Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cousins in City

Three months ago, you choked on bread and tears in an Au Bon Pain while an old man mopped the floors beneath our lifted feet. But tonight, in this underground Boston bar, we sit chewing chatter and smoothly swallowing smiles. I order wine and you impulsively order beer and slowly our conversation rises and overlaps like the high tide waves of Coast Guard Beach in July. I'm in a rut, I tell you, in search of help. You are positive and encouraging and say exactly what I need to hear.
You are not in a rut. I have faith in you like I once had faith in God and in myself. I think success will find you like it still avoids me. Maybe one day you can introduce us. No, that would be too awkward. Just reserve me a ticket for your next show.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bundle in the Belly

A young pregnant woman stands waiting for the walk signal at the intersection between my apartment and the city center. Her short dark hair is tied back messily as she picks lint from her swollen sweatered stomach. I watch her with jealousy.


I will sit on the apartment's front stoop in springtime and smoke cigarettes, quietly alone, a peacefully private ritual, I decide while walking down the street. Then a stranger drives by and reminds me that I am no Cool Hand Luke. For from her open driver's side window, she surrenders her small bare hand and now soggy cigarette to the cold raindrops of March. I quit before I can start.

I can't afford cigarettes anyway. I certainly cannot afford cancer.

Caffeine will have to suffice. I need something, but it is far too early for wine.

Dried Roses

When water evaporates, I think it takes souls for travel companionship. 

Long skinny rose stems gather on my windowsill like retired old men gather on street corners. Sadly staring at their feet, they discuss the better days when they were not so withered and fragile. They grew up together and now, they shrink together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I am making centerpieces like I once made summer dresses, with an amateur's enthusiasm. 

Dad is walking me down the aisle. I have a watermelon in my throat and flowers in my hand. Scott and I are laughing for the posed photographs and dancing for the candids.

My thoughts run this perpetual relay race nearly every night. This wedding is like a clown in the children's ward of a hospital, an invited distraction, because when I am not planning the twenty sixth of September, I am asking Scott where we will be unpacking on the first of September.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last month, we went with Jeffrey to see the movie, Milk.
In the theater’s lobby, he asks for two boxes Goobers from the skinny hipster teenager working the candy counter. I protest, "JEFFREY! TWO boxes of Goobers? You're diabetic! You will die."
He buys the Goobers anyway and I buy a small Diet Coke and we, Jeffrey, Scott ad I head into the theater. During the film, four seats down, the chocolate covered peanuts dance loudly, nervously and awkwardly within their cardboard clubs. At the end of the film, when the reel and the lights turn white, Jeffrey throws the boxes of Goobers at us. "Here, take the fuckin' candy."
The boxes are warm and still unopened. He bought the candy for us. I should have known.

Jeffrey turns 59 today. Junior, the cook in the kitchen, makes him a buttermilk penis pancake with whip cream and strawberries. Then the kitchen staff sing Happy Birthday loudly and purposely out of tune. He tells us about his big birthday plans. He’s going to a gay bar. A gay bar where they don’t wear a lot of clothes, he tells us. "
With who Jeffrey?" I ask. "Myself, they open at three."
That night, I wonder if he did go to that bar or if he stayed at home watching his bootlegged copy of Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep for the thousandth timeI hope tomorrow morning he doesn't say, "I ate three fuckin' bowls of cereal for dinnah last night." 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pet Store Pup



"Its your turn to wipe him."


"Wipe?" I ask.
Wipe the puppy's posterior, my little sister tells me.
"WHY?" I ask. 

"Because, otherwise, it can stay on his fur!"

"But, he's a dog." I remind her.

A puppy, a pooping puppy just weeks old, just a pound heavy, and just getting over a cold. The puppy sneezes. "God bless you!" I hear. The puppy sneezes again and again and again. And I hear, "GOD bless you! Bless you! BLESS you!" I listen with my eyeballs rolling into judgment. But then I remember that she is different from me. She will always be different from me. She is like her pet store puppy and I am like a mutt retrieved from the pound. We both have lots of love to give.
She just costs more.

Contemporary Art Museum

A statue sits on its chest in the corner. His white marble face has been deliberately smashed; its pieces lie in a pile on the floor. One mother points to it, warning her children that this is what happens when you touch things in a museum. The next mother stares at it, wondering with her children why a broken statue is in the museum. Then she watches her son bend down and pick up the nose. A young man working in the room tells the boy not to touch, "its supposed to be like that," he says, when the boy informs him that the statue is broken. "Oh," the mother and son say, not completely understanding. And the boy chucks the nose back into the pile of rubble.

In the next room, a large cube of needles sits; an already aggravated employee stands guarding it. A boy reaches. "Don't touch,” she says. "I didn't!" he yells, his mother standing silently beside him. "You did," she fights back, "you touched it and all those pins fell. The artist worked very hard to put this together and you ruined it," she says flatly, her face flushing. The boy and his mother walk away.

I walk into another crowded room.