15 March 2011

2 three people

andré was in the children's psychiatric hospital in vinnitsa, ukraine. he was maybe nine or ten. he sat in the right center of the second row. what i remember is that he seemed to really want to give a concrete answer to partner's rhetorical question of how many hairs were on her head. i was all full of shallow piety and born agained then and promised that i would pray for him every day. i've failed to keep that promise, but i do remember him. i may not pray, but i've not forgotten.

a woman was looking for tube socks. she had been to five stores and could not find them. i was one aisle over in the hair colorant aisle holding a box of clairol natural instincts #35 ebony mocha in my right hand and a box of clairol natural instincts #22 cinnaberry in my left when i heard her say, i've been waiting a long time to die, now i want to even more. i heard this, returned the hair colorant to the shelf and quietly walked away. i may never not regret this, but i will remember.

a woman is sitting, painting, by the escalator. she shows me her pieces. they are portraits of black women and she tells a short story about each one. she asks my favorite. i tell her and she tears portia's mother from the tiny notebook and puts her in my hand. i forgot to ask her name. only later, when i am home and go to put portia's mother in the place of precious things, will i notice she had signed the back. only then will i find out she is the peace prophet.


Linda said...

I love this.

although I don't know anything about the peace prophet. is this a known chicago person?

oline said...

i don't think so. i think she's just a woman who hangs out in the basement of macy's painting.