Sometimes I went during my lunch break into a big nursery across the street, a glass building full of plants and wet earth and feeling of cool dead sex. During this hour the same woman always watered the dark beds with a hose. Once I talked with her, mostly about myself and about, stupidly, my problems. I asked her for her number. She said she had no phone, and I got the feeling she was purposefully hiding her left hand, maybe because she wore a wedding ring. She wanted me to come by and see her again sometime. But I left knowing I wouldn’t go back. She seemed much too grown-up for me.

 

And sometimes a dust storm would stand off in the desert, towering so high it was like another city—a terrifying new era approaching, blurring our dreams.

 

Maybe, when you hear the name “Beverly,” you think of Beverly Hills—people wandering the streets with their heads shot off by money.

As for me, I don’t remember ever knowing anybody named Beverly. But it’s a beautiful, a sonorous name. I worked in an O-shaped, turquoise blue hospital for the aged bearing it.