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.

Monday, December 10, 2018


It happens very quickly: the car turns sharply, cutting across the crosswalk and hitting the woman walking there. 

“Jesus fucking christ!” I shout, pulling my headphones off. 

The car knocks her off her feet, and she lands flat on her back, lays there for a moment, and then stands up, saying in a dazed voice, “I just got hit by a car.”

“You should really stay put,” I say, as strongly as possible.

Sunday, December 9, 2018


The drunk idiots dressed in Santa Claus costumes running around midtown seem to have mostly worn themselves out, and as the sun sets, they and their scantily dressed, drunk girlfriends are making their way back to Jersey or Staten Island or wherever else they’re from.

A car passes me, and a Santa hat wearing fool leans out to give me an inebriated “Woo!”

“Woo,” I reply, completely deadpan. His look of utter disappointment gave me a warm glow to fight off the winter chill.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Putting It Down

“Ah, I gotta buy a gift for my sister,” the old man says, looking at Katie’s pieces.

“You know,” he says, after a few moments silence, as ‘Last Christmas’ warbled on a boombox nearby and the Salvation Army ringer tinkled his bell almost (but not quite) in rhythm, “she used to chase me around, yell at me, just a real bitch.”

“You know, it’s tough to forgive stuff, sometimes,” I say, “but at some point I just realized I didn’t want to carry all that around anymore.”

“Yeah,” he says, laughing ruefully, “I’m seventy-nine, and I’m still thinking about stuff from when I was seven!"

The Beagles and The Bunnies Shall Lie Down Together

(I feel like I’ve written about this before, which is sort of the point.)

I’m watching the TV show “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, the opening scene where that wonderful, lilting music is playing and Charlie Brown and Linus are walking through the snow and pause by the wall to chat, and something about the unhurried pace, the ease with silence the show has, just puts me right there, into the child’s mind that watched the show religiously, when Christmas was the most important, the most exciting thing that had ever or would ever occur. It’s a sinking in, not in a passive way, but in an open, receptive, vibrant way that allows me to see every line, every simplistically drawn Christmas tree and snowbank and doghouse, as an icon, and by extension the whole world becomes charged with meaning and portent.

And then Linus says, “Lights, please,” and in a quiet voice recites an old, old myth that suddenly sounds, not just meaningful, but actually possible, and I feel my eyes welling with tears and my heart singing in praise of a universe that actually means something, which is, of course, sort of the point.