Sunday, August 19, 2007

519 days, 1 hours, 37 minutes 18 seconds

The clock fell on her foot today. The ten-ton, hand-crafted, steel Wonder Woman, Wizard of Oz music box clock. At first she thought it broke two toes. It didn't matter. She'd been reaching for the computer. At least she didn't drop the computer. They were meeting a friend for brunch. Same place as last week. Different friend. Even now she has friends. She shoves the dead animal on her head, doesn't have time to cover the rash, and limps off. Wonder Woman.

519 days, 2 hours, 30 minutes 18 seconds

Hamster Brain. It was their favorite commercial years ago. The sister calls her brother a hamster brain (or does the brother call the sister that?) while the mother soaks blissfully behind the closed bathroom door in Calgon Bath Oil Beads. And she made up a song for him:

Employee of the Month
Employee of the Year
Hi Ho Delario
The Hamster Brain is here.

He was Employee of the Month, then tied for Employee of the Year. It was before they married. They went to Tavern on the Green to celebrate. And he was given a desk clock with a little plaque which sits above her computer.

519 days, 3 hours, 26 minutes 0.2 seconds

U.S. paid $1 million to ship two 19-cent washers. Anxious to get soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan all the tools they needed, they let twin sisters, South Carolina women in their forties, dupe them. Luxury cars, boats, jewelry, vacations. One sister committed suicide in her beach house.

She knows what it's like in the Deep South. Jerry Falwell always on the lookout. Bob Jones University in Greenville. It was the first place she taught Poets in the Schools, nearly forty years ago, when there were separate Black and White teachers' lounges and the kids were paddled. Then she moved on to Oramgeburg. Warned not to walk the road at night.

Lock washers place tension against a nut after tightening, to help prevent the nut from loosening. She thinks of the single washer caught in her bra two months ago, how it had been just one more tool to keep her head straight, how a few days later she retrieved it. Her only souvenir. She keeps it with the marble-brains he gave her.