Monday, December 17, 2018

Called on Account of Weather

The rain falling on the corrugated metal roof of the booth where we sell Katie’s sculptures sounds like a catastrophe, like constant, drumming noise. I talk to the customers as best I can, but my sensitivity to sound and the need to shout over the din makes it tough to create the calm, welcoming atmosphere I prefer when I’m working.

Finally, about a half-hour before the market closes, when the booth has been empty for a while and the only traffic in the aisles is a river of rainwater, one of the market managers stops by. “You can close if you want,” he says in desultory tone, but by the time he leaves, somebody has already put up a gate and closed the market down.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pee Break

“Okay, I’m out,” I say to the woman in the booth across the aisle from us. 

“You’re leaving?” she asks plaintively, then her face brightens as an idea overtakes her. “Can you watch my booth for a second while I go pee?”

“I mean, sure!” I say with a shrug as she dashes out into the night.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Title of My Autobiography

Our roommate is sitting in one of the few rooms of the apartment that we haven’t filled up with various accoutrements of our business, the kitchen.

“I’m sorry for what we’ve done to the house,” I say, coming in. He looks up mildly.

“More boxes, eh?” he asks, deadpan.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Cheaper on the Margins

I walk east on 69th Street toward York Avenue on a gray, wet day on my way to the hospital for a check up. Steam exhales up into the cold from vents high in the walls of the tall buildings. I think about how all the hospitals and all the self-storage facilities in Manhattan are on the edges of the city, people putting their unwanted “stuff” out away from the center, out where they can forget about it.

When I mention this to Katie later that night, she says, “Sure, but I would argue that there’s hospitals, and storage places, closer in, and people just go to the edges initially because it’s cheaper."

Thursday, December 13, 2018


“Listen,” I say to the security guard at the market. “Those kids I thought shoplifted from my booth? They just put that piece back in a weird place, so if you see them, please don’t call the cops, because they didn’t do anything.”

“Well, the thing is,” he says with a shrug, “even if I tried to get them for something, if you didn’t actually see them do it, they didn’t do it."

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mildly Odd

I’m trudging up the stairs with groceries in heavy winter boots, and on the second floor I hear, with every step, a single musical note. It continues in time with my steps until I begin to wonder if I’m imagining it, or perhaps I’m hearing some sort of squeak in the stairs that just sounds particularly musical today. So I stop.

Outside, a car horn continues to honk, and I find myself wondering if I was unconsciously walking in time to the honking before I consciously heard it (which is a little odd, but unremarkable), or if it just happened to sync up with my steps randomly (which is a little spooky, but only a little).

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


A clipped fingernail of a crescent moon hangs in a perfectly clear sky over Brooklyn jeweled with planes coming lining up to come home. The indigo of night shades down into lavender into a pale coral at the horizon where the sun set.

I spent many evenings in Arizona where I grew up looking at sunsets. The sky is not as warm here in the east, but high above the buzzing, bustling city, it is the same still, quiet place.