Hanson Page 13
Theseus or myself.
    Or Ellen, holding the blue flower....
    If it had a center. And if I could reach it and return without a string. What would Jim Sloan make of my story that apparently was also his own?
    God and the Devil, Love and Death.
    In Montana, on the same evening, in a cabin by a river, I'd met lovely Beulah, and my father's hated killer from 35 years ago.
    I looked up at her clear face and the brown eyes flecked with gold. Through the windows, the last light touched her hair so it shone copper and red, the way Ellen's used to look as she painted or gardened in the evening sun, before she'd gone away forever to New York--
    "You okay?"

    "Would you like to take a walk?" I asked her. "Down by the river?"
    "Yes," she answered quietly. "I'd like to take a walk by the river."
    I sat a second longer, watching the sheen of Beulah's cheek framed by glowing hair, then slipped the photograph into its envelope and set it on the coffee table. I got up and took a step toward the kitchen.
    "Thanks for dinner, Bob," I called to Glad. "We're going for a walk."
    Glad came to the kitchen door, drying his hands.
    "Okay, Phil. I'll hold the coffee."
    "Thank you, Bob," Beulah said. "Everything was perfect."

    "You're welcome."
    I moved to the open red door, then touched my chest and stopped.