Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I push the pen up and down the page, sketching this woman's head so I don't have to die of boredom in this lecture. She's sitting in front of me, this woman, and the gentle waves of her short, respectable grey hair form perfect S's which I conscientiously draw.

The folds of her sweater, and the shadows that hide between the folds, are a different matter, but I get a pretty good facsimile down.

I tilt the drawing towards my co-worker, who is sitting next to me, and she gives it a glance and smiles dutifully.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Whatcha Thinking?

I'm walking back from the subway after work, the same route I always take, thinking about dinner. Katie made a lot of food for the Super Bowl, so I'm thinking maybe I can have a couple of fried eggs on the leftover pizza we've got.

Suddenly my thoughts stop, though I continue walking past the puddles of melting snow, and the podcast I'm playing continues to yammer in my ears. Is this what my life has become? I think to myself, without breaking stride.

Monday, February 8, 2016

You've Been Warned

"I got to tell Jonathan about the cat almost throwing up on your head this morning," Katie says.

"And I had to throw her off the bed, and the dog ate...," I start.

"NO - I ate hot dog salad for dinner and it is not sitting well," Katie says. "Also, do not Google 'hot dog salad."

Intrusive Thoughts

"I have to make a list, when I do my meditation, just sort of go over a list of things before I start that I think are going to break my concentration."

"I'm pretty sure," I add, "that 'puppy-monkey-baby' is gonna be on the list tomorrow."

When I'm cleaning up after the Super Bowl had endedm I find myself chanting quietly to myself, "Puppymonkeybaby, puppymonkeybaby."

Katie stops me, "Don't you get that stuck in my head."

Sunday, February 7, 2016

She Knew

I've got it all planned out: if one of the guilt mongers hawking Amnesty International tries to stop me as I'm walking down the street, I'm going to point over their shoulder behind them with a look of horror and scream, "Jesus Christ, what the hell is that!?" Then, when they turn to look, I slip around the other side, and I'm home free.

My heart rate spikes as I walk into their sphere of attack, and the woman of the pair (they always hunt in pairs) locks eyes with me.

But all she says is, "Hi," and I pass without incident.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


I ask for a roll, toasted and buttered. With a practiced motion he slices one in half and tosses it onto the conveyor belt that constantly cycles bread, bagels, and rolls over the glowing red electric elements inside the hell of the toaster.

Once this is done, he takes a moment to look over his station, paying special attention to his cutting area, which is made up of two regular sized cutting boards fit together tightly to make one big chopping area. He notices a slight irregularity, invisible to me, and lifts up one of the boards to reveal a towel underneath, out of which he smooths an equally invisible wrinkle before laying the board back down on top of it and fitting the boards back together with an almost imperceptible seam.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Subway Slashings

He gets up from his seat unexpectedly, between stations as the train slowly trundles downtown, and sort of flails up the car to the pole where I'm standing. I do that half-unconscious pivot counter-cross that New Yorkers do when there's room to move in a subway, but he still manages to end up standing too close to me as he grabs the pole.

His energy is all spiky and too big for the contained space, but I try to focus on his hand (beautiful dark brown skin shading to pale on his palm) as a part of my brain wonders if his other hand might be feeling in his pocket for a razor.

The train rolls to a halt still in the darkness of the tunnel, and he sighs in exasperation, leans impatiently against the door, then thrashes down the car to yet another seat next to a woman, who shifts uncomfortably to give him room.