Last Night – Part One (on the outside looking in)

I’m walking down my street, the sun is setting, the flowers and grass breathe out their lovely scent. Xena is stopping to smell some other dog’s poop. My plan is to do a long walk tonight because its finally starting to make a difference, I’m lighter and less lazy than when I started this daily walking so I want to push myself a little tonight, to help set free the skinny me.

I realize that I’m in front of Jane’s house, usually I go the other direction. The poop on the grass is probably HasselHoff Huskey’s poop. Jane’s house is lively with activity tonight. There are a lot of rowdy adult voices resonating from within, speaking in a fast European-style dialect (the kind where people yell their words rather than say them). I suppose they have to yell to be heard over the folk music, which is playing much too loudly. Cars are parked and double parked on the driveway, right up to the sidewalk so I can’t walk with Xena but have to swerve out onto the road around a large van.

Something about the sounds of joyful merriment make the rest of the street look lonely and abandoned. Jane’s house stands like a shelter in the woods and I’m on the outside, alone in a dark forest of gloomy houses. I pick Xena up into my arms and stand there a while, trying to imagine what the party inside is like. I imagine a medieval Viking reunion, or a Lord of the Rings Dwarf celebration. I look at my cheap, LOTR ring on my finger, the one I bought at a garage sale a while back. It’s been doing a great job keeping me invisible. Suddenly I don’t feel like going for the long walk I had set out for, because I’m too tired. The dark street stretches out before me and behind me in the shadows sits my empty house, tall and brooding. My mom is out at a late movie tonight with friends (even she has friends). All I have is Xena, my mom’s ugly rat dog. Its been me and Xena all summer so far. But maybe that could change…

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