Monday, July 16, 2007

553 days, 11 hours, 31 minutes, 32 seconds

She’s been fat, crazy, scared, uncoordinated, uncooperative, antisocial, insecure, agoraphobic, angry, depressed, reclusive, nauseous, an insomniac, weird, wired, clumsy, self-centered, a hypochondriac, vindictive, respected, eccentric, greedy, a drop-out, pessimistic, befriended, anorexic, exhausted, bored, shy, frustrated, ambitious, competitive, happy, uncertain, nervous, hysterical, gullible, over-medicated, restless, immature, optimistic, sick, mad, worried, ungrateful, boastful, a good driver, ultra-responsible, ignored, cherished, a picky eater, loving, small for her age, ugly, disgusted, lucky, a dreamer, loved, terrified, jealous, a workaholic, preoccupied, teased, an outcast, hot, shivering, frigid, lonely. But she’s never thought of herself as a drip before.

553 days, 12 hours, 8 minutes, 2 seconds

Today’s the deadline for getting senate approval for Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for charging cars and trucks coming into Manhattan below 86th St., If he wants to tap into five million dollars of federal funding. He says it will encourage people to take subways and buses. He says it will reduce congestion and pollution. He says we’ll all be healthier.

553 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes, 37 seconds

She’s starting to notice the art in doctors’ offices. Her neurologist with paintings by his wife and landscape photos he took up in Westchester near where he lives. Mostly it’s generic, though. Reproductions of masterworks, often flowers. Announcements for exhibitions. Here though, over the desk, right across from where she’s sitting, beside the black phone on the wall, is a photograph. Shades of a veined green leaf, enlarged out of proportion, blurred, with a caterpillar-like insect attached to it. One eye looks straight at her. He looks like something her father used to kill.

553 days, 13 hours, 16 minutes, 47 seconds

IV in, blood out. Squirting all over the opposite leg of his pants. She means all over. This is not her. It happened to her husband once, though. In the emergency room at St. Vincent’s, the night he sliced his finger. Something he’d rested it on at Second Ave. Deli (closed now, after over fifty years). There’d been a rush of activity that same night, after a woman drove her Mercedes out of a garage and into the crowded restaurant across the street. So they came to stitch him up two hours later and still he squirted. Even the technician jumped back.

553 days, 14 hours, 11 minutes, 12 seconds

Short sleeves (displaying scarred arms) or long sleeves (hot as hell, having to be rolled up)? Dressy or casual? And just how casual. As always there’s the question of what to wear. As if she’s meeting a lover here.

553 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes, 36 seconds

Pretend it’s the night before childbirth. Your first child. A C-section. A few hours’ pain. Twenty years of pain. Pretend.