Sunday, February 26, 2017


Biking down Vanderbilt, I'm forced to swerve and whistle angrily at the SUV with Jersey plates that veers into my lane, cutting me off. I avoid an accident, but I follow them to the next light and peer into their vehicle with a disapproving expression and head shake as I pass them.

At the next light, a different car pulls up next to me and rolls down its window. I'm expecting a telling off, but instead, the woman in the passenger seat says, "That was awesome!" and I give a raised fist in salute to their laughter and roll away.
One year ago: Objection: Leading the Witness
Two years ago: Fail Better
Three years ago: Maternal Wisdom
Four years ago: You Spend a Third of Your Life In Bed
Five years ago:

Saturday, February 25, 2017


After a nice warm shower, I open up the door in the wall that looks like it might open into an abattoir refrigerator, and step down into the warm pastel glow of the isolation tank. Colored lights simulating stars twinkle gently in the ceiling above as I lay back in the body-temperature water and begin to float, weightless, until I reach up, hit the switch, and plunge into darkness.

About an hour later, I'm sitting in the lobby sipping tea, calm and empty, like I've been scrubbed inside, with a delicate humming sound where all my busy, noisy thoughts used to be.

A woman, her face pale and stricken, comes out of the back rooms where the tanks are, and approaches the appointment desk at the front, but when she's asked why she didn't finish her session, all she can say is, in a shaky voice, "It just isn't for me." 
One year ago today: First Impressions
Two years ago today: Looks at Books
Three years ago today: The Homestead Inside
Four years ago today: Don't Look Now, But I Think We're Being Followed

Friday, February 24, 2017


I ride my bike back from the flea market, and the traffic down 4th Avenue in Brooklyn flows around me like a school of sharks intent on some other prey. They might get me, but it would only be an incidental kill.

Still, I feel strong, and brave, and skillful, masterful in my ability to stay alive amidst so much swift, murderous steel and indifference. 

Then a guy on a skateboard, sweatshirt and rolled up pants, no helmet, lit cigarette in one hand, smoothly glides past me on the downhill towards Union, sailing through traffic as if he belonged there, no more or less a part of it than the remorseless cars, effortless. 
One year ago today: Alone Together
Three years ago today: Dinner and a Show
Four years ago today: Not that different

Thursday, February 23, 2017


After yesterday's pity party/memento mori, I find myself thinking a lot about the book I wrote, half-wrought, crippled thing though it may be. A lot of it takes place in Central Park and Prospect Park, which are, as far as I'm concerned, the secret heart of the city, its true center, out of which all the magic that makes New York what it is flows, and as I was writing it several years ago, many charming synchronicities encouraged me on my way.

So it shouldn't surprise me at all when, in my boss's office, as we prepare to move our company to another floor during a renovation, she points to a long photograph hanging on one wall and says, "I don't really want to cart it around, so, do you want it?"

It's a picture, almost five feet tall, of Central Park, and of course I take it.
One year ago today: The New Technique
Two years ago today: Drunk and Cold
Three years ago today: Worst Cabbie Yet
Four years ago today: Is that a good enough answer for you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Self Talk

Down at the end of the street, the sun sets behind leafless trees in crimson and flame. I wonder how many sunsets a person gets over a lifetime - twenty thousand, if they live a good long time? - and how many I might have left.

"And how's that novel coming, the one you rewrote twice and then abandoned?" I think to myself, stepping off the curb to cross the street toward home. "Kinda lame to write about the days you have left instead of filling them with something interesting."
One year ago today: She Learned it From Me?
Two years ago today: I'm No Cary Grant
Four years ago today: I don't actually wear cologne
Six years ago today: 2/22/11 Barbaric Meo-awp
Nine years ago today: 2-22-08 Wii Would Like to Play (with your balls)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

General vs. Specific

The woman seated in front of me on the train pulls out her phone to check it, and on the lock screen is a close up of a single rose on a pale green background. The rose disappears as she punches in her code, and I wonder about her: what kind of woman is she, inside her head, and how does she see herself, and how is that expressed in her pretty, but slightly old-fashioned, aesthetic?

I think about when I was younger, when I used to play music because it was the only way I felt I could get out of my head, breach the loneliness I lived with pretty much all the time - I wanted to merge with everyone and feel what they felt, make them feel what I felt.

As I'm getting off the train, I see someone I sort of know, but I slow down a little until he's walking ahead of me, half-a-block or so in front, and we both walk in the same direction toward home separately, so I don't have to speak to him.
One year ago today: Becoming Something Beautiful
Two years ago today: Another Long Walk Through Winter
Three years ago today: Spite
Four years ago today: She said it would be cold
Nine years ago today: 2-21-08 This Old, Cold World

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winter Takes a Holiday

The sun has gone behind the buildings, but the sky above is still a lovely spring blue as we jump off our bikes, lock them up, and walk to the bakery where we plan to buy nicer, homemade versions of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. When we get to the door, though, we're disappointed to see the sign: "Closed Mondays."

We're a little upset, but very little can spoil a day riding bikes around Brooklyn. Even so, we can tell winter is still thinking about us when the wind picks up a little, and we zip up our jackets a little more and rush to get our bikes unlocked and get moving again, out of the shade, into the sun.
One year ago today: Like This
Two years ago today: Unfair
Three years ago today: Mysophobia is Occasional Common Sense
Four years ago today: Stand Clear