1) There are hills, oh thank god. Central Indiana takes its flat-chestedness out on you; here, a few hours south, the dirt gives bear hugs and invites you in to meet the kids.
2) Elvis our Himalayan cat haunts the small shadows of the house. Doesn’t make a noise. Once, he ghosted off to the woods for a week. We thought coyotes must have ripped him up, but he came back with a limp. He isn’t allowed outside anymore. Dad named him, yet another Elvis in his collection of framed 11×17 portraits, a Blue Hawaii postcard from the 60s, a signed radio contract, more and more. Mom mentioned having Elvis fixed; Dad said “He is not having that surgery.”
3) In the basement, my prom dresses wilt in plastic bags: three strapless, Disney princess ball gowns of pick-up skirts and iridescent satin. Today in the mirror, I saw I was dressed like a boy.
4) Texts from Marc and Miles while I’m on the road, still three hours north. Mom opens the door before I dig out my house key. It seems good to go places where you don’t just arrive but are received.