. . . But when the music thins, silver notes slow sliding in, when the perfect circle ends where will the children be, will their hands as smooth as honey, smooth as water in the cup, will their hands soon brim to thistle,
will the silken skin yet bloom to briar and ash and thorn, and will they, the tan giraffes, black panthers, smiling tusks, the painted rabbits wearing white, will they be crying?
-- "Carousel, the Montgomery Mall"
Julia is a lovely, silver-haired woman in her late sixties. Although poised and well dressed, she speaks in a monotone, her voice barely rising above a whisper. Her hands tremble, and it seems to be painful for her to rise from the chair or to answer a simple question.
"It's true--I don't care about anything now," she says quietly. "I used to love my flowers, especially my roses you'll see out back in the garden. Now they are dying, consumed with aphids, and turning dry and brittle. Since my husband Allan's death, I try to keep myself alive, but I never feel like cooking or eating, keeping my house in order.