An Invented Life

In the midst of a tedious work project, I took my laptop to the laundromat, which promised the double advantage of using a clothes dryer and providing me with a clean, well-lighted place. Hardwick’s a slow place this time of year, and I had banked on a quiet space.

As things turned out, I ended up closing my laptop and chatting with a woman working there. She shared stories about growing up in town, sixty years ago, and showed me her scars from heart surgery. And then – as though I were someone else entirely different – I told her a half-pretend life for myself.

I couldn’t do much about my careless ponytail, but I created a different occupation, a husband with a steady salary, and a childhood in Maine. While my daughters are brightening up the house with Christmas carols, my laundromat foray qualifies as November humor in Vermont.

…Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow…

– Robert Frost, “My November Guest”

West Woodbury, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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