Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Face for Radio

The doughy, moon-faced avatar of every class-clown that ever made fun of me (rightly) for being an uptight know-it-all has his microphone shoved in my face.

"So, when I saw you outside I was sure that the button down, ("Chino-wearing!" Katie chimes in, bless her) skinny-tie wearing guy was NOT here to see Sharknado 2," he says.

When Al Roker comes on-screen, he asks, again with the mic, "Do you think Al Roker looks like a transvestite?"

"What, no!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Jeff Gillooly'd

"Can we talk about the bloodletting?" she says, pointing to an inch-long scratch on her kneecap, right where the skin is thin and sensitive. "At one-forty-five in the morning it felt like I got shot."

The cat continues to lay on the bed, blank-eyed and half-asleep, no remorse while Katie leans over her.

"She totally Tonya Harding'd me," Katie says, ruffling the cat's fur.'

Straight from the Notebook

Subway platform like a Charles Ives song

Amazing Grace harmonica player ("WAR VET Playing 4 Peace and CHANGE" which war? looks too young...) 

shading into mellow jazz guitar stylings further down the platform from the fedora'd black man in the yellow suit

Almost in key almost in time

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Future in Sales

The hand crank ice cream maker looks straight-up '80s, with smoked grey plastic lid and rounded square corners, an internal metal sleeve that you throw in the freezer before hand cranking your small batch of home-made.

The short, sketchy guy running the stoop sale, mid-50's, maybe, thinning hair and a desperate mien, seeing my interest comes sidling up, "Yeah, it's, uh, I don't know how it works. A lady in my building gave it to me to sell, so, uh...."

Katie grabs me by the arm, drags me away, saying, "Pookie, I will buy you a new ice cream maker, if you want one."

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I squint at the other end of the pool and then, finally, unable to make it out, I ask the guy in the next lane, "I'm sorry, I can't see very well without my contacts - are those kick boards over there in the corner?"

Even so, my vision is good enough to see his moue of annoyance. "No, that's a pool cleaner," he says tersely.

"You know," he says after a few beats, obviously trying his best to be helpful despite himself, "you should get those prescription goggles on Amazon or something."


The city fans out beneath us, buildings unfolding upwards as we lift out of the canyons of streets and sail across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn.

"I love this city," I sigh contentedly. "The suburbs just seem so... unreal."

"Just because they're fake doesn't mean they're not real," Katie says, gazing out the subway window at the bicyclists zooming by on the bridge bike path.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Learning to Live

No one told me, when I was growing up, that there was no real escaping this world. 

The things that seem to offer escape - art, drugs, love, sex, god - all bring us back to earth, one way or another. They promise escape and then, after you've been working at them for a while, you realize that you're here, right here, in the same warm body that you've always been in, on the same ground that refuses to give you up, working with the only tools you have on something that absolutely doesn't do what you hope it will, that is, free you from the world, no matter how many times you play that song, smoke that bowl, love or fuck that person, pray to that altar....

And then you start to understand that the work was the only time when you ever felt free, and you begin again.