Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ending A Conversation

"I love these boots," she says in her thick Eastern European accent, "but there is something that bothers me about them, and I cannot explain it."

I don't miss a beat as I start packing up the half-dozen or so shoes I've brought her. "Well, I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you find what you needed today," I say, which is my favorite way to end an interaction while making it sound like they're the ones ending it. 

"You are very patient, very kind," she says apologetically as she's leaving, almost as if I'm not the one who sent her on her way

Monday, November 23, 2020

Among The Redwoods

"What was your favorite part of camping this summer?" I ask the young women I'm fitting for combat boots.

"The redwoods," she answers without hesitation.

"You can really feel the fairies among the redwoods," her mother continues, and the young woman seems to accept this as a completely normal thing to say. The dog lying at her mother's feet does not look at me, but he sighs deeply, and puts his head on his paws.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


"No one was bad," Katie says of the people she met today. "They were all just so... forgettable."

I think back on my day, and find a similar theme: no one said anything that surprised me, or enlightened me, or told me anything I didn't already know, or that I really needed to hear.

I wonder if it was them, or if it was me?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Basic Elements

Katie comes out of her studio as I'm cooking dinner.

"The house smells so good!" she shouts down the hall toward the kitchen.

"You know what you have to cook to make people think something delicious is cooking...," I say as I chop broccoli.

"GARLIC AND ONIONS!" she yells.

Friday, November 20, 2020

And She’d Have Won

We’re watching random music videos on YouTube, because it’s that kind of night. HAIM does a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” there’s a mashup up of thirty or so songs from the year 1979 strung together in a single video by a group called The Hood Internet. Then, I see a video for Prince doing a live cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and I immediately click.

“I would have bet every dollar I had that you wouldn’t be able to pass that video without watching it,” Katie says.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dr. Wife

A restless night with what feels like a pulled hamstring leads to me lying in bed for longer than usual after I awaken.

I’m thumbing through my phone when Katie comes in with a thoughtful look on her face. “Let me see your knees,” she says.

I obligingly throw off the covers and she examines my legs for a minute before she points at my left knee, pronouncing, “No, that ones definitely bigger."

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


“Oh, he’s not very friendly,” she says when I ask to meet her dog.

“Fair enough,” I say, carefully avoiding eye contact with the dog and projecting my calmest demeanor.

Later, when we’re sitting down and she trying on shoes, the dog climbs into her lap, barks once, and then settles down to watch me with a calm expression.

“He’s being very good,” she says with surprise, but I know it’s because I’m projecting calmness.