Thursday, April 18, 2019

Public/Private

The line at the post office is predictably long, but everyone is being patient and quietly waiting their turn without complaint.

One woman, however, has decided that this small waiting area, with its gray, dingy walls and cement floor, its hard, reflective surfaces perfect for amplifying sound - this place is the ideal place to make her phone call.

“Well I told her what the caterers would charge... haha, yeah I know, but what about Thursday?” she says, full voice, as if she were in the privacy of her own home.

“I mean, why?” she continues, asking the question that everyone in the room except her is asking right this moment.

How Long Before the Cat Eats Me?

The writing isn’t going badly exactly, it’s just not going the way I want it to go, so I drop the notebook and pen on my bed and walk out into the hall.

I get about halfway down the hall before sinking to my knees and then slowly pitching forward until I am lying face down on the runner rug, my chin pressed into the floor, look like nothing so much as a hairless bearskin rug.

The cat, hearing me settle in to my newfound spot, circles me in some concern. Finally she stops and stands a few feet in front of me, and whines.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Copy of a Copy

One time, in high school, I got sick, and since I had to stay home from school for a few days my parents rented me some videotapes from Casa Blanca Video: one called “Urgh, A Music War” which had all of these live performances from various UK and American punk and New Wave groups, and a music video compilation called “Beast of the I.R.S.” (I.R.S. being my favorite record label at the time since they had the band R.E.M.).

Nowadays, of course, many of the pop cultural artifacts of youth now exist only online, if we’re lucky, so on to YouTube I go to find the detritus of my memories, and lo and behold, there's the whole thing - even a grainy, pixelated version of one of my all time favorite songs: Radio Free Europe by R.E.M.

The thing is so degraded though, a bad copy of a bad copy of a videotape, that it’s hardly recognizable. Like my memories, it’s mostly something I have to make up in my head - just a copy of a copy, emotions that I conjure up from ghosts.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Magnolia

The morning rain gives way to blustery winds whipping harried clouds across a shifting sun as Katie and I walk home from the grocery store, and trees toss their newly greening heads around, while the few that have already opened their flowers wave them back and forth frantically.

Magnolia,” Katie growls in her best heavy metal voice as we pass one in full bloom, its pink flowers like cool flamingo flames.

“I’m not sure that’s how it sounds,” I say, laughing.

“I bet it sounds like something when each of those flowers open,” she says, and suddenly I can imagine the buds bursting open like cannon fire, explosions of color and plant sex into the spring air.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Where I Belong

Delta Airlines has separated Katie and I on our flight, so now we’re both sitting in middle seats several rows apart, but when I get to my seat, the older man and woman sitting on either side of me look at me expectantly.

“Would you like an aisle seat?” the woman asks pleasantly, and of course I say yes, because I’m six foot two at least, and the aisle is always better.

But now we have a bargaining chip, and as soon as Katie sees me sit down, she’s commences negotiations with the person sitting in the aisle in her row.

A few minutes later, a tall asian fellow ambles up the aisle to take my seat, and I gather my things to go back and sit next to Katie where I belong, saying to the couple in my row, “Lovely meeting you!"

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What Drives Us

“I don’t use the signal all the time because sometimes, when they see you’re trying to get in, they’ll speed up,” our driver says.

While the rest of us take this in he continues,  “Coming from New York, you see some things.”

“So when it comes to driving, who's better, New York or Atlanta?” I ask.

“People in New York know how to drive,” he says with a chuckle.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Indecisive

We talk to the artist for a while, since there aren’t too many other customers at the festival at this hour. Her work is beautiful - thin sheets of wood bent into swoops and waves, parabolas of grain and knot, stained and tinted and twisted together into some sort of three-dimensional language - but there’s not a price to be seen.

She chalks it up, with a raspy laugh, to her inability to get started in the morning, part of which she attributes to her indecisiveness as a Gemini.

“I’m not picky,” she says, grinning behind sunglasses, “I’ll just have a bite of what everyone else is having.”