It is not unconditional. Silk takes to dye easy once vigorously worked. Milk boiled and rubbed gently over leather will clean it excellently. In a cotton
washcloth add a spoon of salt to dry oatmeal as an exfoliating scrub. Marie Curie was months away from earning her second Nobel when her letters to Paul
Langevin were purloined by a detective and made public by his wife Jeanne Desfosses Langevin. 1911.
The mob that broke out threw stones at Marie’s house, through her windows, unknowingly at her daughters, huddled inside. They called Marie a home wrecker.
In a poorly ventilated dissecting room with a leaky roof, rather a shed next to the École Normale’s School of Physics, Marie investigated the conductivity of air around samples of uranium, published first on thorium’s radioactivity and out of pitchblende extracted polonium and radium. 1897.
She shared ¼ of the Nobel in Physics in 1903, but the 1911 Nobel in Chemistry was all hers for her isolation
of radium in its pure metallic state and her research into its decay demonstrating the transmutation of one element to another,
once the dream of alchemists, a reality.
“Don't let yourself be touched by a crisis of crying and tears. Think of the saying about the crocodile who cries because he has not eaten his prey, the tears of your wife are of this kind." - Marie Sklodowska-Curie 1911
For so long she had worn a severe black dress after her husband’s death but on a warm April night Marie donned a white satin gown with a single pink rose pinned to her waist. 1910. After she began to suspect, Jeanne confronted Marie and ordered her to leave France immediately or die. She refused. Her papers, even her cookbooks, are deemed too dangerous to handle and are kept in lead-lined boxes. “If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptiles for whom it’s been fabricated. With most amicable regards to you and Langevin, yours very truly,” —A. Einstein 1911
*Cited: Spend Low, Live High/ Catherine Morsink, Granny & Granddad’s Household Encyclopedia/ John O’Neon, Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie/ Barbara Goldsmith, A Short History of Nearly Everything/ Bill Bryson, NobelPrize.org, http://einsteinpapers.press.princeton.edu/vol8-trans/34
-- Pablo Otavalo is from Cuenca, Ecuador but now lives and writes in Chicago. He is a recipient of the 2013 & 2014 Illinois Emerging Poet prize and is currently nominated for an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. His work has recently appeared or been featured by Rhino, Jet Fuel Review, Structo Magazine, Ninth Letter, and Tupelo Press. He is an avid chess player and is currently emotionally vulnerable. He can be found at pablootavalo.com and he is currently still reading Mark Doty's Atlantis.