Just hours before Mary Margaret died, the rain that had battered the city for weeks stopped and the sun burned alone in a brilliant summer sky. The nurse took great care to describe the scene to me later. Mary Margaret had asked the nurse to bring her to the window. With the sun on her face, she closed her eyes and listened to the birds. She drew deep, contented breaths and tapped her fingers to a song only she could hear. The nurse went away and when she returned Mary Margaret was unresponsive. A short while after the doctor declared her dead the rains began again and hadn’t stopped since.
A baby gecko got trapped in my screen door the other day, between the inner and outer meshes that sort-of pretend to keep mosquitos out of the house. (The screen door doesn’t fit in the jamb so it can never really close, so even if the meshes were tight enough to keep mosquitos out–which they aren’t–the mosquitos would–and do–just go in through the open door. But I digress.)
I don’t know how the gecko got in there, but it couldn’t figure out how to get itself back out so it just thrashed wildly in the narrow gap where it could actually move. The screen door is divided by crossbars into three segments; at those crossbars the inner and outer meshes come together, but towards the center they are about a half an inch apart, which is where the baby gecko scurried around frantically, casting weird little shadows on my floor.
There are other worlds somewhere, realms of other possibilities and outcomes, of beauties and wonders both familiar and unknowable.
The sun burned a blood-orange streak across the sky and seared a path of gold over the slowly rolling sea. Away from the light, sky and sea turned red, violet, blue, and black. The colors bent away from clouds and waves.
It comforted her to think that the waves receding from her would wash up again on a distant shore. In time the darkness about to descend would inevitably be lifted.
The sand was already cold. Somewhere else the sun was rising, the sand warming, the day beginning afresh.