Jul 30, 2006

SEATTLE, Washington: The Suburban's rolling down Phinney Ridge. Home's nearly in sight.

"Last song of the road trip," I announce, dialing the iPod.

The Tennessee stud was long and lean
The color of the sun and his eyes were green
He had the nerve and he had the blood
And there never was a hoss like the Tennessee stud

Edward turns onto 56th Street. "What did you do?"

"Nitty Gritty Dirt Band!"

"What's wrong with you?"

"Hello, it's your music collection."

We drifted on down into no man's land
We crossed the river called the Rio Grande

"I'm not speaking to you," Edward decides. "And stop singing."

Stirrup to stirrup and side by side
We crossed the mountains and the valleys wide

"How do you know this anyway?"

"My dad's from Nashville," I explain.

Still laughing, I run up the rickety stairs to my writers' garret. Ripe tomatoes splay on the deck. I collapse on the Persian carpet, as the afternoon sunshine deepens to amber. Jake the Tabby and Molly Alleycat weave around my body, headbutting my hands. Pets for the pets: now.

Much as I love the road, I love also the recoil of return. Especially here –  the sanctuary I built after the suckerpunch of divorce.

Never was a home like the Washington flat.

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