Exhibit A: Hairdryer.
A Conair Retractable Chord hairdryer my mother gave me. We share the same hair, my mother, aunt, and I—heavy, thick curls we hide, and flatten, and brush away. You will never know, except when you know. Except when it’s raining. Except when it’s hot or humid, or summer, or we’re tired. My mother used to iron her hair on the ironing board. With an iron.
Exhibit B: Shoes.
Brown, patent leather, fake crocodile-skin flats. Hot librarian flats. Flats a size too big, which worries me, but they fit, and they cost ten bucks, and I bought them in Ohio, and I love them so much, I brought them on the plane to California in my carry-on.
Exhibit C: Early-morning rising.
Every day by eight. Eight a.m., people.
Exhibit D: Drinking green tea instead of coffee.
Caffeine affects me. One single, small cup of coffee, and my hand shakes like I’m in chemistry lab again with an unknown. This cannot be good.
Final Exhibit: This.
I have used this to express my dreaming life, my inner life.
I need to write now of my writing life and waking life. I need to keep a record, a composition book: this is what I saw and did, this is how I work, this is what was shown to me, what the world gave—not what I felt, because how I feel changes, was an imprint of me from three months ago, but is not how I am now.
What doesn’t change is seeing. What doesn’t change is work. What doesn’t change is writing.
Hope snuck up on me, though. Just like him.
Final Exhibit: Hope.
Hope is a new thing. I have always had it for the future, but now I have it for right now. Right now is all right. Right now is right now. Right now is an eggplant-colored tank top and a bright green sweater and a black scarf and bare feet and jeans. Right now is my new shirt, stained, wrung over the bathroom sink to dry. Right now is rain on the windows, the heater kicking on, walnut bread on a white plate. Right now I feel loved. Right now I give it.
I have no savings account. I have no wrinkles. I have no suit. I have no five-year plan. I have no tenure track job. I have no full-length book. I have no agent. I have no office. But I have right now.
I believe in this hour. I believe in our time.