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It was a couple of nights ago that I went over to Espen’s house. I was bringing him an attic door and a tin sink. I didn’t need the door or sink anymore, but they were good as new. After we unloaded the door and sink into Espen’s garage, he and I visited. We caught up on each other’s lives. Lives here can disappear in a summer. We head for the hills or for another country in the summer months, while in winter, we vanish into our own homes. As Espen and I talked, rain fell outside. This was our first strong rain since June.

I left out early from Mom and Dad’s house. At some point in the night Dad got up from his recliner and went to sleep in his office. Mom wasn’t awake yet, though I knew she would be awake soon enough. It was just after 5:00, and Mom would be getting her coffee ready and to have what she called her quiet time. I slipped out the door with my duffel bag. I kept my shoes off. I didn’t want the sound of putting on shoes to wake anyone. It’s not that I’m loud about putting on my shoes or that my shoes are weird, but a familiar noise at an unfamiliar hour can awaken most anything.


Late now. My parents have gone to bed. The house feels like it has let out a long held breath, except I am the one who has not been able to breathe. I am still thinking about my mother. There are circumstances I cannot talk with her about. It was years ago, and I do not recall how we came to the conversation, but my father told me if he had anything to confess, anything that troubled him, he would go to a Catholic priest. I ask him why. He said a priest takes his vows seriously. His vows are to God and his vows are to protect the confessor. Given that Dad spent 50 years as a Protestant preacher, I asked him if he wouldn’t rather go to another preacher, not to the priest of a denomination he does not follow. “No,” he said, without leaving room for why.