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  • It was an odd assemblage of a friendship. Ikat and coconut shells. The sound of Peggy Lee vacuuming. Painted staircases. A smiling dog named Joy. Old Volvos with squirrels in the engines. Ferry boats. Hand-me-down wedding dresses. Soup and pencils.

    A Rich collaboration
    An elegant, awkward thing
    A treasure.

    But not something - it seemed - easy for lovers to grasp. And because too tender hearts were both once willing to amputate for love, the odd assemblage of a friendship ended.

    Then! Last week! Unexpected! Reunion!

    There you were, coffee clasped. There I was, turtle necked.

    You put a pink-wrapped bonbon in my palm. A perfect complement to the intensity and grit and - yes - sweetness I treasure in you.

    All rust and potential, we picked our way to the edge of the scrapheap love. We pawed through the pile, picked a souvenir (light enough to pocket), and turned to climb that snaked staircase through the flock of cardboard birds, toward the sun streaming in on the big bay.
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