The sea otter
strokes its beard and flies in through
the window to peruse the toiletries. "I like deodorant," offers
Laurie, but the otter pays no attention. Laurie doesn't mind,
her doors are open to all creatures, hers is a house built of love,
love and that pale, pink stucco that draws the flamingos back
each year. The penguins downstairs in the freezer feel naked
without their iceberg. Laurie ties a loud Hawaiian cummerbund
on a penguin she knows can pull it off, and it stands in front
of the mirror as if held in a trance. Laurie is always mindful
of the mirror and tiptoes past it so as not to disturb its reflection.
She did, however, throw a shoe through the television set once.
The seven years that followed were the happiest of her life.