Saturday, May 12, 2007
A three-alarm fire in a Bronx post office this afternoon, around three o'clock. The post office closed to the public at two. It's Saturday. Last day to mail before the rates go up. Two workers were in the back room sorting mail. They suffered minor injuries, along with seventeen firemen. No mail was damaged. Years ago she reminded him that if he didn't like stopping at the mailbox, he never should have married a mailbox dwarf. After years of complaining, he's trying to make up for it now.
It's about time. Five different clocks he gave her over the years. The Backwards Bush clock – one on her computer, one on this blog, four key chains. She was thinking of buying a desk clock as well. But time's running out. If she's going to be spending a fortune on doctors, all that time with doctors , the last thing she wants to be reminded of is that Bush might outlive her. Besides, there's the craft fair this weekend down by the museum. And she remembers the Fantasy Clocks there – clocks she's looked at longingly every spring and fall, as possible gifts. Plenty of distractions. A melange of gears. A slide viewer modeled on those old stereo opticon viewers (he throws in three slides), a wind-up music box ("We're Off To See the Wizard"). She replaces a biplane with Wonder Woman. Replaces a Tarot Card with a postcard sent from the Amityville Beach in 1935. Before the horrors. Before her parents met. Before lungs ever thought to fill with water.
She's smoked maybe ten cigarettes. Never inhaled. The first time she smoked dope, out at her cousin's in California, she got incredibly paranoid. They were growing some plants out back, and a deer had been eating them. They talked about what they'd do if they caught that deer, and she took it as a metaphor for what they'd do to her if she told her uncle they'd let her smoke with them. She remembers Engelbert Humperdinck on the stereo, and how slow the music seemed. She remembers sitting at the table, lifting food to her mouth. Her mother smoked the first twelve years of her life. Her husband smoked the first four years they were together, quitting the year before they married. It was when the restaurants started smoking sections. They went someplace new, she said the smoking section, he said non-smoking. He'd run out of cigarettes two weeks ago. She hadn't noticed. Cold turkey. Second hand. Her mother bringing home selected items from when she worked the charity rummage sales.