The woman of the house opened the door. She was pale and compact, no sags or pouches, linen skin tight across the bone. The hollows of her cheeks were powdered darkly, as if with the pollen of a tiger lily. Her hair was cropped short and dyed the fashionable bright auburn of a ladybug. Her earrings were buttons of deepest orange, her leggings mahogany, her sweater rust-colored, and her lips maroonish brown. She looked like a highly controlled oxidation experiment. "Come in," she said, and I entered, mutely at first and then, as always, apologetically, as if I were late, though I wasn't At that time in my life I was never late. Only a year later would I suddenly have difficulty hanging on to any sense of time, leaving friends sitting, invariably, for a half hour here or there. Time would waft past me undetectably or absurdly - laughably when I could laugh - in quantities I was incapable of measuring or obeying.
But that year, when I was twenty, I was as punctual as a priest. Were priests punctual? Cave-raised, divinely dazed, I believed them to be.
This combination of perspectives gives Tassie a strange combination of naivetee and wisdom and plumps this quiet story full of a subtle kind of suspense. It pushes me gently forward to see around the next bend how this clueless foal becomes the woman who narrates this story. More on it soon.