Monday, May 29, 2017

Banal But True

"I know that it's real," says our roommate at the dinner table as the conversation turns to a discussion of this blog. "Some of the things you write are too banal to be anything else."

We laugh at this, until another friend at the table says, "I read it every morning. When I see myself in it sometimes, I 'm all, 'Yes!'"
One year ago: Sharing
Two years ago: Feel Better by Doing Better
Three years ago: The Construction Workers Here Are Usually Quite Polite
Four years ago: A Constant Disappointment
Eight years ago: 5/28/09 - Just Biking in the Rain (wham! wham!)
Nine years ago: 5-28-08 And they Struck the Motherlode

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hello Darkness

The dog stops, starts, jumps left, then beelines right into my path, where I promptly (and accidentally) almost kick her, which sends her skittering off on another trajectory.

"Coco, you have such a neurotic walk," Katie says affectionately.

"Yeah, since she's practically blind," I say. "I wonder what it must be like to walk around with us in the dark."
One year ago: Theater Kids
Two years ago: Sick Day
Three years ago: This is a Man's World
Eight years ago: 5/27/09 - Phbbbbtt!
Nine years ago: 5-27-08 Storm's Coming

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Ways of Being a Couple

The couple walks by, she, dead-eyed, her voice nasally and dull, like a blunted knife, he, with a vacant expression, completely un-enthused to be doing anything at all.

I watch them go when another, different couple walk up, going the opposite direction.

She is wearing a school girl uniform, but she looks a little older than that, he's in jeans, t-shirt, and a beanie, and carrying a take-out box filled with ramen noodles.

She begins a little song I couldn't catch because it was in a different language, maybe, but as they walk past, he begins to sing too, and they float away, down Flatbush Avenue, holding hands, singing quietly to each other.
One year ago: Up and Down
Two years ago: The Tension is Killing me
Four years ago: Sometimes, Giving Up is Okay Too
Eight years ago: 5/26/09 - Can't Make it
Nine years ago: 5-26-08

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What Are You Gonna Do?

She's dressed normally, maybe a little drably: patterned tights, tennis shoes, a beige coat that looks a little too big for her, even her simultaneously flat and flyaway hair, which might be a clue to a disturbed condition in other circumstances, seems appropriate given the wet, spattering rain that's been coming down all day.

Then she steps off the curb at the corner, against the light, and walks out into the middle of the crosswalk as the SUV barrels down on her. It swerves a fraction at the last minute, missing her by literally inches (her jacket billows slightly in its wake), but her expression doesn't change as she hops backwards and then strides forward again, again being missed only by inches by another car going the opposite direction from the first through the intersection.

Safe on the sidewalk, watching her make it to the other side despite her apparent best efforts at vehicular suicide, I look to the woman standing next to me, if she saw it too, and she almost imperceptibly raises one eyebrow, and shrugs.
One year ago: Asking
Two years ago: Meaner Streets
Three years ago: Anatomy of a Hanging
Four years ago: Starting Over
Eight years ago: 5/25/09 - Water Taxi Washing Machine
Nine years ago: 5-25-08 Your Guide to Firefighting

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


"I don't want to push, I just want to go at a leisurely pace," I say to Katie as we start our bike ride around Prospect Park.

But as the dusk deepens around us, and the air cools, we hit that one long, beautiful hill at the bottom of the park, and I before I know it I've pulled away from Katie and I'm letting gravity drag me along.

"So much for a leisurely pace," Katie complains good-naturedly when she catches up.

"It just feels so good," I say, smiling in joy.
One year ago: So, Kind of the Opposite
Two years ago: Dad Jokes
Three years ago: But I Can Never Remember Her Name
Four years ago: In Which I Dream of China, For Some Reason
Eight years ago: 5/24/09 - Memento Divino
Nine years ago: 5-24-08 Saturday Morning Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


His white hair is cropped close to the skull so that the too-tan, leathery skin beneath shows through, shiny and tight. He sits by the door on the long bench that extends along one wall of the subway car, clutching a metal cane, with a vacant, exhausted stare that does not see.

A short, white plastic tube sticks out of his throat where his adam's apple would be, and it's held in place by a plastic and dingy gray cloth collar that pokes out of the neck of his sweatshirt.

He coughs, an almost silent, wheezing heave that convulses his entire body, and my chest contracts in sympathy, as if there is suddenly not enough air in the train, underground, in the entire world.
One year ago: Don't Be a Hero
Two years ago: Pete Seeger Park
Three years ago: Shelter
Four years ago: Veterans of Twitter Warfare
Eight years ago: 5/23/09 - Wycoff when you can sneeze?
Nine years ago: 5-23-08 Non-non-violence

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yeah She Is

"Let me tell you what's in our freezer," I tell my co-worker. "On this side," drawing a box in the air and indicating the left side, "ice, you know, the usual, and in the middle, there's ice cream, frozen veggies, that kind of stuff."

"And on this side," I say, drawing a circle over the right third of my imaginary freezer, "in a plastic bag, there's a pig head, for the skull for Katie's art."

"She's such a badass," my co-worker says, shaking her head.
One year ago: Helping
Two years ago: Scheduling
Three years ago: Cutter
Four years ago: Nostalgia as the Highest Form of Feeling
Eight years ago: 5/22/09 - They Will Soon Forget How Easy it Was
Nine years ago: 5-22-08 What's Really the Matter