Sunday, March 23, 2008

303 days, 1 hours, 5 minutes, 18 seconds

Two years ago she offered to hop for him.

303 days, 1 hours, 9 minutes, 19 seconds

He doesn’t even know what a hero is.

303 days, 1 hours, 16 minutes, 3 seconds

Her sister-in-law grabbed him right out from under her.

303 days, 1 hours, 41 minutes, 3.1 seconds

What she really wants is that electrician from Rhode Island. The one her father-in-law taught everything he knew. Call it a debt of gratitude. It's not love, but call it admiration. She's already booked a suite at the Oriental, down the hall from where Bush stays. She wants to be lying naked on top of the covers. She wants him to rush in and rape her. She wants to feel every wire he’s got piercing her. She wants to be scarred. It doesn’t make any difference how old or clean he is. Just so he’s from Rhode Island. And then she wants him to brag to everyone.

303 days, 1 hours, 54 minutes, 1 seconds

Why the hell was she stupid enough to leave him on that ventillator? Bastard.

303 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes, 31 seconds

It’s Easter. You’re supposed to get up again.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

304 days, 2 hours, 32 minutes, 54 seconds

The dog from the church next door killed her rabbit.

304 days, 10 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds

No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence. They use violence as a tool to do that.

304 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes, 3.1 seconds

The day after Good Friday.

What’s so good?

A few years ago, driving to Queens to teach, she got trapped behind a Good Friday parade on Third Ave. All the side streets were closed off. This was before she had a cell phone, so she pulled over at two pay phones and called the senior center, asking them to tell people she was on her way, caught behind some stupid parade, to please wait.

Her husband says it wasn’t a parade, it was the Stations of the Cross.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

310 days, 10 hours, 45 minutes, 51 seconds

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeatng things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

311 days, 12 hours, 18 minutes, 44 seconds

She wants to throw the basket out, but his brother convinces her to keep it.

311 days, 12 hours, 24 minutes, 23 seconds

For his 65th birthday, two aunts gave him baskets of candy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

312 days, 1 hours, 35 minutes, 2 seconds

This Backwards Bush online site is totally uncordinated with all her keycains and calendars. Even the number of days is different.

314 days, 11 hours, 10 minutes, 32 seconds

She wakes with almost as much energy as testerday. Takes quick notes for a poem. Gets in and out of the cab herself. The physical therapist scans her body, attacking muscle after muscle. Crushing.

315 days, 2 hours, 35 minutes, 40 seconds

The march to war hurt the economy. Laura reminded me of that a while ago, that remember what was on the TV sceens – she calls me, ‘George W.– ‘George W.’ I call her, ‘First Lady,’ No.anyway – she said, we said, march to war on our TV screen.

317 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes, 49 seconds

They didn’t think we were a nation that could conceivably sacrifice for something greater than our self; that we were soft, that were so self-absorbed and so materialistic that we wouldn’t defend anything we believed in. My, were they wrong. They just were reading the wrong magazine or watching the wrong Jerry Springer show.

317 days, 9 hours, 50 minutes, 9 seconds

Thank god for lemonade.

320 days, 23 hours, 27minutes, 11seconds

Citing “insufficient evidence,” top EPA officials in the Bush administration refused to raise the annual standard for fine particles of soot, which penetrate deep into the lungs and are believed to contribute to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year.

324 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes, 37 seconds

They’ve closed Garlic Bob’s on her.

324 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, 7 seconds

Anyway, I’m so thankful, and so gracious – I’m gracious that my brother Jeb is concerned about the hemisphere as well.

324 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes, 19 seconds

I thought how proud I am to be standing up beside my dad. Never did it occur to me that he would become the gist for cartoonists.

324 days, 6 hours , 26 minutes, 47 seconds

President Bush says that if we need to, we can lower the temperature dramatically just by switching Fahrenheit to Celcius.

324 days, 7 hours , 3 minutes, 50 seconds

To miss a day is one thing. To miss a leap, a chance to get over the hurdle, is something else. And there were frogs in her pond playing leap frog, eating the small fish, stirring up the sand along the bottom, dying the water deep beige. Then there were ducks who ate the frogs and fox who ate everything except the duck heads. She was left with brown water.

331 days, 9 hours, 46minutes, 55 seconds

There has to be more to life than this.

331 days, 10 hours, 14 minutes, 32.6 seconds

More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than – I say more Muslims – a lot of Muslims have died – I don’t know the exact count – at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there’s been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill.

We know there are known knowns: that is to say we know there are things we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

332 days, 0 hours, 41 minutes, 53 seconds

For several years, Google users could type “miserable failure” into the search engine and be directly taken to the official White House biography of George W. Bush. However, on January 31, 2007, Yahoo News announced that Google had fixed this “link bomb” glitch.

We’re concerned about AIDS inside our White House – make no mistake about it. adds Bush to its roster of bad rhinoplasties.

Laura is out campaigning along with our girls. And she speaks English a lot better than I do. I think people understand what she’s saying.

I understand small business growth. I was one.

332 days, 3 hours, 50 minutes, 13.3 seconds

This time she was actually leaning on the cane.

332 days, 6 hours, 41 minutes, 9 seconds

See, one of the interesting things in the Oval Office – I love to bring people into the Oval Office – right around the corner from here – and say, this is where I office, but I want you to know the office is always bigger yhan the person.

I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them when I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and I like them after president.

You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been dethroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. – Abraham Lincoln 1864. Quoted on Lincoln’s birthday.

The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself.

President Bush met with the president of China at the White House. The arrival ceremony was interrupted by a protester who started yelling, “Stop the persecution, stop the torture!” President Bush had to ask, “Which one of us are you talking to?”

332 days, 5 hours, 43 minutes, 22 seconds

He tells her again she was a basket case. He knew he couldn’t bring her home.

332 days, 5 hours, 47 minutes, 14 seconds

Calendar #3 is almost useless – 365 stupidest things people have said, A lot of Jay Leno quality headline mistakes. You can’t see the forest through the trees.

332 days, 6 hours, 25 minutes, 35 seconds

The snow’s stopped falling.

332 days, 6 hours, 55 minutes, 54 seconds

A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness.

We need to apply twenty-first century information technology to the health care field. We need to have our medical records put on the I.T.

I want each and every American to know for certain that I’m responsible for the decisions I make and each of you are as well.

I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe – I believe what I believe is right.

Why don’t you volunteer? Why don’t you mentor a child how to read?

We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents an economic challenge.

Finally, the desk, where we’ll have our picture taken in front of, is, nine other presidents used it. I think it was given us by Queen Victoria in the 1870s, I think it was. President Roosevelt put the door in so people would not know he was in a wheelchair. John Kennedy put his head out the door.

The Bob Jones policy on interracial dating, I mean I spoke out on interracial dating. I spoke against that. I spoke out against interracial dating. I support the policy of interracial dating. (Valentine’s Day, again).

We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself.

332 days, 7 hours, 0 minutes, 37 seconds

Part of the facts is understanding we have a problem, and part of the facts is what you’re going to do about it.

332 days, 7 hours, 1 minutes, 47 seconds

All fall down.

332 days, 11 hours, 40 minutes, 39 seconds

Catching Up:

Bush shoots self, country in foot.

As Bush’s attention shifted more and more toward Iraq, the annual increases in the poppy harvest in Afghanistan have paralleled the resurgence of the Taliban.

February 14: Ann Coulter on th 9/11 widows: These broads are millionaires, lionized on tv and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.

On the one-year anniversary of Katrina in 2006, Bush was asked by NBC’s Brian Williams if he shouldn’t call for some sort of sacrifice after 9/11. He replied: “Americans are sacrificing. I mean, we are. You know, we pay a lot of taxes. America sacrificed when they, you know, when the economy went into the tank. Americans sacrificed when, you know, air travel was disrupted. American taxpayers have paid a lot to help this nation recover. I think Americans have sacrificed.”

That’s just the first countdown calendar. She has five now.

350 days, 14 hours, 20 minutes, 40 seconds

He reminds her she’s been home for over a month now. He reminds her about a lot of things.

357 days, 0 hours, 55 minutes, 35 seconds

She picks up one last prescription. Now let’s play Ditch the Doctor. Others waiting in the wings. A man this time. And she feels better already.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

357 days, 6 hours, 55 minutes, 44.4 seconds

She has a rabbit too, you know. A big soft stuffed white one with floppy ears that she named Louisa Mae (thinking Southern Comfort, despite the cliché). A rabbit who was even packed in the computer case and spent Christmas in the hospital. The nurses adored her. She arrived the last day of chemo and has been such a comfort. Finally warm, finally home, they lie down together.

357 days, 7 hours, 19 minutes, 4.6 seconds

Once upon a time there was a PBS rabbit named Buster. Buster traveled around the country, visiting different families and learning about their lives. In January 2005 he was in Vermont, learning about cheese and maple syrup. Learning that some families had two mothers instead of a mother and father. Digusting, Bush’s new Secretary of Education called it. Not examples we should hold up before our children.

359 days, 23 hours, 0 minutes, 25 seconds

The room heats up finally, thanks to the space heater he bought just as the cold spell was ending. For him it’s plenty warm in here. Lying under four blankets, she tries to read, her fingers numb with cold. Finally the blood begins to flow again. She bought him a similar heater years ago, but the thermostat never worked.

362 days, 6 hours, 45 minutes, 31 seconds

Trapped under his ATV for three nights and four days under frigid conditions, a man survived by whistling to scare off coyotes. He kept himself warm by surrounding himself with dead beavers and eating their rotting flesh. And here she was just about to cart the wig off to storage.

362 days, 11 hours, 8 minutes, 32 seconds

Oh Kenny Boy, the stockholders are calling, the press is up in arms. The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying. 'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide… 'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow… That’s right folks. Step this way and meet the man Georgie Porgie thought of appointing Secretary of the Treasury. Don’t be afraid of the bars, they’re only locked from the inside. Or actually they’re not locked well at all. Any credit card can trip them. Six years ago today, Kenneth Lay resigned from Enron. Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed… Bush claims to barely know the huge campaign donor. Oh Kenny boy, oh Kenny boy, I love you so.

363 days, 0 hours, 12 minutes, 14 seconds

Never boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

363 days, 0 hours, 49 minutes, 55 seconds

She missed the shortest day of the year (also probably the day she fell in rehab). She missed Jaqnuary 20, the one-year countdown to the end of Bush’s term (a box over her head that would be used for books any moment). Days she’d been planning to celebrate. Had she taken a gun to her earlobe she’d have probably missed. A woman, friend of friends, stuck a revolver in her mouth, fired, survived. Severely brain-damaged.

363 days, 15 hours, 19 minutes, 30 seconds

She never turned on her computer. Her camera never made it out of her pocketbook. But at least he thought to snap this,the ramp of the van coming right on the porch. He showed it to her last night, along with photos of Italy and his grandsons at Disney World.

364 days, 4 hours, 31 minutes, 43.6 seconds

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - It's been a chilly welcome for America's president: The Mideast, known for blazing sun and scorching winds, has been hit with an uncharacteristic wave of heavy rain, frigid gales, and even a smattering of snow. If President George W. Bush thought he would escape the winter weather back in Washington when he jetted off to this region for eight days, he should have stayed home. It was nearly the same temperature in Washington on Tuesday as it was in Saudi Arabia.

364 days, 4 hours, 52 minutes, 19 seconds

The furniture’s cold. The storage room’s cold. They won’t let her near it.

The truck spent the night on the street last night. This morning they drove down, unloaded, then went back to unpack and set up the shelving. They couldn’t believe how cold it had suddenly gotten. Instead of the heat from the storage room spreading out, the cold from all those boxes took over. It will be a few days before she sees the work they’ve done.

364 days, 5 hours, 10 minutes, 38 seconds

All weekend she’s felt colder than she’s ever been, brought to tears crossing the street, despite the layers. And she wonders if this is what death feels like, all the warmth seeping out of the body.

364 days, 11 hours, 55 minutes, 6 seconds

From now on, only handicap bathrooms. On the Atlantic City Boardwalk they had bathroom stalls that were little more than port-o-sans, but then they always had one or two regular stalls, kept reasonably clean. These you had to pay a dime for. Unless someone was coming out and holding the door for you. Unless there was a child around who could crawl under and unlock the door. Maybe she crawled once or twice, maybe she never crawled. But she remembers being on the floor like that.

369 days, 20 hours, 41 minutes, 12 seconds

Walls are her friends.

369 days, 20 hours, 45 minutes, 8 seconds

There are always Orthodox scattered around these doctors’ waiting rooms. A woman in a very synthetic sloppy wig placed askew on head chats on a cell phone. Another woman comes in with a wool cap on, sits down, pulls out a mirror, and spends five minutes arranging dirty bangs with her fingers.

369 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes, 4 seconds

He kept his arm around her.

369 days, 22 hours, 14 minutes, 59 seconds

They stopped for ice cream (her body desperate for sugar once again; it’s been this way since chemo). The flavors weren’t written down and she was having trouble understanding what the guy was saying, so she just ordered from the first tub: raisin. He hates raisins.

369 days, 22 hours, 10 minutes, 15 seconds

She bought another five hats today, taking a cab to John St. after two doctor’s appointments. God knows what was going through her head. Besides exhaustion.Not quite the final half price markdowns, but there’s a 30% off after Christmas sale, with some really good hats left. She doesn’t want to be greedy, just covered.

371 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes, 52 seconds

Because he’s hiding!

369 days, 22 hours, 48 minutes, 49.6 seconds

According to the calendar: on this day in 2005, Bush was asked why Osama bin Laden hat had not yet been apprehended.

Because he’s hiding

371 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes, 52 seconds

The Bye-Bye Bush calendar reminds her that on this date (Jan. 14) in 2002 President Bush showed up for a press conference with a purple bruise on his cheek and a red scrape on his lower lip. He swept aside rumors that he’d literally fallen off the wagon, saying he choked on a pretzel. She’d forgotten those tales of the future president stumbling and falling, and getting up and
then quickly falling again and maybe hitting his head and briefly passing out. As if she’d ever cared. It had nothing to do with her.

376 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes, 36 seconds

It was during the first few months they were together. They drove out to Long Island, to a place that offered hang glider rides. Up above the clouds. Sun coming straight through that plastic. She barely staved off nausea. He asked the pilot what stunts he could do.

376 days, 5 hours, 13 minutes, 30 seconds

Everything grows better in a greenhouse, that protected environment. She takes a plant home and it’s dead within a day or two. She comes home, her balance certain, and… Don’t say it. Don’t even think it. Besides, all that glass and plastic closing in on her makes her faint. Faint means losing balance. So there’s no way out for her.

She breaks wind.

Germans, she reads, have developed a way to harness methane emissions from cattle. Cut down on the greenhouse effect, help fend off global warming. Increases the cow’s metabolism as well. It aids glucose production, makes the milk sweet. Now if they can just convince the cows to swallow the fist-sized pill.

She breaks more wind. Sorry.

377 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes, 18.5 seconds

11 steps. If you count the landing it’s a 12-step program.

379 days, 0 hours, 37 minutes, 28 seconds

I miss my parents, her mother-in-law said in a barely-audible whisper the night before she died. And she thought what a beautiful sentiment, knowing she’d see them soon. But her father-in-law, who could barely hear, heard I messed my pants. You hear what you need to hear. Depends.

377 days, 9 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds

Primary Day in New Hampshire. She wishes she could run.

379 days, 7 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds

She’s slipping on ice. But there is no ice.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

380 days, 7 hours, 42 minutes, 31 seconds

So thank you for reminding me about the importance of being a good mom and a great volunteer as well. – President Bush in St Louis, January 5, 2004

The Bye-Bye Bush calendar gives this quote a whole weekend. She bought this calendar months ago, has been waiting for the quotes to start, then almost missed it. Her first weekend home. With all the boxes it’s as small as that private room she was moved to when her first and best roommate was having a bone marrow transplant. The canes are too high for her and have to be sawed off. She wonders if they saw through bone to reach the marrow. Her roommate’s 17th day on continuous chemo. She doesn’t want to live like this.

The woman’s family gathers around her.

A good mom? Best of all, Bush would stay home with his daughters. He’d watch over their mumps and their viruses. He’d learn to dress wounds and make a wonderful nursemaid. He’d make sure both girls got flu shots before the vaccine ran out. He’d bake healthy carrot-cake and banana nut muffins for them to take to school on their birthday, and he’d include a few extra, in case there was someone new in the class, or one kid dropped his. No child left behind. A boy might even throw one at another boy, in which case he’d kneel down at the boy’s desk and explain that throwing things can dangerous, and some things explode in mid-air. He’d volunteer more muffins for the bake sales. And he’d become the leader of a cub scout troop. You have to start somewhere, he’d remind all the boys in uniform.

Friday, January 4, 2008

381 days, 12 hours, 2 minutes, 25 seconds

Hillary came in third in the Iowa caucus. A woman who knows her place. Behind Obama. Behind John Edwards, whose real wife has cancer. For the second time. It’s treatable but not curable. It’s spread to the bones now, very painful. Hillary limps.

381 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes, 26 seconds

New York City window washer who fell 47 floors is awake and talking to family. She finds this news depressing.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

382 days, 22 hours, 35 minutes, 13 seconds

Klutz. He steps on her shoelace. Four times.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

384 days, 5 hours, 35 minutes, 36.4 seconds

Bush, two years ago today: I can't think of a better way to start 2006 then here at this fantastic hospital -- a hospital that's full of healers and compassionate people who care deeply about our men and women in uniform… As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The cedar’s a Christmas tree. And she’s home.

385 days, 6 hours, 33 minutes, 46.7seconds

Actually she thinks she probably did hurt her back. Backwards Bush. Watch your back. Back to the future. Back to business. With their favorite flower shop closed till Wednesday.

385 days, 6 hours, 54 minutes, 4 seconds

Had she been smart she wouldn’t have leaned to the left like that.

385 days, 7 hours, 6 minutes, 54 seconds

Last New Years Eve, after the fireworks, they sat around munching coldcuts and talking about Social Security.

385 days, 7 hours, 17 minutes, 11 seconds

It’s going to be a strange new years eve celebration. He and friends from college, like every year. One died three years ago. One has the flu. One’s just home after his second pacemaker and a collapsed heart valve. And she’s stuck here.

385 days, 7 hours, 45 minutes, 46 seconds

All she does is reach down for her pocketbook, to look at the Backwards Bush clock (she hasn’t gotten on the Internet yet today). She wanted to write the above lines, praising the bed. And the bed traps her. Or the siderail traps her. Or is it a guardrail? Whatever, it presses straight across at about the level of her underarms. Really digs in. She imagines a huge bruise she’ll never see. At least it’s not the neck breaking. At least it’s not the heart.

385 days, 7 hours, 51 minutes, 54 seconds

She laughs and the world laughs with her. Turns in bed and the bed realigns itself. But mostly she cries in bed.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

386 days, 0 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds

The confetti in Times Square will carry messages this year. Wishes will float down like in Cinderella. Anyone can wish over the Internet. It will be mixed in with more than a ton of real confetti though. She’d never get a wish. Or if she did it would be something stupid like bring my husband home from Iraq or let a Democrat win the election.

Make a wish foundation.

Her parents bussed her to Times Square as an eight-year-old. She doesn’t remember confetti. She remembers the cold and the crowd and being pushed and not being able to see over the people in front of her.

Confetti was high school. Saving seats for football games. Making bowling pin dolls. Cutting newspaper into confetti for the older girls. Until she just stomped her feet to get rid of the gum wrappers that landed on them and took off head first along the dark road. Head down, she means. She wished a car would run over her. She wished for a boarding school. Or a hospital.

386 days, 2 hours, 4 minutes, 37 seconds

She’s been here nearly three weeks now. She no longer knows or cares what day it is. Still, they write the date on the board at the front of the room each morning, along with the names of the nurse and aides. Like name tags for Alzheimer's patients. At a rally in Iowa, Hillary hands out pledge cards urging people to vote for her in the caucus on January 14. Only problem is that the caucus is January 3. Shooting herself in the foot, as the paper describes it. If that’s true then she’ll have to use a cane also. Not for support, just for balance.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

387 days, 6 hours, 16 minutes, 31 seconds

So if she falls, she falls, she wants to tell the therapist. Always someone around to help. Thinking of that last fall, 82nd and Broadway, trying to hail a cab. Ten people gathered around helping her, fending off traffic. The cab must have driven around her.

A news story she also remembers. A woman walking in the East Village falls. Two teenage girls run over, ostensibly to help, then rob her. But she was old. And a tourist.

387 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 20 seconds

Speaking of oranges: children with diabetes as young as 10 years old learn to give themselves injections by practicing injecting water into an orange. So now she can’t even do what’s expected of a normal 10-year-old.

387 days, 6 hours, 47 minutes, 19 seconds

Tonight’s orange is better than last night’s orange.

387 days, 8 hours, 19 minutes, 2 seconds

Here is the man who owes her a dollar. But he is in the hospital. She is in the hospital. She is getting better. She sits at the computer hitting three keys at once, making up for lost time. Time is always lost. There’s no such thing as time, it’s a magic trick. Now you have it, now you don’t. Long long ago, there was time, but the teachers (except for third grade) had no time for her. Other kids had no time for her. She was the smallest. Making up for lost time. Holding her head up. Holding her new hat on. Weighing it down with the cane. This is what it’s comes down to: $40 cane, $ 200 hat. Which will he see first?

391 days, 12 hours, 29 minutes, 3.6 seconds

Sometimes she just wants to be a stray again.

391 days, 12hours, 32 minutes, 22 seconds

For the first time in what seems like months she has a strong enough Internet connection to browse the weird news sites. One of the first stories she reads is about a Jack Russell terrier who heard a 91-year-old woman crying for help at the end of a driveway. She’d fallen in a snowbank. No one else could hear her. Thes dog was a stray just three months ago.

Yes, she calls for help, despite herself.

Now, if she can just keep her eyes open.

391 days, 14 hours, 32 minutes, 11 seconds

Leon Fleisher, the revered pianist who for decades battled, and eventually overcame, a neurological disorder that crippled his right hand, was presented with the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors in ceremonies yesterday in Washington, D.C.

391 days, 23 hours, 14 minutes, 53 seconds

Christmas eve. They try to recall where they were the first time they watched a porn movie.

391 days, 23 hours, 26 minutes, 4 seconds

Shake my hand, the therapist tells the severely brain-damaged man who’s nodding off, reaching out to take his hand. Even the grungiest dog in the pound can do this. But both parents have to want the mutt.

On a nattress across the room, two therapists are trying to teach a man how to roll over with the aid of his elbows.

Bush’s dog, Mrs. Beasley, scampers away from Secret Service men trying to surround her. She doesn’t want to be photographed.

She gets the picture.

392 days, 0 hours, 2 minutes, 22 seconds

She’s trying to make up for lost time.

392 days, 0 hours, 6 minutes, 8 seconds

Aren’t you glad you use Dial?

392 days, 1 hours, 10 minutes, 8 seconds

Voters in Iowa are bothered by campaign calls this close to Christmas.

392 days, 5 hours, 16 minutes, 6 seconds

Blue’s just not your color, the therapist says, as she tries to screw in pegs a two-year-old can manage.

392 days, 22 hours, 27 minutes, 40 seconds

Rich roofer's fatal fall: One of the world's richest men, who made billions with a roofing company, has died after falling through the garage roof at his home. Ken Hendricks, 66, was checking on construction of the roof at his house in Illinois when the accident happened. He suffered massive head injuries.

Do roofers still use asbestos?

Her father-in-law on that roof. One of the first things he did for her. Before he got sick.

392 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes, 4 seconds

Finally a clonipin. Or is it tin? That taste in her mouth. That asbestos.

392 days, 23 hours, 12 minutes, 24 seconds

Call the gentle men in blue.

392 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes, 45 seconds

Woman’s work, she called it two days ago, trying to explain to the cognitive therapist that she doesn’t cook, doesn’t shop. Yesterday she discovered her hand works best with two fingers wrapped around a small blue sponge.

392 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes, 5 seconds

She married a turtle.

392 days, 23 hours, 41 minutes, 28 seconds

She loses files. She loses her notebook. She loses a poem. She loses her mind.

393 days, 7 hours, 50 minutes, 1 seconds

No pt for her today. She fell yesterday. Alone in the dining room, where she shouldn’t have been to begin with. Not alone. Not without him.

393 days, 8 hours, 0 minutes, 51 seconds

They just leave her sitting here.

395 days, 6 hours, 10 minutes, 18 seconds

Saturday evening. The Hispanic woman in the bed beside her has her family filling the room, including her 8-month-old and a newborn godchild. They offer to help her pick papers off the floor. Before dinner they join hands in prayer.

395 days, 6 hours, 10 minutes, 18 seconds

at 5:20 tonight, Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest British queen. But not the one who ruled longest.

395 days, 4 hours, 16 minutes, 36 seconds

He went straight to the emergency room. But he didn’t stay 26 hours.

395 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes, 39 seconds

It looks like Santa Rudy has a new health care plan in the offing. Coming down with flu-like symptoms while campaigning in Missouri, bringing it back to New York with him. The plane had to turn around.

396 days, 1 hours, 12 minutes, 8 seconds

At home, while searching the Internet for cancer turbans, she zoomed past sites offering hand- knitted gifts. Then, rushing out the door to move to her new room yesterday, they showed up. The Jehovah’s Witnesses. Well-intentioned cancer women wth their bags of makeup including skin tanning creams. They included a copy of in style magazine, with its lead article on tricks to having great hair. She wishes she could give it back.
Well, she found out from the rehab doctor why she wasn’t admitted that first day: they were considering another operation. No one told her. She’s thinking about a different oncologist. She’s thought of this before.

401 days, 1 hours, 10 minutes, 16 seconds

keep that arm involved, they tell her. Even if it can’t be of help, keep it in the vicinity, don’t let it feel like it’s being unused, or just in the way. God, she knows that sham.

401 days, 11 hours, 47 minutes, 3 seconds

So he slept late . He’s sleeping better now. He’ll call when he gets up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

401 days, 14 hours, 47 minutes, 3 seconds

So. It was a month after their wedding when they saw his extended family. And his aunt, a retired nurse turned real estate broker, gave them a clock with Westminster chimes. But she didn’t feel well. The hotel where they stayed had their first Jacuzzi, and he set it too hot, stayed in too long, emerged barely able to stand up. And she couldn’t help him.

401 days. 23 hours, 10 minutes, 3 seconds

36 hours checking e-mail. She feels like she’s been to a spa for her whole body.

402 days, 9 hours, 8minutes, 50 seconds

She watched as a man twice her size pointed out his bruises to the technicians. So grown ups fall also.

Friday, December 7, 2007

409 days, 1 hours, 25 minutes, 13.8 seconds

A law was passed last Tuesday: neglect of aging parents is a criminal offense. But this is in India.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

410 days, 0 hours, 10 minutes, 41 seconds

Things are starting to grow again. Her toenails. Her fingernails. There’s fuzz at the top of her head. She rubs it for good luck.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

412 days, 7 hours, 5 minutes, 14 seconds

Stay out of the sun, they warn her, handing her the third bottle of pills. A piece of German chocolate cake for her (and she doesn’t usually like chocolate). She fainted when the Brownies went swimming at the lake. She dropped out of the Brownies. She dropped out of school. She bought a dozen sun hats, different shapes and sizes and colors. But there is no color.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

414 days, 17 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds

Must acquit.

414 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes, 48 seconds

She imagines Dubyuh with convertible gloves like she just gave her husband. He uses the cashmere for jogging, slips on the outer leather shell when he meets heads of state. Easy to slide out of. That sounds right, doesn’t it? He’ll ask his Chief of Staff, if he can just remember…

414 days, 23 hours, 3 minutes, 31 seconds

It’s after midnight.

414 days, 23 hours, 7 minutes, 30 seconds

He offers to help her set up her pills for the coming week, always a grueling task. He’s trying to make this as pleasant a day as he can but she can’t.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

415 days, 1 hours, 0 minutes, 13.4 seconds

She imagines a diabetic coma at the stroke of midnight on her birthday. Everything else has gone wrong today. She takes her 23rd bite of zeppole, a gift from the waiter, reminds her husband again that if she’s even on a ventilator, not a respirator, she wants off. Don’t let them sweet-talk him into her being as good as before. This is before. The waiter didn’t know it was her birthday. Almost her birthday. She takes another bite. A coma might feel pretty good right now, despite the flowers.

415 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes, 31 seconds

The first day of December, the day before her birthday, three days before Chanukah, 30 degrees out, he goes to visit a friend and comes home having lost one of the gloves she gave him for Chanukah years ago. While he’s away she reads an article about a website set up to unite gloves with their owners, but that’s only in Pittsburgh. For now. The flowers he sent her are delivered while he’s out, and she has to hobble down the stairs to receive them, then hobble back up, terrified of that final step, no one to hang onto.

Friday, November 30, 2007

416 days, 1 hours, 37 minutes, 43 seconds

Tonight the first of her birthday cakes. She forgets to wish.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

419 days, 6 hours, 25 minutes, 8 seconds

It suddenly occurs to her that, less than a year from now, we’ll know who’ll become the next president. With any luck, the country will be in remission.

Monday, November 26, 2007

420 days, 11 hours, 57 minutes, 39.2 seconds

This is how low they’ve come: for the second night in a week, screaming at each other as they walk Columbus Avenue. A teenager walking in front of them even turned around, but she’s with her parents or grandparents, so that’s not really a teenager.

420 days, 12 hours, 16 minutes, 53 seconds

So he tells her now he went to the parade mainly because he wanted her to have a balloon, he wanted her to have a balloon from Macy’s. And the first balloon vendor he saw had a unicorn and he wasn’t sure he’d see other vendors so he bought the unicorn (which she didn’t discover until later) and the Dalmatian. He remembered the balloons being larger. But he wanted her to finally her a balloon from the Macy’s parade. Two balloons. He's completely forgotten he brought her back a balloon the one other time she remembers him going to the parade –a lion, she thinks, and a mermaid. One was for her, the other for their sick friend. Still sick. Dalmatians are rescue dogs.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

424 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes, 36 seconds

He goes to the parade after all. Just for two or three bands. Comes home with a small Dalmatian balloon for her, which he places on top of the stuffed rabbit. He hates that rabbit.

Dalmatians are rescue dogs. Her father had a real Dalmatian. He was named Tuesday. Today is Thursday. Possibly he was blown up on Tuesday. Meanwhile, she seldom picks up the phone from her father anymore, but he talks to her husband for a few minutes each day just to check things are alright. When he remembers.

424 days, 11 hours, 33 minutes, 20 seconds

Do you know what year is this is ? Do you know who’s president?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

425 days, 1 hours, 19 minutes, 21 seconds

No blow ups tonight, she supposes. No more tantrums.

On just 2 mg of the steroid every other day her face may lose its bloat. And even that will stop soon.

No more blow ups tonight. The night before Thanksgiving, when all the Macy’s balloons are gathering down by the museum. Twenty-two years ago, when they were first together, no one knew about these little outbursts. They could stay watching as long as it took to get Garfield’s tail straight. She bought gloves. The next year they bought hot coffee for one of the workers. But now the streets are mobbed, and they close them off to viewers early.

No blow ups tonight. He won’t be going to the parade tomorrow. He won’t end up in the ER. Not tonight. Not tomorrow. And she won’t either. She swears she won’t.

425 days, 1 hours, 33 minutes, 51 seconds

A nightmare last night where she couldn’t keep her medications straight. She had on all these little candy bracelets. Or most of them were candy. She couldn’t remember which was which. She woke with a migraine and never really got back to sleep.

She supposes that’s what happens when you just walk out of the emergency room not even bothering to take off the bracelet. She supposes that’s what happens when you stomp on the insulin vial. It takes all her energy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

432 days, 13 hours, 43 minutes, 39 seconds

Almost time for George to pardon two more turkeys.

432 days, 23 hours, 32 minutes, 10 seconds

It’s the thigh, not I, that will be her downfall. Downstairs, half asleep , he reads The Tin Drum. She no longer orders chicken in restaurants.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

438 days, 10 hours, 55 minutes, 18 seconds

Even back then, he didn’t know what to say to her. But he used to mutter this click or cluck all the the time, shaking his head, turning away. It’s the same click she’s heard from her husband lately. He doesn’t even know he’s doing it. And she, who never notices, notices.

438 days, 11 hours, 3 minutes, 55 seconds

In The Hotel New Hampshire, one of her favorite books and movies, Lilly is trying to grow. She even writes a bestseller about it. But in the end she kills herself, leaving a note behind that says “not tall enough.” She knows the feeling. At school on photo day she was always the last person in line. The last person to be weighed and measured in September. Her father talked about how when he graduated high school he and one other boy were the shortest in the class. The other guy went through a growth spurt, so it could still happen to her. She knew it wouldn’t. She knew the only growth would be inside her. What she didn’t expect was how much she’d come to fear it. This is what she thinks about at two in the morning, just before bed.

438 days, 22 hours, 30 minutes, 14 seconds

Mr. Kasuri reiterated that Gen. Musharraf would move forward with parliamentary elections early next year and make good on a pledge to give up his military uniform while remaining president.

438 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes, 31 seconds

To learn without thinking is an effort in vain. Her husband’s fortune.

438 days, 22 hours, 55 minutes, 57 seconds

Bush quips he might stay in power.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

438 days, 23 hours, 13 minutes, 38 seconds

No one is standing in your way anymore, it’s time to move forward: the fortune she’s been waiting for. And, on the other side of the strip, next to the lucky lotto numbers: Learn Chinese: and the characters for kai wam sei: joke around.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

440 days, 2 hours, 14 minutes, 21 seconds

The oncologist takes one quick glance at her. It’s over. And she feels better already.

Monday, November 5, 2007

440 days, 23 hours, 45 minutes, 43 seconds

The fours are adding up here. She was 41 when she married him. They’d been together just a little over four years. Her mother was alive (another five years). His mother was alive (another five years). Four living parents. People die all the time. So it’s not just her.

440 days, 23 hours, 52 minutes, 51 seconds

Another night. Another clonopin. Or whatever you call it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

442 days, 21 hours, 22 minutes, 46 seconds

She can’t believe they’d schedule the marathon the same weekend as Daylight Savings Time ends. Then again, life’s all about transitions.

She can sit and do one thing fairly well, if a little slowly. But then to move from one thing to another, from one place to another, requires her sitting there for what seems like forever trying to map a route. Sitting in the bed today, ensconced by pillows, she looks up to see the most exquisite deep red and white sunset lines over a small patch of sky. She knew by the time she got a camera it would be gone. She was trapped by pillows. Even walking to the window would have been too much. (She remembers waking up in the carriage alone when her mother had run inside for the camera; she remembers how scared she was).

Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein have decided to back Bush’s nominee for Attorney General. Easier that way. January 20, 2009. That’s the transition of they’re waiting for. But the pillows, meant for luxury, the realm of Kings and Queens, won’t let her move.

January 20, 2009. She still wonders if she’ll live that long. Waking up in the carriage. Or ambulance. Half in, half out.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

445 days, 3 hours, 24 minutes, 6.8 seconds

She thinks of Rosie Ruiz, wiinning the marathon until it was discovered she took the subway. The year she moved in with him it was marathon weekend and crosstown traffic was disastrous. She rhinks of her endocrinologist running again this year. She thinks of her rocking horse.

445 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes, 16 seconds

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445 days, 4 hours, 28 minutes, 35 seconds

She returns from the Upper East Side dermatologist as sick as she’s ever felt, hanging onto a flowerpot to steady herself while the guard comes out to meet them. The mail truck’s here with 35 boxes of mailing supplies that she supposes she over-ordered. He’s got 13 boxes already on his cart, so she accepts those, refuses the others. She just needs to get upstairs and lie down. Another 13.

445 days, 5 hours, 13 minutes, 22 seconds

Rosie the nurse from hell was here again this morning. Never brings her own gloves. Insists it’s easiest to lance the finger without the lancette device. Would chase her around the room if she could just move. Squeezes her arm so tight it hurts. Starts to warn of the dangers of oral diabetes pills. She thinks of Rosie the Riveter. All the wars in her body. All the home fronts.

445 days, 12 hours, 18 minutes, 14 seconds

Not 14, 13. Instead of starting the Ben Casey episodes with disk 1, as planned, she started with the second case, disk 13. Bad Luck. They’ve watched the four shows on that disk now. She hasn’t fallen down the stairs. She hasn’t blacked out in four days. She was able to wash her face last night. The worst should be over.

445 days, 12 hours, 50 minutes, 37.4 seconds

November one. Month eleven. Part eleven of this blog. In fifty minutes it will be eleven hours. She stands up for the first time in days. She’s never felt so lonely.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

447 days, 1 hours, 8 minutes, 21 seconds

In today’s weird news, yet another medical mishap. Surprise, surprise. A woman was treated with the Gamma Knife on the wrong side of the brain. Not to worry, not to worry, this does not necessarily harm the patient. Just a radiation mistake. She thinks of swelling three months later, trying to walk, she thinks about blacking out, she thinks of falling. She thinks and thinks and thinks of a lot of things while she can still think. The computer was supposed to spit her out if things weren’t perfect. The computer was supposed to protect her.

447 days, 6 hours, 22 minutes, 15 seconds

The bickering. Ask her what she remembers about this past week when she’s been too sick to write and she’ll tell you the bickering. It started at the oncologist’s. And God knows why she didn’t write it down at the time. There was a woman and her husband already there, the woman in the seat with a tray table that she usually uses. The empty chemo chair next to them. She was trying to get a DVD player to work. He was trying to help her. The nurse was trying to help her. Then the woman wanted to know again what drugs she was taking and her husband told her. Isn’t that bad for the liver, she asked. Or is it the kidney? He told her again what drugs she was taking. She asked the questions again. She tries to get the DVD to work. She says they must have brought the wrong tape.

Busy day. A young man in his 40s comes in and takes the seat between them. Everyone gets talking. He’s a doorman, comes for sessions every six months or so that’s all there is to it. She doesn’t remember how or why or when but the three of them get into telling stories, laughing their heads off to the point where the nurse has to come and remind them to be quiet. Stories about his work? Stories about his treatments? They’re having so much fun.

The man leaves and things quiet down. No more bickering. She and her husband just sit there watching from the distance. By tomorrow they’ll be the ones who bicker. It’s started already.