There are those moments in travel where the next connection has yet to be made when one is not sure if this is the right place, the right city, the right hotel, the right hour. There is a disconnect from one surety to another – home to car – to airport – to plane – airport – to car – to hotel, each element coupled to the next like train cars. For moments or hours you can be sure of where you are and then you hope that you are in the right place at the right time, and they accept your ticket at the gate or find your reservation in the hotel computer or come striding down the porch steps, hand outstretched to greet you and welcome you to your next surety and you leave the linking moments of uncertainty behind.
As Gus walked toward the house a dog began to bark, and he paused. He had no desire to be confronted by some farmer’s wild dog. Suddenly a non-descript hound came bounding through the screen door, down the stairs and across the yard, ears flying, tongue flapping the wind. Gus held his ground. A woman followed the hound through the screen door.
“Blanche!” she yelled at the hound. “Blanche! Stop!” She saw Gus, and said, “Oh!”
“Hi,” Gus called over the barking. “Hi. Is this the Soberman’s? Are you Allan’s mother?”
The hound was eagerly smelling Gus’s pant legs. The woman came walking toward Gus. “You must be Gus,” she said as she approached. “We’ve heard a lot about you.”
Gus was neither a painter nor a photographer but even he would have categorized her as having a “wonderful face”, a face that told a thousand stories, a face that would have been wonderful to photograph. She had high cheekbones and a broad nose and deep, earth brown eyes, and her face was covered with a party of laugh lines and creases and freckles, and it all lit up with a big smile with the remarkably straight and even teeth of a model.
Gus couldn’t help but smile back. “And you must be Allan’s mother. I’ve heard a lot about you too.”
“Hearing is listening,” she replied, “and listening is wise. I’m Sara; it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. Let’s get out of the hot sun. Blanche! Come!” The hound trotted off happily ahead of them, smelling and marking her territory.
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