ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue Three, September 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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Page 40 of 109

THE SAVAGE ANGELS ISSUE THREE a month apart in age. I wondered if I looked just as old. "Because it's not here," I said, in answer to his question. That was true enough, and answer enough, even though there were other reasons. Maggie's cousin lived in Boulder. She thought the change would do us good, and I surprised her, at last, by agreeing. "The house?" he asked. "I can't imagine you guys selling that house. It's been, what, twenty-five years?" "It's already sold," I said, "more or less. Maggie's out there checking out homes and visiting her cousin this week. Kind of an advance scout." He sipped from his beer. "And you?" "What about me?" He studied me carefully. "You're okay with this. With leaving." "It's time," I said. And that was true enough, too. My resistance to moving had never been completely rational, no matter how many disingenuous reasons I offered Maggie when the subject came up, with metronomic regularity, every October. She kept pushing, gently at first, and then with greater urgency as she saw our relationship and our marriage starting to slip away. One day last fall as we lay spooned on the couch together, tree branches scraping the roof of the house, she told me, half-asleep, that she sometimes wished our house would burn to the ground. When we went up to bed I lay awake next to her, listening to her breathe, picturing my wife downstairs in her nightgown, swept up in flames, her face enraptured. That was what it meant, that was part of what it meant, to say It's time. Outside the restaurant, Graham asked if I wanted a lift back to Arlington. I told him I had an appointment with the realtor a few blocks away, so we said our goodbyes. The Sentinel RACHEL BURGESS I don't know why I lied. I did have an appointment, but it was back at the house the next morning. I just didn't want to leave the city yet, and because I didn't know how to explain that to Graham, because my reasons felt too private and too complex to be only sentimentality, I had lied. I walked. Through Penn Quarter and Chinatown, then east to Union Station and beyond. By then I wasn't really sure where I was going, I just wanted to walk. It was cold and getting dark and the wind was picking up and the city was alive. I wanted to be a part of that for a little longer, even here in Northeast, which I knew mostly as an area to pass through on my way somewhere else. 37 | ARDOR

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