Elaine Chao was Secretary of Labor.
I was working on Unseenamerica for Bread and Roses
Cultural program (1199SEIU).
People told their stories with photos showing
what they see. Elaine Chao invited us
to exhibit the pictures at the Department of Labor.
At the opening I stood with Elaine Chao. She was Brooks Brothers
blue. I wore an asymmetrical purple silk dress by
a Rasta friend who had a tiny funky store downtown.
I’m coming to New York in a week said Elaine Chao.
And then, the remarkable next sentence:
Let’s go out to lunch and go shopping. Can you
take me to the man who made your dress?
I knew I’d want to tell the I Went Shopping with Elaine Chao
story one day so I said YES.
I called my friend and told him not to smoke in the store
when I brought Elaine Chao there he did not know her
and I also explained that she had enough money
to buy a dress that could pay his rent
and amazingly enough, we went out to lunch
and although I didn’t like her much
she did seem narrative worthy and we went to the store
bought three dresses I’m sure she never wore them
my friend was good with his rent for a while and yesterday
when she resigned from the Trump administration
she was wearing her Brooks Brothers suit.