Once a coworker disappeared, on
vacation, I imagined, imagining
his folks, San Francisco, Chinatown,
the Mission District, hills. We’d
compared San Franciscos with mine
being the Haight and fuchsias in
Golden Gate Park where they bloom
like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
this plunging into life to be loved.
Later I wondered about moons
rocking his eyes and who’d dusted his
face with chalk, cut out a silhouette of
him, breathed half-life in it so he was
a shaky doily, a minor dimension of some-
one I once knew, inhaling and suffering.
One morning he pulled me aside to
advise I never check myself into Bellevue.
I was Assistant Web Producer, learning
HTML, how to code so if you wanted
a word bolded only the word was bolded,
not paragraph or page. We linked to
a webcam on Times Square. I was asked
to seed the forum. I created a flash-of-
a-girl in blue, and parents who hoped
they spotted “our Felicity” on
43rd Street. When my boss asked if
I was Felicity or her folks I lied.
I wondered about the pajamaed at Bellevue.
“The world doesn’t make sense. Stay away.”
As for advice, generally I say, “Shut up,
already,” though a make-up artist friend
advised me on lip-liner, took me to Duane
Reade to buy a pencil matching a shade of
lipstick a graphic designer at Estee Lauder
gave me, a fuchsia, as from my west of
aching beauty. What a nice thing to do.