Thursday, August 23, 2007

515 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes 59 seconds

Her desk is piled as high as her father's bed.

515 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes 56 seconds

1960. She wasn't quite 12 years old. It was the first year she followed politics. Kennedy and Nixon. And the first of the televised presidential debates. It was said then that one of the reasons Kennedy made such a good impression was because he understood to wear a powder blue shirt, realizing the white shirt would be greyed out against the bright TV cameras. Clothes matter.

515 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes 55 seconds

Three weeks ago, on his first visit to Texas, Bush presented the straight laced, suit and tie wearing British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a fur lined leather bomber jacket. She remembered the media laughing, but thought it was a khaki safari hat. That's the way it's been of late, she'll remember pieces, but get some of the facts wrong. Her grandmother was like that. It's probably going to get worse.

515 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes 25.5 seconds

Downstairs her husband's asleep with a TV movie on. One in the morning, and he often does this. For the past hour she's been hearing bits and pieces of some 40s or 50s film she vaguely recognizes. She saves this file. She puts it up online. In your Easter Bonnet can be heard clearly. She hears her husband yawn, stretch, and get up. He'll be coming to bed soon.

516 days, 0 hours, 22 minutes 20.3 seconds

Use your head for something other than a hatrack. (Misspelled, for a moment there, hate rack). It's a cliché that for some reason she recalls her mother using.

For years she wore a man's Totes gray and white hat that she traded a copy of her book with another poet for. She thinks it was also a rain hat. It was way too large and she loved the way the brim fell over her forehead, hiding her face. It protected her. She has pictures. Lost somewhere years later, she thinks in a ladies room.

The first year she and her husband were together she bought an expensive funky hat at a Christmas craft fair. A woman's hat. Reversible. It covered the full head, buttoned under the chin. She's needed the buttonhole replaced several times but still adores that hat. Hard to explain how important it was, that willingness to accept herself as a woman, her desire to stand out, be noticed. (Misspelled, for a moment there, he noticed).

When she picked up the beaver she also bought four chemo caps. To protect he shaved head. Not to get cold. Not to itch. Not to bitch. Today she even wore the dressy one to the doctor's. And put earrings on for the first time in three months. And part of her feels proud, different. These past three days, her energy finally returned, surfing the Internet to see what else she can find. Instead of working.