Today she put me on her head and showed me to her married friend.
“Do I look more cheerful this way?” she said.
“You look like that old blondie actress who died kind of young,” he said.
“Angie Dickinson?” He laughed.
“Yes, that’s the one.”
She wore me to the grocery store. She had read somewhere that fit widowers hung out in the vegetable isle. She stood there like a bushel of parsley, but no one sniffed her leaves.
She took me to her hair stylist and asked her to trim my fringe.
“This fucking wig is all wrong for me,” she said. “It doesn’t suit the shape of my face.”
The stylist stared at me, lifted me up to her nose rings and sniffed. “Have you chopped a bunch of onions recently?” she asked.
“No offspring of mine needs to wear a wig,” her mother was saying to her on the phone. “You gotta experiment with curl cream.”
“My hair is almost gone, Mom,” she said. “It’s stress. But I’m not walking around like this anymore.”
“Nobody needs to live on a silty hillside, or go to their own funeral, or marry a lukewarm man like you did. Or eat burnt chocolate chip cookies for dinner,” her mother added.
They hung up at the same time.
Today she wore me to an actual matinee. The man next to us ate popcorn very loudly and made gurgling noises in the back of his throat. We felt our ears fill up with dust. We wanted to find a cure for him. We didn’t know how to help him.
“I wish I had left you at home,” she said.
I wish she had left me home as well. We didn’t know why she had worn me to see a movie alone in the middle of the day.
After dark we went outside to see if we could spot any real stars. I made her head feel warmer. She told me this in her sweet and silky words.
“You warm me up,” she said, patting me.
Tonight, we hoped for the real show, not last night’s drippy lights from small planes. Stars confuse us, but we worry about it together. These days I find myself worrying about the woman below me, as though I were made of something else.