Young Ethan


   Can you imagine being told by a friend, who has made a decision consistent with her honesty and integrity, that she finds validation for her actions in this morning’s horoscope?  This is something to be happy about! This is something that happened to me. I call her back.

   “What paper are you reading?” I ask.

   “The Reading Eagle,” she says.

   “Can you read mine?”

   And she does, and it meshes perfectly with what’s going on.

   I can’t remember the last time I read a newspaper horoscope. Do you read one every day? Why or why not? Can the generic message become a personal one? How often? Every day? Once in a while? Whenever you connect with it? Is it like a tree falling in the woods? Can a horoscope be way off the mark or is a reader off the mark if he misinterprets it or if she doesn’t believe it? What is the better part of wisdom? These and other questions I put out there, into überconsciousness.

   Meanwhile, I have found a decoration from the Jacksonwald Elementary school, a coloring-book style fish drawing accentuated with crayon, laminated and punched through to hang. Only this one, by Ethan, I find blown away. It has landed in a puddle of water at the top of the ramp you take to enter the path. I find it when I am coming UP the ramp. I feel I should mention that the puddle, because of the depression in the macadam, nearly always forms the diamond shape of Berks County – also known as The Green Diamond – after a rain.

  The Coca-Cola delivery man has left behind a trace of his delivery route: a piece of hard red plastic tape that bears the company name. On the slope leading to the parking lot, the wind moves the lone remaining paper ornament on the little hemlock at the balance beam station of the parcourse.

  No herons to report, a sign of hopelessness.

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