The Lady With the Violet Hat

The moisturizer on Lynda’s desk at home is past its expiration date by several hundred months. She bought it thirty years ago and never used it. She discovered that moisturizer was not her cup of tea, but the bottle was pleasing to look at and so she kept it.

Lynda is not a hoarder. She is a collector. She collects various items and keeps them around her in lieu of family photos. Lynda has no family anymore.

The back of the medicine cabinet in Lynda’s apartment goes back deeper than expected. She keeps her safe there. With the family jewels, such as they are.

Kids in the neighborhood call her Lynda with a Y because that’s what she is. Lynda doesn’t begrudge them that. Linda is a popular name in her age bracket. She’s glad she sticks out somehow.

When the lady with the violet hat came to call, Lynda always pretended she was out. Except one time. This one time, Lynda lets her in (that time is in fact right now, this exact moment). It feels momentous, letting the lady with the violet hat in. She is beautiful, and Lynda has the strangest urge to kiss her forehead, but she restrains herself.

The woman in the violet hat has no name. She is as invented as Lynda is. She is a figment of Lynda’s imagination, as Lynda is a figment of mine. But she is important, just like Lynda is important. She is made, the lady with the violet hat, of the sentences that go through Lynda’s head and then disappear. She is the accumulation of all of Lynda’s castoffs.

Lynda makes the woman with the violet hat coffee and they sit together. Lynda waits patiently to hear the lady with the violet hat start talking. She wants to take notes when that happens, but fears it might be rude. She knows just what kind of voice the lady with the violet hat will have. It will be zesty, like an orange.


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