End of a Year:
The trees were ablaze. The water was on fire. Anna Cooperman spent her days sitting on the bank of the Charles River or the pond in Fenway Park, unmoved by the glories of a New England autumn. Rain or fog would have suited her mood much better. Her daughters worried about her. She seemed always on the brink of tears.
On Saturday her eldest daughter Georgia came to take her for a drive. Georgia waited two hours while her mother dressed. Anna could not hurry. She was always afraid that she would forget something of importance and be humiliated. Brown shoes with a black dress, a crooked seam, soiled gloves, or unpolished nails would ruin her afternoon. She was very careful and managed to achieve a kind of perfection in brown gabardine, mink scarf, and the velvet hat she had bought on Boylston Street. She could have passed for fifty-five instead of seventy-one. It pleased her to hear people tell her that.
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