Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Proverbs 25:21-22

The guy delivering our food walks up just as I am putting my key in the front door to go upstairs. I know it's him, because we've gotten food from them a couple of times and he's been the guy every time, and I've had to speak to him (and complain to his employer) once or twice because, instead of calling up to be let in, he's just left stuff on our doorstep.

From his expression, I can tell he wants me to say something, start something, but I'm here, and he's here, and it worked out perfectly, so I decide to just take the high road and flash him a big smile as I take the box, saying, "Oh, hey, that's for me!"

The disappointment and confusion on his face when he leaves is hilarious as I call out after him, "Thanks a lot!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Who Knows?

He jumps to his feet from a dead sleep into a panic just as the doors are about to close, and pushes his way off the train, asking as he moves, "Is this Canal Street?"

At least I think that's what he is saying:  headphones are shoved deep in my ears, and I'm just reading his lips, but I look him in the eyes, and say, "Canal," with a firm, and hopefully reassuring, nod.

As the doors shut and the train pulls away from the station, I glance toward the doors and notice he's gotten back on the train. When I meet his gaze with raised eyebrow, he smiles in embarrassment, and shrugs, looking away.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

There's Something About That Name

The sun goes down earlier and earlier as the solstice approaches. The upper stories of the Brooklyn brownstones are painted in sunset gold, but down on the streets, everything goes to cold stone grey, no matter how hard the storefronts put up a brave face with lights in windows and tinsel on trees.

I walk past yet another church (I haven't been in ages), and think about all that stuff about Jesus being the reason for the season (so they say), and even though I haven't prayed in a long time, I send up a small beam of love to the idea of the highest possible version of a human being that I know of.

And instantly, the world changes, and whatever God may be within me remembers Itself, and I see the world, the street, the fading light, the people hurrying past, all of us together, as part of an indivisible whole, and my heart fills up my chest, and beats once, twice, hard.


I remember standing in the bathroom, naked, waiting for the shower to warm up. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, hair going in all directions, glasses, examining the bumps on my neck where I shaved the wrong direction.

I remember thinking, something about the way I think about things, the way Katie thinks about things, how they're totally different, and achieve different results, and thinking, "Yeah, that's what I should write my Four Each Day about."

But I can't remember what I thought I should write about, or how we were different, or why I thought it was important, or anything like that, at all.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


The cat likes it when I sit in the couch with her late at night, in the dark, petting her.

It reminds me of my mother, of late conversations we'd have, talking into the small hours. We'd talk about things, deep conversation about our feelings and thoughts.

Now I sit on a couch and ruffle a cat's fur, while every once in a while, a car drives by.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Neurosis Is Seasonally Predictable

"I just...," I'm panicking, I know, and I can't seem to stop it. "I don't know what to get them, and I feel like it proves that I'm not paying attention, and that I don't know them, and they don't know me."

Katie is doing her best not to appear exasperated, but I can tell she's almost done. "But Scott," she says, calmly, "you need to know that you say exactly this each year at Christmas-time, using the exact same words."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I'll Be Fine Tomorrow

It is a general rule of my emotional metabolism that, when I have had too much to drink (as I did, I believe, Monday night at Katie's office party), the following day is fine. I may have a bit of a headache, but nothing major - I can deal.

But the day after the day after: oof, it's bad.

I spent the day trying to work, but I was unable to focus on anything for any length of time before waves of hopeless dread and paranoia washed over me, leaving me cringing in my ergonomically correct office chair, wondering why I was alive at all when clearly no one likes me and I'm a waste of time, and what am I even doing here to begin with, really, like, really, why?