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SEARCHING CHAPTER 7: A New Start

By Patrick Cabello Hansel We can”'t say that Angel didn”'t know where to start this leg of his journey. He”'d been starting his whole life. Fits and starts. False starts. Start and stop, start and stop. Angel”'s problem was finishing. He”'d managed to graduate from Roosevelt””barely””and he vaguely remembered the platitudes the locally famous person of color had shared at the graduation ceremony: Believe in your dreams. Reach for the stars. Stay in touch. Good words, he thought, but he”'d spent the six months since then pretty much wandering through life, without a plan, That morning, in Mother Light”'s house, as he tenderly pulled on his jacket and bent over to tie his shoes, he spotted the webbed ornament in the window. “That”'s a dream catcher, right?” he said to Ana, who was waiting at the door. She smiled, nodded yes, then pointed to her eyes, to her heart, to her lips and then to Angel. He shook his head and wondered what manner of answer that was: was this beautiful young woman deaf? Or merely insane? “I wonder if it caught any of my dreams”, he muttered to himself. Ana handed him his backpack, which felt heavier to his bruised shoulders. She led him out the door and down the block to the little park. There was fresh snow on the ground, tender to their feet. It began to snow again, soft, huge flakes, the kind dogs and children love to catch on their tongues. She led him under a red pine, whose branches were heavily laden with snow. Angel thought that he saw her bow slightly. She smiled and then repeated the same motions with her hands as she had in the house: pointing to her eyes, to her heart, to her lips and then to him. Then she pointed to the tree trunk, where hundreds of woodpecker holes were bored into the rust red bark. By the time he thought of something to say, she had gone. Where now? He did not feel fear, even though his enemies were at large. He [...]

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