The coming days were flush with the banal.
Mazie and I, waiting for school to begin, shifted our ways to a local hotel. They had a pool which Mazie was hot to swim in. We joked about our big and fancy house. Poe, he stayed put in his hotel in Occidental.
On the last day of summer I took Mazie to the Harry Potter movie in Santa Rosa. It was a dad daughter day and Mazie was pleased and funny and grateful, I think to have her dad’s attention.
On the first day at school, I drove Mazie from the hotel. That first morning, nervous as heck, she asked that I walk her to the office, we check in, and then we walk out and as we did so she would peel away. In that way, just as she dictated, I delivered her to her new school.
The kids were different, she later told me. But she’s grown up resilient, and slowly, in her own way, she set to making friends.
Mazie and I would have breakfast each morning in the hotel lobby. She would pack a lunch for herself from whatever she could scavenge from the hotel breakfast line: a piece of fruit, some juice, a PB&J. I would then drive her to school. In the evening I’d pick her up, we’d settle back into our hotel room, and Mazie would diligently sit and do her homework.
As for Poe, he became my own affair. Some mornings and most afternoons I’d drive to Occidental and up into the meadow, where I would set with him. I’d nap in the straw while he perched near me. I’d feed him and talk to him. He would sometimes mutter back. I called Anna on the phone. I wanted to tell her about the bird, but when we talked he would caw loudly until Anna would tell me to get out of the coop. It was hard to talk with the bird near by, she said.
People seek solace and meaning and fire, and we each seek it in our own way.
I found it in dreaming of and fashioning for ourselves a new life. I found it in Poe.
In the end, I think he just bugged her.