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Ballard

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I found it. The street you grew up on. Apparently they changed the name in the 60s when the "City Beautiful" movement elevated the freeway and cut the Diamond street you knew in two. The north end of the street kept its name, and the south end, where you grew up surrounded by beech trees, was renamed Parsons Lane.
I found the house with the help of the Sanborn maps and that one old picture of you and mom dressed up for Easter, posing with goofy smiles on the front steps. The people who moved in after you added some things, but you can still see the old house’s bones underneath it all, like a woman with too much makeup on.
I parked the car down the road, and guiltily walked on the far sidewalk down to the house. I looked over at it, checking it against that picture. And then...
Then I realized you were not there. That somehow I had hoped you would be. That you would open the door and ask me what I was doing being a fool and to come in already. You would order me to iron the table cloth while you chose candles from your vast collection to go on the table. You’d mix us a cocktail and I’d stand in the kitchen while you carefully crafted dinner and I watched you bustle, just like always, talking of nothing, of the here and now. Rather than me asking you the hundreds of burning questions I have about your life that I never asked, and now, never can.

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