“Welcome to the valley,” Ricky Medina said when we signed up for a post office box. We had no idea what we were getting into. At that time, San Cristobal had the only legal water system in the entire United States that operated without a treatment facility: just pure water piped into a small number [...]
They’d found a house, he dreamt. It was on a hillside. “I like it,” she said, stepping down onto the gravel drive that curved off from a wider one that led straight back into the woods. Pine woods, with space between the trees, and at the end a larger house where strangers lived. He had [...]
Some men are like that, though. The ones who “prune” a tree by cutting all the branches like they’re dealing with asparagus and not a being with inherent grace, a form, a destiny. I don’t know how we get that way. It’s just not possible for me. Every weed and flower has a soul. When we lived in Maryland, I’d walk past a field of barley waving in the wind and feel the power like the tramp-tramp-tramp of marching armies. And a tree, my God. You have to ask permission of a thing like that. It wants to live, it has a purpose. Just ask the birds, if you can find one.
This is your secret message. Read it, wad it up, chew it well, and swallow. No need to tell you to forget you ever saw this, because you will. Maybe down the road, something will trigger an association. A synapse or two will fire, and you will find a thing you never had before. My [...]
She tells the truth and loves me like no other ever has. The deprivation is a mirror of my madness. If we ever get out of this alive, I will worship her for the rest of my days.