Road Trip

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The hills unfold before us as we go.

We can see where the thin white sheets of snow are threadbare, brown grass underneath.

If that’s spring, it’s good enough for me.

The past week’s meetings and office politics and fraying nerves of students fall away. I play my greatest hits parade of music: Miles Davis. Ferron. kd lang. My brother’s shining, glittering strings.

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After hours of meandering roads, we get to a town set on the edge of a gorge. It’s. Pretty. Anglo. Here. she says apologetically. Bring. It. On. I say. It’s What. We’re. Here. For.

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A restaurant perched precariously on the gorge. The surprise of decent moules et frites, the mussels lightly coated in a wine and creme fraiche sauce with fresh tarragon. There is a relish of thinly sliced cucumber in a wine and vinegar marinade. We ask for seconds of that. I sip a luscious white wine.

She insists on paying, to celebrate my cast being off. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been free of that heavy armour. I’m starting to be able to flip my wrist. I can chop onions, peel carrots, beat eggs. I can almost form a fist.

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Now it’s time to shed other forms of protective gear, the kind that form around your heart, that cause your shoulders to curl in around your chest, that create an invisible, calcified extra layer of skin and bone.

The road stretches ahead. Generous; hopeful. And unknowable, but happily so.

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