Sunday, March 1, 2015

Growing Up

"I told some friends we're doing brunch tomorrow," I tell Katie as we're making breakfast, "and they automatically assumed day-drinking."

"Well, that's what brunch means for a lot of people," she says without looking up.

Later, when she tells me that our brunch date is at one in the afternoon, I remark on how civilized a time that seems.

"Yeah, well, with new parents and pregnant folks, lame people like us fit right in."

Friday, February 27, 2015

That Turned Dark Rather Quickly

"That a card game?" the guy crushed up against me says, indicating my phone where I'm playing Adventure Time: Card Wars. "Like Magic the card game?"

After I explain to him the concept of Adventure Time (human boy, stretchy dog, magical land of Ooo, adventures) we agree that it's a wonderful time to be alive.

"Except if the Republicans win, cause I know a bunch a people sharpening their machetes waiting for those old men to die," he says.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fail Better

I'm sitting at a table in the conference room in my company, eating my usual lunch (steamed carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with veggie burgers, no bun, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt). I've finished Just Kids by Patti Smith, with the sort of ringing bell echo in your heart that comes when you finish a book that really resonates with you, and I'm staring out the window, thinking.

I've made and discarded so many identities in my life, skinning myself with each new incarnation to try to erase the old sins and wrinkles and crusted scars that always seem to reassert themselves after a while, to the point where I think they must be deep and structural, because no matter how many bridges or pages I burn, no matter how far I run, I always end up myself, of course.

I pick up my pen, and begin to write again.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Looks at Books

The books stand shoulder to shoulder on the shelves, presenting their proud, titled faces to the world. I know where each of them are, hundreds of them, not memorized in regiment, but lovingly known and noted every time I look at them.

I remember the University library when I was in school, how I would haunt the stacks, scouring esoteric volumes and despairing of ever finding God, how the words all seemed to dry up and die on the page on those old books written by men and women who tried to think God instead of drinking Him in.

My books nourish me, they have been harvested with care, and the words in them love me, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Where Are You Going? Where Are You From?

The earnest, blonde, middle-aged woman on the train is standing over the seated older black man, literally talking down to him. Her accent and body-language peg her for a tourist, while he claims the Bronx, even as his shabby clothes suggest a harder story.

"That's how God tells you you can do it!" she says enthusiastically, leaning in. He sighs and wags his head noncommittally.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Drunk and Cold

I didn't have that much wine with dinner - did I?

The thin, cold air that might as well be the vacuum of space, tonight seems almost syrupy to my slightly inebriated senses. The dog, in her little red latex booties that we put on her flipper-like feet to keep them from burning in the salt they've scattered over icy sidewalks, can't seem to do anything but run from one pool of light to the next, and I wrap her leash around my hand three times to shorten it and keep her close so she doesn't accidentally run out into traffic and get herself killed.

A little girl in pajamas yells down to her father from a window, "It's too cold out here - gotta go!"

I'm No Cary Grant

Katie is typing away on the computer, commenting on social media while the Oscars drone on. 

I keep thinking about that story I heard once, told by his ex-wife and instrumental in their divorce proceedings, about Cary Grant and the Oscars.

Apparently one of the reasons she filed for divorce was that he refused to take her to the Academy Awards ceremony, instead choosing to get a hotel room, take acid, and watch the show on TV while jumping on the bed and laughing like a lunatic.

I drink another glass of wine and fall asleep halfway through the program.