Perhaps he is right. That is the way I was. But I am not like that now. I told him that I am a different person now. I don’t care about anyone now or what they think of me and the hardening feels good.

I tried to stay but everything was going wrong. You remember, don’t you? I asked him. Don’t you remember how tired I was and how I began to look my age. And how I tried to rent one of these cute little houses? I would have hung on if it hadn’t been for the earring. That was the last straw.

You’re aware, aren’t you, he asked, that looking for it is like looking for a needle in a haystack?

But, I said, I find a lot of things by looking down, by keeping my eyes close to the ground. Why in just one day I can fill my pockets with little this and thats. And I always find something to do with them, there is a place for them all if I just look for it.

He isn’t listening to me anymore. He thinks I’m obsessed. But I told him, if I were obsessed I would have never left this place, I would have hung on here. There are a lot of things to hang on to here. The sun, the water, a chance to live in one of these cute little houses, the earring.

He doesn’t know what goes on in here. He says, I can never figure out what goes on in that head of yours.

I can’t understand his confusion. It seems so simple to me. I am looking for what is lost.

Yesterday I walked down to the beach. I thought it might be there. The wind came up suddenly and the sand began to blow around my feet. I dug a hole just the right size for me and put myself into it. The wind and the water began to cover my legs with sand and I felt safe there.

He came to find me. He sometimes does that. If he thinks I’ve been gone too long. First he was just a dot coming over the dunes and then his face was next to mine.

You’ll never find it here, he said. I am not looking now, I said, I am only feeling safe. He didn’t say anything then but took me back with him. We walked down the street of the dream. I showed him how tired I looked in that one window and how I am beginning to look my age. Then I showed him where to look and he thought he saw the earring for a moment. What he held out in his hand was a small gold loop which looked like mine, but was not mine. I told him so. It was crushed in on one side.

But he put it into his pocket anyway as we walked on, and he said I should look for a place for it and he knows I can find one because as I told him, there is a place for everything if one just looks for it.

  © Laura Beausoleil, 2010  

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