CLAY

“I have her with me right now,” the woman from Denver said.  She wasn’t being sentimental.  She hoisted the paper bag in her right hand. Eventually, I would find out, I presumed, why she was walking down Clay Street with her mother’s remains.

“It’s lovely,” she said of the garden.  “What have you got, lobelia, coral bells?  I’ve got all that in my garden.” I pointed out ‘Rita Jane’, a particularly sensational sempervivum that surely she didn’t have in Denver.

“Oh I got hen-and-chicks all over the place.  If I could sell them I’d be rich.”

Her mother died last November.  She had Alzheimer’s for 10 years. Where was she parked the last 10 months?  I almost asked.

“We took her out to Golden Gate Park yesterday but it was so crowded, and it didn’t feel right, actually, it felt kind of spooky.  Anyway we have other ideas.  I’m going to take some on the plane.  Not all.  She’s heavy.

I almost made the offer, to offload a little in the garden.  Probably be good for the plants; but spooky here, too; the lunar gravel scattered here and there, signaling like fireflies, remember, remember, to me and nobody else.

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