ExcerptDecember 12, 2013
Just for you, a little excerpt from Pack Up the Moon to tempt your palate:
Once Nolan was back on the couch, he just did one more thing before he closed the laptop for the night. Google Maps came up, and he typed in the address on Ronada Avenue. He switched to street view. For twenty, maybe thirty seconds he let his eyes rest on the house he still thought of as his sometimes, before he remembered he’d been removed from the deed. The front door, almost but not quite hidden by the deep garden, was antique solid-core mahogany, intricately carved. He’d found it at the overpriced salvage yard in the industrial west end of Berkeley, and Kate—only ever frugal on accident—had been shocked at the price.
“It’s just a door. It has to be able to stand up to a knock. Why on earth would we pay that for a door? Let’s take a trip or something instead.”
But for once, he hadn’t justified it. Kate had done the bulk of the interior design at their house, even though he was the one who maintained it, picking up behind her as she spun through the rooms as if she were the wind. He’d only balked once, when she wanted to paint the ceilings in the rooms different colors. Reds, oranges, yellows—that was one thing when they were on the walls. A green ceiling was where he drew the line. But everything else she could have. She could choose.
The door, though, was for him. It made the house sturdy. It stood as protection. Fortification. Not from anything, not really. Just sound. Safe. They were the only people on their street, probably in all of the East Bay who didn’t have an iron security door. Why would he get one of those? It would take a battering ram to splinter theirs.
And it was still there. At least, in the most recent satellite images, it was. And Kate’s green Saab still sitting there in the driveway.
He zoomed in one more notch. Right now, Kate was in that house. Ten miles away. Somewhere in there, maybe in the living room, reading… A second later, he felt like a stalker, as if at any moment he’d see Kate as she put the can on the curb—it was Sunday, trash came on Monday. Nolan wondered idly how many times Kate had forgotten to take the trash out since he’d been gone. Twenty times? Thirty? Once he’d stopped putting the can out on the street entirely just to see if she’d notice. “This is so damn full. How can we have made so much trash in a week?” she’d said, trying to smash the kitchen bag into the big bin. She said it for three weeks in a row until a raccoon found its way in the open top. Nolan had spent an hour on the front lawn, picking up old meat wrappers and used Kleenex as his penance. It was nice, to have that fight. To fight about something that, in the end, didn’t matter in the slightest.
He’d have sold the house if he were her. Apart from that door—and her—there was nothing at that address he needed anymore.
Nolan shut the computer and closed his eyes. When they’d had Robin, after he’d realized the depth of the love he possessed for his beautiful blue-eyed boy, he’d forgotten the first rule of corporate finance, the mantra he’d repeated to his clients: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. When it smashes, it’s a fucking nightmare.
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