There’s a stranger at the front door when I finally get there. Katherine always tends to the doorbell, and I forgot she isn’t home. She’s been visiting our son, from whom I’m estranged, for so many days I’ve lost count. Katherine used to be estranged from Jarrod too, until she finally wrote him a letter and he wrote back. Now she’s with him and his family. She’s missed the Olympics. Gymnastics is her favorite event, and I’ve recorded it. Maybe she watched in Colorado—I don’t know, because we haven’t spoken. She knows I don’t like talking on the phone. The little USA gymnasts are all I watch now. They flutter like disciplined canaries. I sit with my face so close to the screen that my eyebrow hairs lift from the static electricity. I’ve memorized every routine. It’s good to know when a little girl’s going to land on her behind after a vault or waver on the balance beam or drop from the uneven bars like she’s been shot. If you know what’s coming most of the shock is gone, and it becomes clear that falling is part of the big pattern of the world: gravity always wins.
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