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The Secrets of Singapore Valley

p. 10 of 10

          I got home and set to drawing up this article,  which meant transcribing everything Grisby had said to meediting his words for clarity, and checking his allegations about Rhenshorn against the findings of the SVPD’s investigation.

          But I had already started forgetting about Grisby.  Instead, I thought constantly about the UFO.  I repeated the image of its vanishing to myself, like a prayer.  It had the quality of prayerit reached a place inside of me that would otherwise have been unreachable.

          I began finding my Arielle to be a somehow more resolved presence.  It did not happen as a graspable process or logical sequenceIt was subterraneanIt blossomed in my suddenly being able to ask a question thatuntil thenI had not been able to hear:  What aspiration could survive her and be worthy?

          I was surprised when the question occurred to me.  It was new, and I did not have the answer.

          Although it was October I was still keeping my office window open, and the breeze coming through it was piercing.  So I walked to my bedroom, to my dresser, and took my favorite sweater from its top-row drawer, and pulled it on for the first time that year.

          I left my house.  With no planI went down the front steps, crossed the lawnand got to the sidewalkI started walking through my neighborhood.

          What was the difference,  I asked myself,  between my neighborhood—with its brick walls and spacious houses and lawnsits friendly class of residentsand its autumn sun straining through leaves to dapple the pavement beneath—and any comparable neighborhood in Singapore Valley?

          Oh, sure, you might state the obvious: I live on the east coast, and Singapore Valley is in California.

          And sure—I live in a suburb that sprang up due to the proximity of existing cities—not in a suburb-city megalopolis that was conceived before a single future resident ever knew she might live,  one day,  in a kingdom by the Salton Sea.

          And yet anything you can say about Singapore Valley you could say just as easily about my suburban neighborhood. That, at least, was the feeling in my bones as I strode those sidewalks, with the sunset drawing sooner. Hondas, Nissans, Audis.  A feeling in the air, tantalizing and unknown. Two blocks without traffic, a playground — I hear the squeaking beam of a swing-set on which a child is being pushed by her motherWe all wave.

          I glance over at flower gardens, and stop. The gardens of Singapore Valley are renowned for their refined and vibrant roses, which are grown (it is said)  from bulbs that have been specially cultivated and bred.  And yet, observing my neighbors’ gardensI cannot help discovering that our roses glow as deeply and mysteriously as any of the roses of Singapore Valley.

sixteenth moon
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The Secrets of Singapore Valley

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