Sunday, March 11, 2007

680 days, 13 hours, 43 minutes, 31 seconds

Two news stories, two or three days apart: a woman driving with her daughter in the car has ulcerative colitis and passes out from dehydration just as they're nearing a restaurant parking lot. The eleven-year-old manages to grab the wheel and steer the car into a telephone pole instead of oncoming traffic. And, in the second story, a teenager gets a migraine and passes out while driving: her eight-year-old sister grabs the wheel, her seven-year-old brother grabs the emergency brake, the car comes to a halt three feet to the left of a huge, blinding tree. She prints out both stories for her scrapbook. She has ulcerative colitis. She has migraines. She has no children. She's an only child.

680 days, 21 hours, 10 minutes, 57 seconds

It's Daylight Savings time, three weeks early. One hour closer to when Bush will leave office. She's overjoyed at writing this number down. Then she realizes it will only fall back again.

This year her computer made the change seamlessly. The little clock on the bottom showed 1:59 a.m., then 3:00 a.m. She was wondering if she'd updated the proper patch. And she thinks of how many years ago now, when she and her husband both stayed up to watch, and her computer cut in (what they'd now call instant message, she supposes), saying it was about to change the time, and asking her permission. Hell, she remembers computers where she had to manually set the date each day.

3:55 a.m. Her husband wakes in the bed two feet away from her, startled to hear her typing this much, at this hour. "Are you composing?" he asks. Composing. What a strange word. And one he's never used before. Musical. But then it turns dark, as if she's trying to compose herself.

This was supposed to be a quiet keyboard. And it's wireless. Unattached.

680 days, 21 hours, 14 minutes, 34.2 seconds

Sometimes she's slow to notice things. Like that the deck of cards she's playing solitaire with (on the computer, of course), has an astronaut on the back. Considering that she's still fascinated and frightened by the Lisa Nowak story, considering that she's written about this in two poems already, is it still fair to berate herself for wasting time playing solitaire? This is only one deck among many, though. Can't draw it every time.