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The New Opening Lines

November 16, 2010

The drive out of town onto the hilly dirt roads inspired open windows. I let an arm dangle out into the fresh summer sunshine and weaved and waved it up and down in the air like a child. Holding the wheel with my knee, I turned the radio up and the music seemed so close I could taste the strum of the acoustic guitar somewhere near my breath, near my smile. It tasted rich.

At the pond with its ramshackle seasonal camps scattered around the edge of the water some kids played wild, pushing each other off a dock, and out in the middle, a fisherman in a green canoe, floated gently with his head down, listening or maybe sleeping. Past the pond, an abandoned dairy farm stood barely, its rotted red barn leaning toward an old oak stand as if trying to catch a final whispered joke from the trees. I took a right after the old barn and turned a corner I wish I’d never turned. Everything changed behind the barn.

I could immediately see the Villanova Law window sticker on her car off the road, cranked hard and headfirst against a tree and a handful of people mingling about, covering their mouths, walking in circles, weeping. Mindy had been so proud of having gone back to school for her law degree. We were meeting at the church to plan our wedding with the minister that day.

I screamed out of the car and ran to meet my wreckage.

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