I grew up in a tiny town where everyone just almost everyone else, but no one seemed to know the lady who lived across the street from me, in the house that is colored orange. Every time that I saw that old lady, her eyes cut through me. She had the air of a wounded, wild dog. She always seemed to be trapped somewhere between bolting and pouncing, and her glare warned me not to come too close, and I was happy to oblige. But one day, when I was not more than 3 years old, I was close enough to watch her, as she nearly cut off her leg with a sickle
She was outside in the same tattered and faded calico dress that she always seems to wear, and she was waging war on the tall weeds that had nearly taken over her property. Swinging with all her might, she repeatedly whipped the sickle back and forth until Bam! One of her swings was off target, and the sickle caught her in the leg. I had never seen that much blood in my life.
People flew out of the house and stuffed the lady in an old Ford, but the blood was still there. Like a river charting its own course, the blood snaked its way toward me, teaching me that bad things do happen in my little town.