Now, a year and a half since I’d met him at the audition, the soft-rough combo of his flannel shirts and the denim of his jeans were irresistible. He smelled like everything good in Minnesota that fall--leaves, crystal air with the promise of snow, black earth, and apples. I was still in my body cast and couldn’t drive. I needed someone with a car to help me gather set pieces for a production of The Matchmaker. We were looking for a turn of the century barber chair, an ornate hall tree, tables and bentwood chairs.
Eric and I spent afternoons burnished by pumpkin-colored sunsets driving through the flat Minnesota countryside to antique stores. Birch trees flashed by the car windows; white-hot warning signals telling us that love was coming while I tried to keep my mind on furniture. His Dodge was old and smelled like all cars that have been through a decade of winters--the rubbery stink of slushy boots, the burn of the heater coated with the dust of summer dying to the odorless scent of a hard freeze. The air was brisk and dry. You could give yourself an electric shock touching the metal door handle. But that was nothing compared to the current of desire. I imagined sparks--hot orange, red and yellow pulled from the palate of trees lining the road. My idea of setting things right by marrying the father of my baby was getting harder to hold on to. Setting things right would have to happen some other way.
Editing one's life can be tempting, but I left the passage in the book because it's part of the story. That's how it happened.