I meant to write this month, meant to spend the 24 days before the holidays revising and working through a new draft for the new year. Instead, life nosed its way in, as it has a habit of doing, and I wrote very little and, when there was time, I chose to spend it, not at my desk, but elsewhere.
The other day, I waited on line at the store and the old man in front of me lingered after all had been sorted and packed and paid. He wondered if he had been given the right prescription and the cashier smiled as if he was about to take a familiar step, as if he rolled his wrist to catch the time and found that the conversation had happened according to schedule. Then he assured him, as he must always assure him, that he had. Still the old man waited, like he didn't want to go but didn't know how to find any more words to make it okay to stay and, if I could, I would have given him all the words I ever had and, then, waited there forever while he stalled.
It's raining now and from here I see the tree branches dancing, not as if they want to, almost as if they are being forced to by an eager partner they want to please. The wind blows inside, right up the stairs of our building, and under the door to me. It's the kind of rustling you hear in Christmas poems and it feels like standing on a balcony, smiling, knowing that something comes.