You think of other mornings like this morning, light coming on slow, the white curtains and clean windows, and you remember, watch what drifts past like a ghost or fog -- the old hound dog named Frisco, the 1951 Dodge pickup truck, the watercolor you painted of the vacant house next door in the mostly empty cul de sac that summer you first came to Portland from Colorado, when you and your boyfriend got work staining endless strips of crown molding and quarter-round in exchange for rent because you had hope and love but no money.
It was June. The wet heat was amazing. And it went by fast, turning into classes at night and a waitress job during the day, and just as fast you are here now in your own quiet room with all your books, the watercolor long gone, and the boyfriend too, the boyfriend you stayed with until late that winter, saying things you remember now, and wish you hadn't said, or could forget. If you had known then there would be this room, these books, this small black spaniel with her head in your lap, would you have loved the dazing heat even more, been more patient with the sticky wood stain, and the lunch diners, who wanted your time and tenderness, and the rain that came in a way you didn't know any rain could?