I want a hat. I look good in them, better now than I did in this photo, Easter circa 1960 in Baltimore. My brothers love this picture, because we all look happy. The three of us are alone now, both parents gone. We’re orphaned. Sounds silly, I know, except in conversations with my smart therapist.
What do you do with all this caretaking when the caretaking isn’t needed? When the one you worried about for so long, spent your life trying to be good enough for, to rescue her, to calm her weary soul–what do you do when there’s been a layoff? Mom died, and the worry plant closed down. Like a depressed factory town, I’m left with machinery I’m afraid will rust, and know-how that will now fade into the annals of history.
My husband can take care of himself. The cat really just needs the food bowl and water bowl and a bit of love. Who deserves this fretting, this trying to be perfect, this resentment, this grief?
I want a hat. I have a box of Fanny Brice’s earrings (Funny Girl, you actually know who she is through Barbra Streisand), and I wondered who to give them to. I have no kids. It struck me as so sad that it never occurred to me to wear them myself. That they are my birthright, along with the stories of old, the songs, the memories. I need a wonderful odd hat to go with my wonderful ugly Fanny Brice earrings. I’ll be that artsy crazy old lady. You know the one.