All the houses where I have lived disappeared along with the husbands who were once a delicate dream of expectations. Now, my cozy terrarium apartment full of plants and animals enliven my life with their happy faces and boundless love. Even the flowers smile when I glance in their direction.

The memories linger of once living a farm life under a tin roof shanty with the sounds of rain from a light patter to thunderous racket depending on how hard the wind blew. Tornados loomed in the distance with the possibility of yanking a sizeable tree out of the ground leaving a pool of water where the roots had been. Once when laying in bed with my sisters, I saw a streak of lightning come through the window screen where my feet rested, leaving them doubtful of surviving the night. On hot summer evenings, I could hear the crickets singing by rubbing their wings together, squirrels playing on the tin roof, and mice chasing each other inside the walls.

Years later, I enjoy a peaceful, silent life of a recluse born to write and a belief animals may be superior beings that humans have yet to understand.

An unknown man unlocks the apartment door across the hall of a large elegant interior with crown molding and a fireplace made of ornate Italian marble. The well-dressed stranger appears to be a handsome man of similar age, but a step away from my country origins and the notion dandelions are misplaced flowers.

I stare at him through the peephole in my door, unseemly for a mature woman and an embarrassment if anyone should see me. I have little use for a man what with nearing seventy and possessing aspirations of being at best a slipshod mystic. I admire his haircut though and the leather briefcase slung over his shoulder. Upon further thought, I don’t know where I would put a man what with enjoying a streamline life and memories I’d soon like to forget while living in the moment where joy resides unencumbered by longing.

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