From the story When Murray Met Helen

The green tea did not silence Helen’s headache, though it did at least dull the irritation settling into her throat.

Just before the sun set, the low clouds dissipated just enough to create a seam in the southwestern part of the sky. A shaft of light seeped through. With a glance toward her bedroom window she could see a pink-orangish glow outside.

Alpenglow? In Milwaukee?

It was one of those things you had to see to believe. But there it was, the peach light reflecting off the snow on the ground, the branches, and the quilt of dry flakes that had piled up on the awnings, inching over the sides.

From her window Helen looked into what used to be Murray’s backyard and noticed the snow-blanketed outlines of the picnic table where so much laughter and banter and wisdom had passed between them. The snow on top sparkled. It sparkled mango, and then plum, and then bluish-purple, as the turning earth fleetingly captured what was left of the sun. It was a sight so tranquil and ethereal, and then in a matter of seconds it was gone. It left her wondering if anybody would believe her description of it.

At that very picnic table, now a dull form in the gloaming, she once asked Murray if he thought she would make a good mother.

“Do you want to be a mother?” he’d replied.

“Some days,” she’d said.

“And what days would those be?” he asked.

“Not Mondays,” she replied with a laugh. “Especially not Mondays.”

“Oh, I think you’d make a very good mother,” Murray said softly, after thinking hard on it for a few moments.

“I’ll probably need a man then,” she said. “Don’t you think?”

“Possibly,” Murray said. “But I wouldn’t fret over that too much now. You gotta get this Monday thing straightened out first.”

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