BITS AND PIECES OF MY WRITING
GUITARS AND WINDMILLS. Laura goes for a walk alone. She walks through the chill of a gray afternoon, away from the main part of the city, up a cobblestone hill where the shabby houses are older and prettier. Outside a shop two men sit on the sidwalk on workbenches, making guitars. One is sanding the wood of a new guitar. The other is stringing a finished instrument. The wood is rich, rubbed to a fine glow. The show window is crowded with guitars and amateur sketches of the city, hanging from wires, swaying slightly.
Laura stops to watch the men. Their hands are deft, gentle. Their eyes flash under old felt hats. Oh if I could buy one of these guitars and learn its music! . . .
On the way down the hill, she runs and skips a little. At a corner, an old woman sits on the pavement, selling toy windmills. She wears a fedora above her round, wrinkled face with its high cheekbones, black button eyes. A tall rack of windmills twirls merrily over her head, but the woman herself is stoic, enduring the air of a windless place.
"May I take your picture?" Laura asks. The woman nods soberly. Laura looks through the camera at the merry windmills, the somber face. Is that me? Is that me with the sad heart and the joyous wind unnoticed, just above my head? She buys windmills for Susan and David, and one for Concha's Miguel, and walks the rest of the way home with windmills twirling. For half a block she holds them over her head, feeling the wind.