1. The printer box that I struggled to pull out of its spot on the metal shelves in the basement doesn't fit the dreadful HP Photosmart I will give to my Girl's dad. It's for an older HP, also dreadful, also stuck in a mound of dust on a lower shelf of the computer desk in the basement rec room.
2. The dust swirls up in a cloud, becomes a man, no, a woman, no, an elephant.
3. I cough elephant turds.
4. I walk outside, taste snow on the air.
5. I walk outside, take a breath, breathe in a stagnant lake.
6. New printer still in box in basement, waiting. Too. Much. Money.
7. In the parking lot at the high school, I backed into a slanted spot, nose out, shut down engine, flipped open the library book that soothes me. Dashiell Hammett.
8. My cell phone buzzed in my pocket, bruised my hip. I'm grateful that I'm not too fat for vibrating cell phones to bruise my hip.
9. My Girl is staying for Quiz Team, something a friend has been nagging her to join for months. The thought of putting herself out there on stage, answering questions incorrectly, just sitting there silently wasting space, stupefied by fear of audience judging, has kept her from joining.
10. A girlfriend must have convinced her that she's smart enough, retains enough knowledge.
11. I tried to feel annoyed that I'd driven all the way to the school, sat in my cold car for 25 minutes reading The Thin Man, but my truth is that the inconviences my daughter rains on me when she is here are worth her being here.
12. The dusty creature spat a mouthful of dust piss into my ear, reminded me that the true box for the dreadful HP Photosmart is probably up in one of the crawlspaces in the Girl's room.
13. I wish I would dream about feathers again.
14. Everywhere I go, I see the shimmering shimmying lips of Sarah Palin, speaking words in a twisting road, like those roads in Spain along the Costa Brava that my daddy drove too fast our first summer in Europe. I got car sick and hung my head out the window, with the dog, to keep my 5-year-old self from throwing up on my little brother.