“Tell me why you feel guilty.”

That’s how he started our interview.

“Pardon?” I asked.

“Tell me why you feel guilty.”

And such is the nature of this economy that I, fresh bachelor’s degree in hand, attempted to tell him why I feel guilty. Guilty.

“Are you an only child?” he asked next.

“I’m not a child,” I said. He laughed, and pushed his chair back. He handed me his bag and asked me to take it down to baggage check for American Airlines at the Albuquerque Sunport. The attendant at baggage claim would be waiting for it, he said. He shook my hand. Payment when I get back, he said.

I don’t feel guilty. Just stupid, and fearless, and excited. Even as I carried it from short term parking to baggage check, tucked snugly against my chest, I could feel the weight of it pressing against me. Heavy as sand.

I’ll tell you why I feel guilty, but not today. I am one of many daughters in my family, too many daughters, they always said. Raise girls, dad said, but not too many. Once raised, you have to train them.

You might say I am an example of good training gone wrong. It’s been two weeks now. As I stand here on this narrow path that leads up to the lighthouse, I can see the sea strain to climb up on the land. The salt wind burns cold and hot against my face. If those are tears, they are not mine. I do not feel guilty.



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October 2012
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