Saturday, April 21, 2018

Keep Moving Morning

About a half-mile into my ride to work, I give in and put on my gloves to fend off the cold that's starting to make my knuckles ache. The streets are mostly empty at this early hour, save for the occasional delivery truck and the buses carrying people like me who've already started their day.

As I catch the downhill from 29th Street or so and start to fly past the quietest green and stone of the cemetery, I can see the Verrazano Bridge, way off in the distance, mounting up from Brooklyn and sailing over the river to Staten Island, pale blue steel against a pale blue sky. A truck at a stop light waits for me to pass, even after the light turns green, and I give a wave over my shoulder in thanks, but I never slow down.
Two years ago: I'm Kinda The Worst
Three years ago: Fanboying
Ten years ago: Sinus Redux

Friday, April 20, 2018

How To Run A Scam

"Coco Flaherty," the pharmacist at Rite Aid reads off the prescription, then looks up at me, confused. "Is this..., for a pet?"

"Yeah, it's for my dog, she's crazy old and demented, and hopefully this'll help with her anxiety," I reply with a shrug, and she shrugs too and goes to fill the order.

If I was running a scam to get drugs, though, that's totally how I'd do it.
One year ago: Ah, Youth
Two years ago: Sleepy
Three years ago: Turn Down For What?
Four years ago: Keep Your Vestment On
Five years ago: In Which I Find That I May Not Be As Awesome As I Think I Am

Eat 'em All

My dad emailed me about yesterday's Cheeto post, and subsequently called me later on wanting to discuss. He figured we could sell something like what they use to train children how to use chopsticks  to the snack companies, include one with each bag, make a few bucks.

When I told Katie about his idea, she said, "Yes, and then you can have a little thing on them so you can use them like a chip clip, to reclose the bag."

"But really, when you open a bag of Cheetos, you're gonna see the bottom, so I'm not sure how useful they'd be," she added.
One year ago: Stepping On My Line
Two years ago: Platform Shoes
Three years ago: I Speak For The Trees
Four years ago: Flowers
Five years ago: Angry Dance

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Remaking the World

To the woman walking down the street with her friend, eating puffy Cheetos with chopsticks, I want you to know I see you.

Sometimes, the seismic moments of history happen writ large, across the screens of the world, in front of millions of witnesses.

And sometimes they happen on an avenue in Brooklyn, beneath a sunny blue sky, as a young woman, an innovator, nonchalantly fishes a puffy, orange, packing-peanut looking snack from a brightly colored bag with a pair of chopsticks, thereby sparing her fingers the unsightly stain of corn starch and cheese, and no one would ever need suffer messy-snack-related shame again.

Your friend laughed, but you and I made eye contact, and as you put the Cheeto in your mouth as delicately as a slice of sashimi, I knew I was witnessing something I might never see again: the world I thought I knew was gone, and a new one took its place.
One year ago: Pause
Two years ago: All's Well That Ends
Three years ago: The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei
Four years ago: Adultery?
Five years ago: You Make My Life Better
Ten years ago: Making "Friends"

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


"Do you own a car?" asked the older woman standing by the curb with groceries from the co-op while the doge sniffed around a tree.

Her hood was stuck and she couldn't get it shut, so I reached in and felt around until I found the latch, lifted it and let it fall shut with a satisfying slam.

"Actually I haven't owned a car in over twenty years, since I sold my last one to move here," I explained, wiping my hands on my jeans and retrieving the leash from her.

"Well you must have been a young one when you did," she replied flirtatiously.
One year ago: Undead
Two years ago: Let Me Know How It Works Out
Three years ago: Translation
Five years ago: Like Caesar
Ten years ago: Yeah, Me Too Kid

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Different Skills

"I saw that I got some on my hands," I say as I examine my ink-stained fingers while Katie bends close to the bed to scrub the comforter, "but I didn't know it went anywhere else."

She alternates between scratching the spot with her fingernail and rubbing it vigorously with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol, then looks up at me with pity.

"Do me a favor," she says. "Never commit a murder."
One year ago: Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen
Two years ago: Relaxing
Three years ago: Getting it Done
Four years ago: Just Keep Doing What You're Doing
Five years ago: Literature Saved My Life (or at least my day)
Ten years ago: Couches and Comics

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Her Mother's Sister's Son

"So did you see family when you were in Trinidad?" I ask Charmine as she snips and trims my hair.

"Well, my whole family lives in the same town I grew up in," she says, moving around to the other side of the chair, "so my mother's sister's son lives on one side, and his sister lives on the other."

"If I look out my back door, another cousin lives in the house behind ours," she continues. "And if I step out the front porch and go like this," she cranes her neck like she's peering around the corner, "I can see my brother's house."
One year ago: Holy Saturday
Two years ago: None of Your Business
Four years ago: Brush My Hair
Five years ago: Are You Sure That Was Me?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Not Rising to the Bait

The beefy white dude with the crew-cut and the FDNY t-shirt digs through the box of buttons at the booth of a friend I'm working for today. The buttons are emblazoned with slogans like "Fuck Trump" and "NOT My President."

"Guess you don't have any 'Fuck Obama' buttons," he says, looking up at me provokingly.

"I'm so sorry," I say, giving him my warmest, kindest smile, which seems to confuse him so badly he walks off.
One year ago: Good Friday
Two years ago: Facebook Disagreement
Three years ago: This Calls for Wisdom
Four years ago: The Wisdom of Children
Five years ago: Home Is Where You Don't Need to See
Ten years ago: Seriously? Fuck Darth Maul. And Muggers

Friday, April 13, 2018

Which Isn't Exactly The Same

"Well, since you're an organized person, let me ask you a question," Reina says as she drives Katie and me back to the subway station after our visit.

I begin pretending to frantically looking around the car as if I'm trying to find the person she's referring to. "I think you may have been lied to," I say.

"Scott's not really organized," Katie says, "as he's good at organizing."
One year ago: Hidden Messages
Two years ago: Unfair Advantage
Three years ago: Under My Breath
Five years ago: Negotiating Alone Time
Ten years ago: Duly Noted

Which Direction

Dan leads me out on the old dock. Many of the weathered gray boards are missing, and as we step over them, I can see down to the dark green water surging many feet below.

“That guy built a new dock, and it just ruins the view,” he says, pointing down the shore to a concrete and steel monstrosity stretching across the water. On the other side, the sun settles down into a bank of clouds.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


"I have trepidation about tomorrow," Katie says as she sits down next to me on the couch.

I pause playback on the music I've been working on today and look at her seriously. "Is this one of your... feelings, or is it more just general anxiety?" I ask, but she shakes her head noncommittally, still looking stricken.

Later, as she's getting ready for bed, she suddenly looks at me, wide-eyed, and says triumphantly, "We have to print out the label to ship that piece tomorrow morning!"
One year ago: Learning to Distrust Yourself
Two years ago: Too Cheerful
Three years ago: The Back Catalog
Four years ago: We Made a Deal
Ten years ago: Probably Ought To Get Those Taxes Done

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Success! Or Something.

The problem with writing about sticking your hands in ice water is figuring out a way to justify doing something so completely pointless without sounding like a loon. 

The actual problem with sticking your hands in ice water is figuring out how to justify it yourself while you're doing it, because it's incredibly painful. 

I'm watching the timer tick down to zero from two minutes while my hands convulse and the top of my head feels like it's going to explode. 

I don't really know how to end this one, this is just something I did today because I wanted to see if I could.
One year ago: One With The Pavement
Two years ago: Validation
Ten years ago: Hanging Bike

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Work Harder

"Have you taken your contacts out?"

"No," I say, sheepishly, since I clearly haven't started writing my Four Each Day, either. "Should I work harder?"

She looks up at me from the floor where she's trying to get the dog to fall asleep and says, "Yes, I think you should."

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Approximate Knowledge

"You better stay away from my greens!" I rap enthusiastically as I pull out the bag of baby spinach and baby kale for sandwiches.

"Don't ever never ever mess around with my greens!" Katie raps back without looking up from cutting tomatoes.

"I have approximate knowledge of many things," I say with a shrug, and she stops.

"Sondheim wouldn't write that."
One year ago: Isaiah 14:12
Two years ago: Time Flies
Three years ago: Timing
Four years ago: Speculations on a Past Life (With Tuna)
Five years ago: Sins of the Alpha Male
Ten years ago: Shoes

Saturday, April 7, 2018


I'm sitting on the newly slipcovered couch (which has been transformed from a catclawed and slightly stained fawn color to a lovely, velvety purple) when Katie's cousin arrives home.

"Has... the couch changed?" he asks hesitantly.

"No," I deadpan, but, when he looks confused, I relent and confirm that, yes, in fact it's now a different color.

"Thank you for not gaslighting me," he says with relief.
One year ago: At The Museum
Two years ago: Daily Goals
Three years ago: Why Would That Work?
Four years ago: Disrespect
Five years ago: Share the Glory
Ten years ago: Flowing With The Tide

Dinner for Breakfast

"I'm really sorry I got tomato sauce on your shirt that was hanging on the door," I say yet again.

"It's okay, I got it out," she says. "It must have happened when one of us was carrying the plates down the hall," she adds, miming carrying a plate at about the height where it would brush against the shirt.

And that, kids, is why chicken parm for breakfast when you're really still just waking up is not always the best idea.
One year ago: Communication Issues
Two years ago: Momento Mori (Again)
Three years ago: Back and Forth

Friday, April 6, 2018

Too Much Absinthe

I walk down the stairs, Kevin walking behind me. “And that should be my four each day,” I say.

“Your what?” he says.

But then, when I get home, I’ve had too much absinthe to remember what I was thinking.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Feeling a Little Old

I'm down on my knees, cleaning the toilet. The band on the radio is doing an interview while I do my chores, and the interviewer asks them when they really started to love music.

"When I bought Nirvana's greatest hits - the black one with the band's name in silver - I guess I was about eleven or twelve, and I didn't really understand it...."

I turn the program off.
Two years ago: May I Have Another?
Three years ago: Race Relations
Four years ago: Giant Pustulant Anal Sore
Five years ago: Mama's Boy

In Which A Life Is Saved

The tops of the buildings are shrouded in clouds, and the gray Brooklyn rain has soaked everything and leached the color out of the world. My cousin Ryan and I walk up 4th Avenue on our way to a reading at a cafe.

"Don't die," I say to him at a crosswalk, and he rocks back on his heels as a car beeps at him and plows through the intersection.

He gives a friendly, but slightly aggressive, wave to its back, and we finish crossing the street, and think no more about it.
One year ago: Hybrid
Two years ago: Trains Are Heavy, Possibly Also Your Mother
Three years ago: Hierarchies
Four years ago: Can't Stop. Won't Stop.
Five years ago: Why Do They Still Call Them "Straphangers?"
Ten years ago: Knight of Pentacles

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I'm Dangerous

The dog sniffs around the plastic newspaper boxes lined up on the corner, taking her time at each one to read today's messages left by dozens of Brooklyn dogs while a waning moon looks down on us, the only ones out this late.

I turn my head at the sound of quick footsteps, to see a woman walking by us, within a few feet. She sees us too and, startled, breaks into an awkward run and doesn't stop running until she's safely across the street, where she slows down to a normal pace again.

I sigh and turn my attention back to the dog, who didn't even bother to look up.
One year ago: What Cats Love
Two years ago: Impatience Pt. 2
Three years ago: Clouds (4 - Hedgehog Moon)
Four years ago: Never To Young To Start?
Five years ago: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Monday, April 2, 2018


"You gave away my line," Katie says from her spot on the other side of the couch, and her nose is a little stuffed up from the cold she's been nursing all day, so it sounds like, "You gabe away my liend."

"I did?"

"Yeah, 'hacking the banks,' that was my line," she says matter-of-factly.

"I'm sorry."
One year ago: An Age of Miracles and Wonders
Two years ago: If A=B, and B=C, Then A=C
Three years ago: Clouds (3 - Head As Thoughtful As An Empty Sky)
Four years ago: Can't Fight What Isn't There
Five years ago: Lucky
Ten years ago: Not An April Fool's Joke

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hacks and Hackers

"I got hacked just a couple of weeks ago," our driver says as we drive down Eastern Parkway. "Got my bank info, my credit cards, everything."

"Let 'em start hacking the banks, see what happens," he continues.

"That's when the guns come out," I say from the back seat.
One year ago: "There There"
Two years ago: An Angry New Friend
Three years ago: Clouds (2 - Are You Paying Attention?)
Four years ago: Baby Love
Five years ago: Which One Is Reality, Though?
Ten years ago: And Then Comes Starbucks