I rented a little windblown house with two bedrooms and a single tree in the back yard onto which every morning evening grosbeaks descended like a brief squall. I bought new sleeping bags and a portable record player for my sons. I changed my brand of dish liquid to one that smelled exactly like fresh peaches and found a part time job reading the papers of a freshman science fiction class. One afternoon a painter came by and declared that he had always loved me. A visiting poet and her lover spent an evening in my bathtub. My friends told me I looked wonderful. By late spring my husband took to calling at odd hours to talk about himself and ask me to come home. It was time, he said. I packed up, drove the eight miles back to a house where, in my absence, the kitchen had been painted a too-yellow color and his study walls were a cold shade of blue. When I turned down our bed I found a red stain on the sheet.
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