au pair

story #6 in my “23 stories for a fried chicken sandwich” project.

there is a small backyard field. it’s full of yellow flowers. there is a blonde baby in a too-long dress. the flowers come up to her waist. she’s pointing up at the sky.

i’m in charge of this sweet blonde baby, but she is not my baby. these are not my flowers. this is not even my city, not my country either. we go for a lot of walks to push the days along. we visit the sweet brown horse down the street to the left. walk the long pebbly lane up and to the right, visit dogs, chickens, roosters, cats, beautiful flowers, grape vines and listen to dogs, chickens, roosters, cats, voices speaking Italian but not to us. it’s a real bitch to push the stroller along the gravel road.

i miss everything about home, but i’m so glad to be away, living a new life, surrounding myself in things and places and certain types of breads and yogurts i will miss everything about later when i go home. i know i’ll never get a chance to do this again. live so far away, in another country, away from my own life and in some ways, away from a certain self.

i hope there’s a whole life waiting for me when i get back, but i’m content to keep things slow and go here for a little while longer, living inside dozens of books, inside my mind, inside my tiny journal, in the eyes of this baby.

even in the moments of desperate loneliness, i feel free.


  1. Melissa · March 9, 2010

    “even in the moments of desperate loneliness” – UGH. So glad you posted this!!!

  2. Amy · March 9, 2010

    LOVE this.

  3. She Started It · March 9, 2010

    Oooh. I LOVE this one, too!

  4. seamusoconner · March 10, 2010

    Beautiful story. Are you in Italy?

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