Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I am sitting on my bed reading a book when Audrey wanders in wearing her feather boa and brown felt hat. "Hi, Mudder," she says glumly.

"Why do you have your hat on?" I ask, a smile breaking out across my face.

"Because," she trills, "I halfta to go..." She lifts her hat off her head then drops it down again, Charlie Chaplin-style. "I halfta put on my hat and I halfta get my scarf..." - she is speaking breathlessly, wrapping the boa around her neck - "And my hat... so i can -- and my gloves! These are my gloves," she makes a sandwich with her hands, points to an invisible pair of gloves, "and this is my hat and I halfta go to work!

"Really? Do you have to?"

She shrugs and squints and purses her lips apologetically, like someone who is being forced to break bad news: "Yeah. I halfta go. Sorry. I can't - can't stay here. I halfta go to work - but... then-I'll-be...right back!"

"Oh. When are you coming back?"

She is squinting and shrugging and angling her head at me: "Thursday," she says.

"Thursday? What time?"


"2:41? You won't be home until 2:41?"

"Yeah. Sorry. Two forty-one."

"Well then, travel safely. I love you!"

"I love you too, Mudder!" She turns sharply and scampers out the door. Halfway down the hall she stops, sprints back, pokes her head in and says: "I almost forgot to tell you! When I coming back I bringin' you a treat!"

"A treat," I want to say, "You are my treat." But I hold myself back, unsure whether she'll understand.

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