18. this woman she wonders about her own luck, what the future masked in financial pitfalls and an uncertain self could unveil. bills are crumpled on the nightstand, covered with penned calculations. she strives to chart this world while sensing conquerors from all sides. yet she folds origami birds from the paper of her glass bottle at a cafe table, to the fortune of those coming after her. her compassion is such that she notices bird cries at an outdoor cafe, not as nature, but as hungry solicitors. as if feeding a restless babe, she casually rips off bits of her almond muffin to scatter on the cobbled street. but she relates to strangers to be wary of her, for "i seem nice at first glance, but i'm rather inconsiderate at heart." she is often afraid, of her own dreams, it seems. for sixteen months she's been planning an escape from her hectic, harried days of waking at nine and sleeping at four in the morning, researching, working, and studying. "i need to get a different job, maybe take a long vacation." then she continues, thinking of others. "what about my boss, my coworkers? i need to finish this project, at least." her smile is often pale, like a cloud in midwinter. but beneath her scarf of fragility is a formidable endurance like the draft horse. she doubts her own goodness, feeling inadequate. she often apologizes for small accidents, "oh, i'm so sorry! i must be stupid." or asks if she's been bothersome or dissatisfactory. but she brings hot tea in the mornings of her own will, and sprinkles little kisses like a spring shower. her fidelity is a still stone on a rocky summit, and her arms are the warmth of a hearthfire. so that to say: i love her, is not a fanfare of spring flowers bursting with celebration; but instead, a quiet affirmation of the sun's existence.