My Dead Labrador Retriever Visits in the Form of a Hostess
Then, around 8 that morning, I saw the big woman in our garden. The muddy ruts and bootprints between the garage and the house had frozen stiff, but she lay in a red cocktail dress, her shoulders exposed, the thin straps of her dress biting into her fat white shoulders. I couldn't see her face; she was lying with her back to the window, using her arm as a pillow. She wore high-heeled silver sandals, a little scuffed -- her legs crossed at the ankles. I stuck my forehead against the glass, hoping I could see a little more. The glass was cold and comfortable against my skin, but after half an hour, my head started to ache. The ache had a beat, in/out. I breathed against the glass and drew an outline of the woman in the steam. I put on my slippers, and then my large, tan, puffy coat, still stained from last week's dog puke. The woman didn't move when I squatted and poked her with a hanger. I touched her shoulder and she felt hot, like frying pan hot. She sighed and rolled over, and said, without opening her eyes, "Nevermind. I was just trying to see if the door was really alarmed."