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Before and After

Within the first week after I took delivery of my new car, I stepped in gum. It got on the carpet. Not on the mat, but on the carpet just beneath the door. I was upset. I got most of it off, but there was still a mark on the light tan carpet. It was a pretty car: diamond white, with a light tan interior. My favorite is white, with a light grey interior, but the last two cars I ended up getting were white with tan. I still thought they were beautiful.

Within two months after I took delivery of my new car, my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer. In my head, I would go through events occurring after getting my car, and before the cancer: gum, before cancer; Steve and Janey’s daughter’s wedding: before cancer; trip to Ojai for birthday celebration in new car: before cancer.

It’s been two years since I got my car. One year since my boyfriend died. I got tired of seeing that gum mark, so I took a jacknife I keep in the car and scraped at the gum. A little bit more came off.

Just the other day, I sat there, again, this time plucking at the gum with eyebrow tweezers I keep in my purse. That made it better, too. But it is still there. Gum: before cancer.

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Copyright © 2015 - 2017 by Talia Russell
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording or other electronic or mechanical means without written permission of the author.

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