The Hat

Two dozen years ago, Shirley Valentine and I went Christmas shopping.

At one of several local sales, she bought me a writing hat.  No, the hat didn't write, but rather this was to be the hat I wore to write.

It was all part of our authentic voice discussions.   We hadn't seen each other for a couple of years as she went off to Edinburgh in 1988, and I moved to Providence a year later.  When we both lived in the City, we'd meet once a week, often eating Indian food on 6th Street, or around the corner on 2nd Avenue.

Our friendship was bonded by the tossing of after dinner fennel seeds at each other and a Masters in Psychology she earned while I learned. But before that we both worked on separate projects in the same medical school.

It was her then and now former husband, DA, that brought us together.  He and I were the best of adversarial friends in science and literature.   He'd come to my office, put his feet up and we'd fuss so badly, on occasion, that folks would be afeared outside the closed, but not locked door that we were killing each other.   He came down from Harvard to do molecular biology in '82.   He married my weekly dinner friend about a year later.

DA and I never gave up our fussing or friendship, but somewhere or sometime it was the wife and not the husband that I met each week.

Today I brought down that Shirley Valentine hat and put it close to my desk.

Not tomorrow when I have an early appointment, or even Thursday when I have three meetings already scheduled, but Friday, the hat is going to write.