We were at the Bean Counter that day, 31 October. Your mother called to say that your grandfather had died, but that you were unwelcome at the funeral. Your father would be there, and he had no desired to be reminded of his irresponsibilities. Families are beautiful.

Halloween is nothing to trifle with, so I strapped on my nylon pixie wings, smeared some glitter onto myself, and followed you out into the air and wind.

On the way to the coffee shop I picked a rose from a bush on the side of the road. It was white, and splattered with pink and red at the edges. Desdemona's strawberry handkerchief. You weren't crying and I couldn't tell how to fix you. I decided to splurge, and counted five dollars and eighty cents out of my college student budget, so that we could drink chai tea and sit calmly away from the relentless setting of the engineering university. When I handed you the rose, you clutched it, and it poked at your calloused fingers. We sat down in the comfiest chairs by the biggest window, and we talked about death.

The shop routinely showcased local artists along one wall. Today they were odd but charming three dimensional paintings of tiny women in vast bleak landscapes. The women were clothed with bits of lace and sequins glued onto the canvas, or lengths of string painted over and scraped visible again. We watched as a grey haired, bearded photographer came in with some of his work, and talked to the manager of the shop about hanging a display in a couple of weeks. He nodded in greeting to us, the only other inhabitants at 11AM. As he walked back to his car, he stopped, looked at us through the window, and then ran up to it. He tapped on the window, and gestured madly, "Can I take your picture?"

I said yes, and he ran to his car, and came back with his camera, and captured us.

Weeks later, we came into the shop as was becoming habit, for chess and tea. Above the table we had been sitting at on Halloween was a portrait of a dark soul accepting a tiny pink rose and a kiss from a wild-haired winged girl.

Jolie, I really did love you.
I miss you.

This was a big weekend for us. We were unusually active. First, we went to a birthday party in Florence, KY (Florence Y'all!) We had a pretty kickass time. There was plenty of beer, which always helps. I personally sampled the Harp, Shiner Bock, Smithwick's, and Tecate. There may have been others, but I doubt it. The real bonus was the gigantic punch bowl full of trifle.

Sunday morning came way too early. My daughter and I slept on the floor in sleeping bags, and she was up bright and early. By 0900, everyone was up and frying sausages and eggs. We ate an enormous breakfast and drove home.

Sunday night we visited briefly with some relatives from the Baltimore area. Sophia entertained us with song, performing the alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I slept like death until around 0400 when a coughing fit took over. I fucking dragged my ass out of bed around 0500.

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