Wednesday, August 15, 2007

523 days, 11 hours, 27minutes 34 seconds

Penny Whistle Toys is, she thinks, open again. It had been closed by the court over a month ago, a large red and yellow sign on the window saying don't worry, kids, we'll be back. But this is what we teach the kids she doesn't have.

When she first moved in with him one of his nieces and one great nephew were still young enough that they always looked at toys for Christmas, and this was the best store around. And the most expensive. But he hated chain toy stores as much as he hated chain restaurants (except for the Toys 'R Us near Times Square with its indoor Ferris wheel that he never got to go on). That will be closing soon. Now there are other small expensive shops on the upper West side and they know about one in the village. Now that niece has two children of her own. That's how long it's been.

Meanwhile, Mattel is recalling nearly 19 million toys built in China because they didn't use the paint they were paid to use and there's possible lead here. All over suburbia mothers are digging through toy chests, checking serial numbers, throwing out toys in large red plastic Neiman Marcus bags that can't be seen through. Day care centers are replacing everything. Children in day care are being checked for lead. Children out of day care are throwing tantrums. Or she would have been, at least. Then again, even her Barbies probably weren't Mattel.

She thinks of the windows at Penny Whistle after 9/11 – some of the best in town. For Valentines Day, a red heart with stuffed Dalmatians inside and surrounding it. A white USA plane, American flag on its wing, seeming to fly into a building when we first attacked Iraq. She has the pictures to prove it. Don't worry kids, we'll be back.

523 days, 11 hours, 27minutes 34 seconds

She's angry. Of course she's angry. If Bush had done one interesting thing instead of just bidding goodbye to Karl Rove and hanging on to Gonzalez; if a straw poll in Iowa had included at least one candidate she recognizes; if Bloomberg weren't going round and round and round on his pay to drive in Manhattan scheme; if the Democrats could just get down to five or six candidates in five or six debates a week, this blog might not be so damn personal. Still, she combs the news every day. Maybe it's just her lack of energy. And not being able to comb her hair.

523 days, 12 hours, 11minutes 41.6 seconds

She dropped her camera yesterday. But she managed to take over 40 pictures, some of them butts in the flower beds, one butt in a plastic glove. She wasn't even sure she'd be able to press the shutter. She had an hour before the doctor. What was she supposed to do, walk around in the heat responding to just the heat? Anyway, the camera's okay. With all this is costing her above and beyond insurance, and in another $2000-$3000: say it's for the latest technology.

523 days, 12 hours, 23 minutes 21 seconds

Bon Pain again today. But then she expected this. She was here just nine days ago helping a friend pick out a Toshiba from J&R. Sleek, 17 inch screen, no needless trial programs loading, no need to connect to the Internet just to set it up. This is the machine she should've bought herself. This is the place she should have bought it. Needless/needles. And a glass of water. She hasn't even had water yet today.

Her face is dried from all the creams last night. Her fingernails pick up crud every time she touches it. She doesn't even want to go near a computer, so she picks at scabs.