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Want To See Something? I WAS IN BED when I heard the gate unlatch. I listened carefully. I didn't hear anything else. But I had heard that. I tried to wake Cliff. But he was passed out. So I got up and went to the window. A big moon hung over the mountains that surrounded the dty. It was a white moon and covered with scars. Easy enough to imagine a face there—eye sockets, nose, even the lips. There was enough light that I could see everything in the back yard, lawn chairs, the willow tree, dothes-lines strung between the poles, my petunias, and the fence enclosing the yard, the gate standing open. But nobody was moving around outside. There were no dark shadows. Everything lay in bright moonlight, and the smallest things came to my attention. The dothes-pins standing in orderly rows on the line, for instance. And the two empty lawn chairs. I put my hands on the cool glass, hiding the moon, and looked some more. I listened. Then I went back to bed. ButI couldn't sleep. I kept turning over. I thought about the gate standing open like an invitation or a dare. Cliff's breathing was ragged. His mouth gaped and his arms hugged his pale, bare chest. He was taking up his side of the bed and most of mine. I pushed and pushed on him. But he just groaned. I stayed in bed awhile longer until I dedded it was no use. I got up and found my slippers. I went to the kitchen where I made a cup of tea and sat with it at the kitchen table. I smoked one of Cliff's unfiltereds. It was late. I didn't want to look at the time. I had to get up for work in a few hours. Cliff had to get up too, but he'd gone to bed hours ago and would be okay when the alarm went off. Maybe he'd have a headache. But he'd put away lots of coffee and take his time in the bathroom. Four aspirin and he'd be all right. I drank the tea and smoked another dgarette. After a while I dedded I'd go out and fasten the gate. So I found my robe. Then I went to the back door. The moon lighted everything—houses and trees, utility poles and power lines, the entire neighborhood. I peered around the back yard before I stepped off the porch. A little breeze came along that made me close the robe. I started toward the open gate. There was a noise at the fence that separated our house from Sam Lawton's. I looked quickly. Sam was leaning with his arms on the fence, gazing at me. He raised a fist to his mouth and gave a dry cough. "Evening, Nancy,'' he said. I said, "Sam, you scared me. What are you doing up, Sam? Did you hear something? I heard my gate unlatch." "I've been out here awhile, but I haven't heard anything," he said. Raymond Carver T h e M is s o u ri R eview • 29 "Haven't seen anything either. It might have been the wind. That's it. Still, if it was latched it shouldn't have come open." He was chewing something. He looked at the open gate and then he looked at me again and shrugged. His hair was silvery in the moonlight and stood up on his head. I could see his long nose, even the deep lines in his face. I said, "What are you doing up, Sam?" and moved closer to the fence. "Hunting," he said. "I'm hunting. Want to see something? Come over here, Nancy, and I'll show you something." "I'll come around," I said, and started along the side of our house to the front gate. I let myself out and went down the sidewalk. It felt strange, walking around outside in my nightgown and robe. I thought to myself that I must remember this, walking around outside in my nightgown. I could see Sam standing near the side...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 29-32
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-27
Open Access
No
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