Wednesday, November 22, 2006

789 Days, 21 Hours, 35 Minutes, 19 Seconds

What goes around comes around. The little girl hiding. The teenager in her room writing. In those days, she recorded the date and time faithfully at the bottom of every poem, as a means of discerning when she did her best writing. Most of her poems were rhymed then. And as a matter of fact one of the efforts she was proudest of was a poem commemorating Kennedy's life and death. That, and a poem nearly a year later, regaling the 1964 Phillies the year they almost won the pennant, and managing to praise every player on the team. They didn't win. And she never really ascertained when she did her best writing, she had no judgment skills back then. Most of her writing was early in the morning, before the day began. Maybe her father was out in the kitchen making coffee, but she never joined him. There were no computers, though her father used a punch card system in his office. It's 2:30 a.m. now. She'd already turned off her computer, though she picks it up and turns it on again downstairs, so as not to wake her husband. What goes around comes around. She offers her husband the love she could never garner for her father. Or just the courtesy.

789 Days, 22 Hours, 25 Minutes, 30 Seconds

Posting the previous note, today's date jumps out at her: November 22nd. The anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. When she stops to realize that Kennedy was in office 1076 days and wasn't able to finish all he started, 789 days really doesn't seem that bad.

789 Days, 22 Hours, 52 Minutes, 0.6 Seconds

789, the innocent order of those numbers, as in a child's game of Hide and Seek. Counting from one to ten, eyes closed, palms over your eyes, then you open them and all the others are hiding somewhere. Ready or not, here she comes. And comes and comes, running in mock fear around the house that housed a bedroom all her own. With no sisters or brothers, she only remembers playing this game with her mother. The thought of a grown woman crawling under a bed or wedging herself into a closet next to a cannister vacuum cleaner is laughable now. But maybe she only hid behind a door. If only it were that easy to make a president vanish, she thinks, immediately scoffing at her immaturity. Of course it's not, not now. And her mother left her.