Mom found the place within a week, so I could start with the rest of
the kids. We rented it from the builder, a guy named Tazza, who had a
very good reputation. The day we moved in, there were tractor marks
where the front lawn should have been.
School was a couple blocks away. First time she forgot my lunch I ran
home during recess to get it. Tazza was coming out our front door and
looked surprised to see me. “Libby!” he said, and then sang “How much
wood can a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”
He didn’t wait for an answer, but got into his truck, laughing so loud
it kind of surprised me into laughing too. I loved that
tongue-twister. We had a set of pillows embroidered with the words
spread across them in my room.
Inside, the sound of water was rushing in the walls. On the floor of
mom’s room was a small pile of stuff from the costume box: black
stockings, little skinny heeled shoes and the six-foot long pink
feather boa she’d gotten me for Halloween.
The shower stopped and I turned, knocking over the gigantic flower
vase filled with crimson dried sunflowers, reeds and cattails standing
by the door
“Are you still out there Jim Tazza?”
When she stepped naked into the hall I was on my knees filling the
quiet with the rasping dry crackle of tiny red seeds being picked up
off the floor.
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