Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What Good Are You?

"Can I just put the mail on your side of the bed?" Katie says with a sigh as she tries to clear the bed so we can go to sleep.

"Sure," I say. "Plenty of room right here," indicating the floor.

"Doge, would you please sort the mail for us?" Katie says while the dog licks her foot over and over and over.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Karma Leaves a Mark

I reach into the bag blindly, groping for my comb to tame the disaster that's become of my hair during the morning commute. This is, of course, in direct violation of all of my recent attempts to "do easy."

The pencil lurking in the darkness of my satchel does its work quickly, and I almost hear the little "pop" as it pierces my thumb like a needle. I jerk my hand back and watch a bubble of blood well on the tip of my thumb, remembering the time in junior high when I accidentally stabbed myself in the knee with a pencil, and wonder if this time, like then, will leave a mark that lasts years.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sales Banter

"It's just sad," the woman says, referring to the butterflies Katie sells. "The way they're all dead."

"You know," I say, looking her in the eyes, "it's kind of like how, in paintings from the Enlightenment, they'd put skulls in their portraits. It helps you remember that we're all going to die, and not to waste a minute of your life."

Saturday, November 21, 2015


The stranger with the bow and arrows (safely in a duffle bag, though) and I are hitting it off pretty well.

"If your wife learns to shoot," he says, "prepare to have her be way better than you. Men tend to power through, but women are taught to use technique."

"I'm used to Katie beating me in competition," I reply.


As I'm standing on the subway platform, staring idly across the tracks to the opposite side where people stand and pretend you can't see them, my eyes alight on a thistledown seed, floating in midair in the tunnel, delicate little hairs perfectly still.

It drifts on unseen air currents, like something underwater rising and falling languidly with the tide. 

After my questions exhaust themselves, I hear in my head a word, and behind it, a phrase, with the promise of more to come, so I scramble in my bag to find my notebook to write it all down, only to discover I left it at home.

I pull out the paper on which they printed my poor review for work, and scribble a poem on the back, and when I look up, the mysterious seed has disappeared.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Caught in the Act

Wish I could see the guy that likes to draw penises pointing at the mouths of all the people in the ads at this subway station, just to catch him in the act, you know? The ad for the newest Broadway play: dicks; the ad for the Daily Show: dicks; the smiling woman on the health insurance ad: dicks - like, a whole lotta dicks.

But what is this guy like, really? Whether he's just a kid, or a grown-ass adult, he can't be that bright, 'cause he didn't draw any dicks on the guy in the ad for the Museum of Sex, and that just seems like a missed opportunity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Good Intentions

"Now, I know that the impulse is coming from the right place," I say. "But..., well, have you read the rules I wrote about what we can spend this money on?"

"Yes," the voice from another office on the other end of the phone says.

"Well, then you know that buying infant formula with this money isn't allowed," I say, a hint of desperation creeping into my voice.