Sitting on a bus, watching the darkened streets of the southern United States pass by, she sometimes remembers being eight years old at the annual Christmas Carnival.
She remembers the magician, with his long, slender hands shuffling and reshuffling the cards; each time finding the desired king of hearts. Each time, making it look like real magic.
She used to think that if she could shuffle those cards the right way, everything would fall into place. That Mom would stop worrying so much, and that Dad would remember her birthday; that they would be happy.
So she learned to shuffle, learned to arrange her cards anyway she wanted. Chilton, Yale, the Obama campaign, all within her reach.
But no matter how long she shuffled, and reshuffled, she couldn’t find the King of Hearts anymore. Somewhere along the way, he fell beneath the table (San Francisco) and now he won’t be found.
She used to think that if she learned to shuffle she’d be happy, she never thought she might need some magic (love) as well.