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In California, they live in a canyon. Martha's room is there, facing the canyon. It is not situated with a glimpse of the ocean like some of the other rooms. It faces a rocky ledge where owlsnest. The canyon is full of small birds and bitter-smelling shrubs. There are larger animals too who come down in the night and drink from the pans of water the family puts out. Each evening they put out large white pans of clear water and in the morning the pans are muddy and empty. The canyon is cold. The sun moves quickly through it. When the rocks are touched by the sun, they steam. All of Martha's things remain in her room--the radio, the posters and mirrors and books. It is a "guest" room now, although no one ever refers to it in that way. They refer to it as "Martha's room." But it has become a guest room, even though there are never any guests.
Jul 6, 2010