Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12/21/10 Cold winter's night that was *so* deep

The moon turns coppery red as the last sliver of light slips off the edge into darkness. Katie pulls the blanket she's wearing tighter around her and hides behind me as a freezing wind blasts across the roof, making the bare winter trees creak and moan.

"I feel like this is the end of a lot of things, like this season is the beginning of something new, and I really want to stay to see the moon come out again," I say, staring up at the distant smudge that was once a full moon.

She looks up at it for a few minutes, shivering, until she finally says, plaintively, "Do you mind if I go inside?"

Monday, December 20, 2010

12/20/10 Save all Your Love

The tunnel between the Q train and the 4/5/6 in Union Square is a press of humanity, more than usual even, and I weave between the green metal I-beams that serve as pillars here while trying to side-step the masses blindly hurtling through their day.

"Save all your love," sings Jon Anderson, "to be a better child, to be a better child," and I see these faces, some blank, some sad, some just tired or resigned, and I realize they all were once children.

Christmas insists that God was a child, just like you were a child, like I was a child. I try not to romanticize (an unfortunate tendency of mine), but tears of love well up, and I wipe them away so no one thinks I'm crazy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12/17/10 supplemental Wonderful Life

We sit in the dark theater, watching George Bailey's actually kinda tragic life as it collapses around him, until he stands, bereft of hope, looking down into the dark swirling waters beneath the bridge.

Just as he's about to end it all, the angel Clarence jumps into the water, appealing to George's naturally helpful nature. George immediately dives into the water that would have drowned him, and pulls the angel out, unwittingly saving himself in the process.

I lean over to Katie and whisper, "That's a good life lesson: if you just fall in, it's suicide, but if you dive, it's heroism."

Friday, December 17, 2010

12/17/10 Did you forget?

The sign in the jewelry shop in the tunnel leading out of the subway reads, "Did you forget a gift for yourself?" I imagine the person reading that who thinks to themselves about all the gifts they didn't receive, all the times they were disappointed, thinking in their walk, "Yes, I need to get my own gift, since no one will get it for me," even though what they're really wanting is someone who knows them so well, has listened to them over the past year so closely that the gift is an expression of that love.

Later, at the deli, the man behind the counter sharply taps his knife blade on the cutting board every time before slicing a sandwich in half, and this delights me. The music on the radio sings, "All I want for Christmas is you," and I know that gift is the one thing we can't buy for ourselves - the unique expression of another human life as it intertwines with our own.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12/15/10 Straight to Hell

After three D trains roll by (and Katie has threatened to throw herself in front of the next D that passes), our B train finally arrives, packed with disgruntled commuters.

"Well, some of them have to be getting off," I say, trying to think optimistically.

No one gets off.

We push in, crushed before us by dull-eyed passengers already on the train, from behind by commuting zombies on the platform trying to get on, and Katie says, "Nope, looks like everybody's riding this B train straight to hell!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12/13/10 Passing time

She sits on the couch and tells me about her day.

"By the way - by the way, I cannot believe I haven't told you about this yet. The Mexicans in the kitchen play prison games where they bet five dollars a pop on whether a coin comes up heads or tails. You can hear the coins clinking on the floor of the kitchen while I'm telling my tables the specials. I'm all, 'Yes, the kitchen staff are picking money up off the floor with their bare hands before they make your food, but I'm sure your grilled salmon with a white wine reduction sauce and fingerling potatoes will be just fine.'"

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/12/10 God doesn't mind if you have a good time

The spattering rain is gusting sideways at us as we walk to church, late (as usual), and a little hungover. The party went very late last night, but was one of those perfect parties where you recognize the joy of hanging out past the lightweights to connect with the few folks left over afterwards in a mildly worn out, pleasurable lassitude.

Now we're stumbling through a downpour to go to a later service, and I notice one of the joys of Catholicism is, contrary to my expectations, there's no indication of guilt for any supposed sin I might have committed just by having a good time last night.

Katie's bright yellow raincoat and orange parasol are no match for the deluge, and we slosh into mass, the choir singing, both of us soaked to the knees, and Katie leans over and whispers, "Let's sit close to the front."

12/11/10 a conversation at a party - 2:30 AM

She leans up against the wall, "Yeah, skiing is a lot easier than snowboarding, really. The way they make skis these days, you practically don't have to do anything."

Her eyes look far away as she remembers, "When you get back to the lodge, and you're all cold, and your cheeks are all rosy, and you grab your hot cocoa and put your gloves down to dry by the fire...." And she smiles, as if she were there right now, and wanted nothing better.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12/10/10 Sometimes I get carried away

"No, but really, it's like, every single artist worth anything has a connection to spirituality, whether they mean it in a religious sense or not," I say, gesturing drunkenly and toweling off.

From behind the shower curtain, she says, "Well, OK, like who?"

Now I'm really getting warmed up, and begin ticking them off on my fingers: "Well, Prince, obviously, and Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison...."

She shuts off the water, and sighs in exasperation, "I can't even talk to you when you're like this."

Friday, December 10, 2010

12/9/10 late nights in the slope

The sidewalks of Park Slope roll up at about 11:30, so I walk down to the subway station to pick up Katie after her shift ends. Normally we hold hands, but the cold has us both shoving our hands in our pockets and striding along, hurrying to escape the freezing cold, chatting and laughing even as we keep it moving.

Finally inside the warm apartment building, standing outside our apartment door, I can hear the cat inside yowling in displeasure at our continued insistence on leaving the house instead of sitting on the couch where she can ignore us properly. I'm pretty sure she's going to wake up the entire building.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

12/7/10 armored

Two hoodies, one over the other, and then a baseball cap, all covered by a leather jacket with intricate stitching. In his hand is a cell phone, from which streams the sputtering clicks, pips, and shouts of mp3's of hip-hop, surrounding him with a haze of aggression. The entire train hears his music, and even I can hear him through my headphones, and feel the irritation of the rest of the car beaming their bad vibes at him.

Obviously he feels it too, and he fishes into his pockets and pulls out headphones which he proceeds to untangle, plug in, and fit into his ears, but then he begins chanting along with his music - putting up his wall of phony rage to keep the judgement away.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12/6/10 The band is passive aggressive. We are not.

The dude standing in front of my five foot three inch wife moves back and forth to the music. He knows he's in front of her (we've made it abundantly clear that he is blocking her view of the band), there is no place for her to move to, and every half-assed dance move he busts blocks her view further, and frustrates both of us even more.

Neko Case apparently couldn't be bothered to do her hair for the show tonight, or even put on an outfit that wasn't sweats, and she launches into a rather pathetic diatribe midway through the set about the horrible things that life has foisted upon her in the months since her 40th birthday, a diatribe that A.C. tries to defuse mostly through a sort of low key snarky-ness.

I tap the guy standing in front of Katie on the shoulder, hoping to get him to move before Katie, or I, or both of us, do something rash, saying, "Hey, man, could you please move a little off to the right so she can see?"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12/5/10 What more do you want from me? A cookie?

I followed the recipe on the yellow package, as aspiring bakers all over the country have for generations of Christmases. They turned out perfect, brown and chocolatey and delicious.

Then we watched walking dead and went to bed.

Sometimes, I don't feel like being all creative.

12/4/10 Which is what we named the tree

The courtyard of the church smells of pine and the cold stone walls. We excitedly debate the merits of each tree: height, fullness of branches, hardiness of needles, looking for the perfect one, the one meant for us, the tree for our first Christmas together, until the gentleman in glasses and orange latex gloves streaked black with pitch saunters over and asks if he can help.

"Sure," I say, putting out my hand out, introducing myself and asking his name.

He looks bewildered for a moment, as if no one today (or maybe ever, in the history of tree selling) has asked him that, then shakes my hand, laughing, and says, "I'm Todd."

Friday, December 3, 2010

12/2/10 Angry God is Angry (and possibly made up)

He gets on the subway, middle of the car, a tall man, close shaven head gleaming under the flourescent lights. He begins preaching in a hectoring, strident voice that penetrates even through my headphones, his every word a bullet.

"I'm here to talk to you about the gifts of the father, who gave his son, his only son, to make you turn from your sin," he says, in clipped, bitter tones.

At that very moment, the song in my headphones changes, and Bjork begins to sweetly sing a lullaby reminding me of another way, another vision, another God.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12/1/10 So much for meditation

I close the door and face the chair east, set the timer and close my eyes. I begin to repeat the word on the in-breath and out-breath, hoping to clear my mind and let in whatever grace might be granted someone like me.

There's a settling as the unconscious tensions I've been carrying in my muscles relax and unwind, and I find myself sinking into the chair, less rigid, more fluid, my whole body filling up with wet sand.

I'm asleep in under a minute.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/29/10 Supplemental - eat what's in front of you

After my bragging about vegetarianism in my previous post, it seems only fitting that I would manage to slip up.

In my hurry and slightly sleepy state while preparing to leave for work in the morning, I picked up the wrong gravy to go with my leftover tofurky. I was only alerted to my mistake after tasting the crunch of peppercorns (which I didn't add to my non-organ meat, vegetarian gravy).

I looked down at the brown sauce, which entirely covered my fake meat lunch, and thought for about five seconds before tucking back in. It was delicious, and frankly, it's not like I had a second lunch sitting around somewhere for me to eat if this one didn't work out.

11/30/10 Wound up

About 2 years ago, the writer of a show I was in handed me a copy of Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and told me it was his favorite book. He and I had been getting to know each other, had discovered some common love of weirdness and artiness, and I believe this book was both a gesture of potential friendship, and a test, which I failed miserably.

I found I couldn't get through it, mostly because I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never really did. If anybody feels like commenting, could you please tell me why you think I should give this book another chance, or if I was right in my initial assessment?

11/29/10 Even kids aren't really that much of an accomplishment

After a long conversation with a friend about the relatively small amount I've accomplished in my life, I'm melancholy. I lay in bed with my wife, and wonder if there's anything lasting I've made in my life, and think about all the projects I've abandoned.

Katie shows me a picture of a kid looking at a Christmas tree, explaining, "Babies and Christmas."

She adds, "Kid's not even that cute when he turns around."

Monday, November 29, 2010

11/28/10 Falling

This side street of Park Slope goes quiet. The holiday weekend, the sheer Sunday-ness of it all, it all boils down to this stillness, broken only by the sound of my shoes tapping on the sidewalk as I make my way to a friend's house for birthday brunch and sweet, sweet mimosas.

My vision, my ability to see, seems to expand until I feel like I can take in everything in front of me: the almost-bare trees, the washed-out-blue, cloud-chased sky, the crazy tilted sidewalk, the cars lining the street, the space all of these things fill, the ground of their being.

Above me in an apartment, someone begins to play an inexpert, but heartfelt "Rhapsody in Blue" on their piano, and the notes drift down from the open window, swirling around me like falling leaves.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

11/27/10 We tend to do better at parallel play

After my fourth continue, I finally throw the controller down in disgust. "Listen," I say, "just try to get through the boss by yourself. It'll be more fun for you."

Katie battles on against one of Bowser's minions for a while longer before she gives up, but she really wanted to try to work with me on this, and I silently vow to polish up my Mario skills to make game night more successful in the future.

Friday, November 26, 2010

11/26/10 It was delicious (they tell me)

Though I have claimed vegetarianism for upwards of 15 years now (I can count on one hand the number of times I've eaten meat since 1994), today my hands still smell of roasted bird from the turkey I helped prepare yesterday.

It's a very strange situation, being married to a confirmed, enthusiastic, and unrepentant carnivore. The constant confrontation with your own values that occurs when you are around those that don't share them requires both a flexibility (in order to not judge or feel superior), and a sense of humor, because you will be made fun of and intentionally, humorously provoked.

Plus, I like to cook, so I have learned the finer points of meat preparation for a woman whose favorite meals include, quote, "the tears of the innocent," while never tasting the things I help make.

11/25/10 everyone

He stands in front of the bank, shifting from foot to foot, his face a mask of pitiful hope, while his eyes calculate every passerby. I'm trying not to ignore things, but I know if I make eye contact, I'll raise his expectations, so I walk toward the curb and let him accost another pedestrian with his "Happy Thanksgiving" that sounds like a curse.

As I cross the street, a little boy on the other side of the street scoots up to the crosswalk. "Candy for everyone!" he shouts, his arm sweeping to include me, the beggar in front of the bank, the gray November afternoon, Brooklyn, the world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11/24/10 Who really runs this joint.

The cat wanders the rooms of our (to her) incomprehensibly huge apartment, yowling in her wailing-baby voice. When I finally make my way into the room where she normally sleeps, I discover the window has been left open, and a chill breeze blows over the perch where she keeps a bored eye on the street below.

She watches me reproachfully, legs curled up beneath her, from underneath the table, as I stumble over to the window and close it after only three attempts.

Her wishes granted, she stands, arches her back, and trots to the litter box, claws clicking contempt on the wood floor, to let me know exactly what she thinks of my shoddy management of the home where she is, obviously, an unwilling prisoner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

11/23/10 crossing paths

She stands at the crosswalk, a little ways out into traffic: slim, fashionably dressed in all black without ostentation, long, fine straight black hair, pretty face, light brown skin, middle-eastern of some sort.

He runs from down the street, obviously on his way from somewhere to somewhere else: black baseball cap at a rakish angle, open, honest face, also in all black, also light brown skin.

He pauses in his run, touches her on the shoulder, looks sincerely into her eyes, says, "Hey, I really like your hair." and then continues running past us up the street without looking back.

"Thanks," she says lightly, without seeming to be fazed at all (do men do this all the time? do they know each other?), the light turns green, we all cross the street, different directions away from this moment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

11/22/10 snapshots of a commute

A guy in a wide brimmed hat stands up on the train, says, "Excuse me," to me before we reach the stop, and I tell him I'm getting out too, just so he'll relax a little. When we get West Fourth, however, I realize it's not my stop, and I pretend I'm getting out after him, only to get back on to continue my ride to work.

Walking down the tunnel, a man reading a paper steps in a pink and white splatter of vomit, but he doesn't notice and continues on his way, trailing wet footprints on the stones.

In Grand Central, a traditional Peruvian band plays "The Old Rugged Cross" on the pan flutes, and I emerge into the grey New York morning, giggling to myself.

11/21/10 A little forceful

Kevin and I stand outside the movie theater in Union Square while Kev rolls a cigarette and Katie finishes a phone call with her father. A stumbling, slurring bald black man in sweats rolls up to us and asks for change? a smoke? something unintelligible through a haze of alcohol that I can smell from 3 feet away. I put up my hand, look him in the eye, say, "Sorry, man" and return to my conversation, and Kevin apologizes for not having anything to give to him.

The man's eyes widen in surprise, and as he staggers away I hear him say, "Man, I wouldn't a minded you didn't have nothing, but that guy [indicating me] was serious!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

11/20/10 The very nice doctor is not a dentist

"Well, when I got out of the shower," the doctor says, finishing his story, "the ants had covered the sandwich! The hotel got me an upgrade, told me they'd never had anything like this before."

He smiles shyly as we laugh with him, and he writes out our prescriptions. He has a small, black something-or-other caught in his teeth, but before I can mention it to him, he's left the examining room to talk to another patient who is wandering the hall of the office.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/19/10 late edition

I wander up and down Fulton Mall until I find the place to drop off the package. My cough has gotten increasingly heavy, and my boss has said that after I drop this off, I can head home for the day.

I make it home, hungry and worn out from walking, but I still manage to walk down to get a Vietnamese sandwich, all the while trying to fight off the depression that inevitably hits when I'm sick, tired, and hungry. I realize that I can't kill myself, because it would be like leaving Katie, and that's never going to happen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18/10 a dream in which I am, perhaps, a secret agent

I skimmed the roofs of the buildings until I came to the end of the row and found myself unable to go further. Stuck, I decided to try to exit through the building I was on by climbing down, only to find that the building was the Latvian embassy, in which a lavish party was beginning, complete with sashed and monocled diplomats and ladies in elaborate, architectural dresses gliding elegantly along marble floors amid gilt ornaments and enormous oil paintings of indeterminate ancestors.

I found my way out into the garden, past the catering tables and onto a manicured lawn, which opened out onto a university campus (which university?) where I started wandering home (which home?) only to realize then that I had no idea where home was.

Two kind people fell in step with me, and, on seeing my distress, asked me, "Don't you have an iPhone with GPS?"; which, it turned out, I did.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/17/10 But I have to stand somewhere too

The redheaded dude comes into my car (crossing from another car in the train while it's in motion! such a rebel) and passes behind me. The car isn't crowded, but I move my bag out of his way anyway, and he passes by with a determined look on his face without even a glance in my direction. Being a large person, and somewhat timid growing up, makes me extra-self-conscious of the space I take up.

Tonight, when I go to see a rock concert, I'll be worried about standing in front of people, worried that these short people whom I'll never see again will hate me for blocking their view, and they will take my awkwardness and low-self-esteem for politeness.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/16/10 shoulda stayed home and played Zelda one more day

There's a law of diminishing returns that hits hard when you come into work when you're still kind of sick if you don't wait long enough. What happens is, the work that you couldn't do when you were away is still there to do, because you haven't been away for long enough for the crises engendered by your absence to pass, plus, they put off putting a few things on your desk (sending that email, scheduling that meeting) knowing you'd be back, not to mention the day-to-day drama that is still ongoing.

So really, you're dealing with yesterday's shit, the shit that might have been done yesterday but now HAS to be done today, plus today's shit, all in one day. And you feel like there's a heavy stone on your chest and all the Mucinex(tm) in the world can't lift it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

11/15/10 ...and now I've got it too

Go to bed after a very satisfying episode of The Walking Dead (suck it, haters - the acting's great, the story is interesting, and there's a constant sense of creeping dread that's my favorite thing about zombie movies), and immediately feel some strange unrest in my chest. I can breathe and yet I still feel like I'm drowning.

Maybe not drowning exactly, but that low grade ache and anxiety, like I'm still not getting enough oxygen, no matter how deep I breathe.

This morning it sounds like a soup can full of mud and rocks in my chest, and I guiltily call up work, saying "Well, I've got the chest cold Katie had, and I don't want to give it to everybody else."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

11/14/10 She's had a Cold

We walk down Union from the library on a beautiful fall day. The air smells of spice and woodsmoke, and the light is golden beneath a blue sky wisped with high, thin clouds.

I inhale deeply, and say to Katie, "Man, smell that?"

She shakes her head sadly, saying, "All I've been able to smell for the past week is too much Murphy's Oil Soap and the liquor on my maitre d's breath."

Friday, November 12, 2010

11/12/10 Close Enough

A few days of yoga every day and my mood begins to lift, and I feel myself waking up from the weird limbo I've been in.

Reading a review of the new Cee-Lo Green in L Magazine on the B train coming in this morning, I come across the following line: "It might be interesting in theory to hear his take on a different era in pop/R&B, but the neon glaze and MJ basslines of "Bright Lights Bigger City" somehow don't add up to an 80s-worship homerun."

At that exact moment, I catch the strains of a Michael Jackson song leaking out from a nearby woman's headphones. I laugh and smile at the coincidence until I listen for a few more minutes to realize it's "Upside Down" by Diana Ross.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

11/10/10 Contrasts

I sit on the mat in the half-light before the sun comes up, and breathe deeply. My mat faces roughly east, as it has in almost every apartment I've ever lived that suited me at all, and I can see out the windows on the front of our building clouds lit from below by the rising sun shading from a vivid pink to a brilliant gold against a gray sky.

My wedding ring clicks on the wood floor as I shift to a new position in my routine. I never take it off.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11-9-10 Pie is too nice to be bad for you.

Coring an apple requires a little bit of muscle, a little bit of guessing. Stab straight down and twist, gutting the pulp of the stringy bits and the little black seeds, hand it over to Katie, who then proceeds to peel it in a long, continuous ribbon of red (a skill I've yet to get the hang of).

The Cuisinart spins the halves into perfect slices in seconds, and as watch them pile up, I see a single black seed that I missed. Will it kill us if I don't fish it out?

Monday, November 8, 2010

11-8-10 my mini spooner

The new bowls we got for our wedding are primary colors of yellow and blue - deep, deep cobalt blue, and a cheerful, sunny yellow. I often find myself picking one or the other based on the food that I'm serving, or on the mood I'd like to create in myself with the plate.

"Frosted Mini-spoons" is the best that Malt-o-Meal could come up with for their "Frosted Mini-wheats" rip-off cereal, and while it's not that bad, there's something in the Kellogg's version that has a little more substantial-ness when it comes to milk. The best part was pouring them into a sunny yellow bowl (her favorite color) and thinking about Katie asleep in bed, and the perfect applicability of the term "mini spoons" to her.

Friday, November 5, 2010

11-5-10 Happy drums

After a particularly good rehearsal from which I leave buzzing lightly and newly optimistic about our prospects, Ray and I ride the subways downtown from his place in Harlem. At one stop, two drummers heave into the car, hoisting conga drums and foldable chairs behind them, which they set up in the pseudo-vestibule before beginning their patter.

"Keep the energy up and full of love," says the one in the skullcap with the star of David dangling down onto his forehead while the other adjusts his drums and smiles widely, "because it comes back down to you amplified."

They beat their drums in a groove reminiscent of "Oye Como Va" and I give them a dollar as they leave.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

11-4-10 Even in Park Slope? Really?

She left work at one in the morning, after serving at a private late-night party where Patti Lupone "hugged [her] like [she] was her long lost daughter." I've been up all night watching movies, playing video games, and editing a backing track for a song my band will be playing once we book a gig.

I've been feeling a lot less stressed lately, but as the hour rolls toward 2:00 AM, I start to get paranoid. I lace up my shoes, throw on a jacket, and slip a large pocket knife into my back pocket, and step out into the wet, empty street to go pick her up at the subway station.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11-3-10 Wake up in the morning feeling like P-diddy

I've gradually set my alarm 5 minutes earlier each week, over the last few weeks, in an attempt to get back into doing a full session of yoga in the morning. This is probably the worst time to do this, since the mornings are getting darker and darker as we edge closer to winter.

This morning I wake up in the darkness, sit up, and Katie rolls over and asks me if I had weird dreams.

I tell her I think I did and wonder out loud why she asks, to which she replies, "Because you talked a lot!"

11-2-10 Acting out (staying in)

When I get home, she's sprawled, half in, half out of the papasan with the Wii remote in her lap. The screen is blank except for the tell-tale cauldron floating in the corner, telling me that she's been playing Lego Harry Potter most of the night.

I know she was upset that I had rehearsal tonight, and when I left she was a little depressed, but she's still depressed, and I'm not sure what to do.

I kiss her on the forehead as she looks up at me with that slightly dazed look that comes from too much gaming, and I say, "Hey baby, how was your night?"

Monday, November 1, 2010

11-1-10 Sous chef rhapsody

She chops the veggies, stirs the cheese and the rice together. I open cans, suggest seasonings, wash the dishes and utensils as she finishes with them.

The kitchen is clean and well lit, warm and bustling as we make dinner. Once again, something I have dreamed of since I was a kid has come true, and the home I have always wanted is that much closer to being real.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10-29-10 Some things you have to pay for after you've already used them

"Come on," she says, this strange girl whose constant, scattershot flirtation is starting to get me down. "You don't like to smoke?"

What do I say, that I really DO like to smoke, but that it inevitably leaves me feeling worse than before, lost and anxious, like I've got a bucket over my head and a hole in my chest?

"No, I like it, but it costs too much," I say, and leave it at that.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10-28-10 reminds me of the day I proposed

The stumps of downed trees still line the streets like broken teeth, reminders of the plagues God has visited on our borough this year (the hail that recently fell, while leaving no visible scars the way the tornado did, lingers more in the mind for me, as I was underground when the tornado struck).

I came up above ground from the subway yesterday only to find the remnants of a flood moving off east. One of the brightest rainbows I've ever seen shone strong and wide across a slate gray sky as the storm trundled off.

Traffic stopped, people stared, cameraphones cradled in their hands, smiles wide, and I said to my neighbor, "Looks like God won't flood us today."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10-27-10 let's pretend

Last night, my good friend JT reminded me how much I enjoy playing "let's pretend" by letting me take part in a reading of his new play. I got to act like a 70 year old abbot of a monastery who tries and convicts one of his charges of (spoiler alert) homosexual conduct with a being who may or may not be some kind of angel.

As JT's words worked through my body, I found my posture hunching, my hands snarling into the arthritic claws characteristic of my grandfather, passions and sorrows that were not mine, but were familiar to me, spilling into the light. An old man lived in my skin for an hour or so, and I walked away feeling... good, like I'd just built a table with my hands, when all I had done was let another part of humanity have a voice for a little while.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10-26-10 (though I could still use the money)

The issue is not with life - life is entirely blameless.

The issue is expectations. When I was a boy, I wanted fame, and money, and ease, and I now realize these desires were rather ill formed, and not particularly worthwhile.

Realizing this, and not having anything to replace the discarded goals with, I find myself at loose ends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10-25-10 - the hutch

The white haired gentleman chats with Kevin and me while Katie goes to the bank to get the cash to pay for the hutch we've decided to buy from him for the kitchen.

"You never know what your life is gonna bring. My son died five years ago from cancer, and then my wife died a year ago from cancer."

I think about what I would do if Katie died, how lonely I would be, and all I can say is, "I'm sorry, man."

Friday, October 22, 2010

10-22-10 Fall arrives - we fight off the chill

We come home late from our respective outings, she from work, and me from rehearsal, to find the kitchen a disaster and the sink stacked with dishes, courtesy our soon-to-move-back-to-where-he's-from roommate, but we still manage to find a clean cocktail glass for Katie and a beer for me. An amaretto sour and a hefeweizen later, and we're almost ready to go to bed, dishes be damned.

Fall creeps in around the corners of the windows and beneath the doors, his cold breath chilling us, and Katie, always more susceptible to the cold than I, hugs herself for a moment before proposing the perfect solution to the quandary of undressing for bed in our chilled room. "Want to fool around?" she asks innocently.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10-21-10 The days are long, but the years are short

I wake up from a cold, dark dream of a run down home which bears a striking resemblance to my time in Queens, and I realize that today, despite all the good that has occurred, all the joy I have had in the past few months, that I am still myself.

This has a bad side, and a good side. I am still directionless, wandering my days, wondering how I can possibly achieve anything in this life where I have wasted so much time.

On the good side, I still wake up next to a beautiful woman I adore, who rolls over as I get out of bed in the darkness to begin my morning, and sleepily says, every morning without fail for the last year we've lived together, "I love you."

Friday, October 8, 2010

10-8-10 a few words on the meta-narrative

This was one of the things that really got me about the concept for this blog (sidebar: if electrons shape words, but no one reads them, do they retain the information after the computer is off?): do I write the morning after about the previous day, but date the entry for the previous day? The deal is, I write, work, think, and am more motivated to do all of those things, in the morning, but nothing's really happened so far that day. At night, I'm ready to lie down, talk with my wife (!!!), watch some TV or read something, and drift off to sleep (it's those darn morning pages I wrote all those years ago that got me in the habit, I imagine). Writing in the morning about things that have happened that day per se leads to lots of posts about commuting, which has its place, I suppose, but is not what this blog is supposed to really be about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10-5-10 Many changes make for renewal

I haven't written in ages, mostly out of a sense of "why bother?" But since I've effectively eliminated most of my readership through neglect, I'm now utterly free. I don't have to do this because I feel obligated, or because there's something "important" for me to say. I can simply write, because I like to write, because it's fun to write, and because it makes me happy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

3-4-10 - late edition.

Last night, as I walked along Union Street, a dormer window high above the street was lit, and silhouetted in the bottom frame was a large dog. He was lit just enough by the street lamps and the ambient light of Brooklyn to see that he was white, and fluffy, with large, intelligent ears that turned before his head did while he watched the passers-by on the street below. I tried to take his picture, but the phone on my camera was insufficient to capture his curiosity, and since I was across the street, he was too far away anyway.

My mom called this assessment of the view out a window by animals "reading the newspaper" and that phrase always tickled me; just a big, white dog, reading the newspaper - late edition.