Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Haibun Without Haiku

"So I'm sort of obsessed with haiku right now," I say. The waiter has taken our order and retreated to the kitchen while George Harrison asks what life could be without your love (not much, apparently).

"I've noticed," Katie says, laughing.

The wine is bright in the glass, and catches light deep inside it, like her eyes when she laughs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dinner Party (Nioi)

I pinch each sage leaf off at the stem, then add them all at once to the browning butter. Our guests have already arrived, and I can hear them chatting and laughing in the living room as Katie and I finish making dinner.

Basil mint ice cream chills in the freezer, pumpkin ravioli boils in the pot, veggies roast in the oven, filling the whole apartment with the smell of good things.

I take another sip of my cocktail to calm my nerves, and the licorice taste of anise floods my mouth.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Purring loud and slow, the cat reaches out one lazy paw and claims my phone where it lays on the bed. She looks up with slitted eyes, daring me to object, not really caring if I do.

Katie rubs lotion into her hands, then carefully puts on soft white gloves.

I think about nail clippers, then forget about it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cat Scratch, No Fever

"See my wound?" she says. I'm looking at the recent remains of some problems she had on her fingers, a couple of spots where the skin is healing up nicely, but she doesn't mean that.

She points out the two long, angry looking welts on her hand where the cat scratched her earlier today, and, she adds, "She got Kevin, too."

"We've got to cut her nails."

The Time of the Season

"So the thing about XTC, was that they were this bridge between punk and art rock." I'm on one of my enthusiastic jags that I get on, dancing around the kitchen in headphones as I clean.

"Oh, you're nostalgic again," Katie says, pausing in her cleaning to listen patiently. "You get like this, like, not every month, but like, once a season."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Whining Hypochondria

"I don't know," I say, yawning. "I've just felt off all day, and the movie wasn't really that scary."

"Well, we can watch a scary movie in bed," Katie says as she rises from the couch.

But when I try to pick up the plates to clear the table, something in my elbow twinges in protest, and for a brief second I wonder if all today's ailments are somehow related: my stomach pains, general lassitude, dizzy spells, pain in joints that won't go away - maybe some kind of weird cancer or something that'll get discovered when it's too late to do anything about it because I hate to go to the doctor.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Despite my occasional religious mania, I've never been afraid of hell. I've found myself unable to believe in a God that was so arbitrary as to punish eternally for sins that only lasted the duration of this brief life here on earth.

That being said, I am afraid that, if there is balance and justice in this world, reincarnation may exist, and that I might end up coming back as, say, a Chinese woman watching the days of my life peel away in twelve hour shifts in some factory in rural Guangdong Province, or as a man trying to cross the border from Northern Sonora into Arizona in the claustrophobic darkness of a coyote's truck, hoping he doesn't rob me and leave me and my family for dead in the desert.

If I'm unlucky, I won't even be a human at all, but I try to remain optimistic.