I wear a red hat that I found at an import store in the mall. Friends and people around downtown recognize me by the hat, even if they can't see the rest of my face. The fuzzy angora catches snowflakes as I walk briskly down the sidewalk to deposit loan checks at the bank.
"I love your hat!" people exclaim.
I smile, "Thank you!"
Todd will tell me, "Lana said she saw you Saturday night. I told her she couldn't be sure it was you until she interrupted me, 'The girl was wearing that red hat that Julia wears. It had to be her!'"
I enjoy the eyes the follow me down the street from someone looking for a parking spot.
Like my grandmother did when she was sick, I often lay in bed and think about all my plans for our house. Ceilings are restored, crawl spaces cleared out and insulated; wallpaper gives way to rich color, and small nooks transform into libraries or office space.
The furniture moves around and unused pieces trudge up the stairs leg by leg to find refuge in the attic. New pieces are welcomed by books and decorative bits that arrange themselves on the shelves.
Even our yard joins in the effort with grass sprouting up from hard ground. Bushes stubbornly resist uprooting, but even they cannot hold back the shovels attacking the earth around their base. Raised flower beds and a fence spring to the surface allowing our dogs find new and exciting things to sniff without being constrained by leashes or tie-outs.
I carry a cup of coffee away from Timothy's Cafe. Grey slush splooshes underneath my boots, but I don't notice its cold wetness. The aroma of cinnamon, nuts, and cream waft toward my nose. I inhale deeply from the opening in the lid of my paper coffee cup. I'm no longer walking to work in my mind. Instead I'm listening to a live jazz quartet noodling along some line they seemed to have surprised upon. My paper cup is a sturdy, white mug of coffee warming my hands and filling my mouth with spice and lively bitterness.