Thursday, February 29, 2024

Not Drag Racing

I pull out into traffic on my electric scooter to avoid ramming the car that has decided to park in the bike lane, but as I do, an SUV honks at me and revs its engine until I pull back in, then speeds past, windows down, heavy industrial music blasting.

I catch up with him a few minutes later where he’s stopped at a red light and slip past him, and pause only to check for traffic before going through the intersection. 

This apparently doesn’t sit well with him, as he roars past me again, a little too close, music still blasting, and tailgates another car until he’s able to run a red light a couple of streets down and speed away.

But with my constant top speed of about fifteen miles per hour, and my ability to glide through red lights after checking for oncoming cars, I catch up with him again, where he’s seething behind a truck at another red light, so I walk my scooter past him with what I hope is the appropriate amount of arrogance, and zip off into the night.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


The weather tonight calls for a steep temperature drop, and the cats are freaking out, running around the house and generally wreaking havoc.

I settle in to write, and they circle the chair like sleek, furry sharks. One butts her head against my leg while the other chirps plaintively and hip checks the chair leg until I pick her up, and she immediately settles into my lap, all tension gone, closes her eyes, and begins to purr, just as Katie comes around the corner.

“Oh, excuse me,” she says, seeing them draped all over me, and one of the cats, hearing her voice, digs its claws into my leg.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Rain Walk

The rain starts up again just as soon as we leave the grocery store, huge, fast-falling drops that spray upwards on impact with the sidewalk. Katie and I pull our hoods over our heads and quicken our pace.

It’s less than two blocks home, so there’s no real concern. The church across the street from the store looms dark and indifferent under the grey sky, and the rain glitters in the headlights.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

We See What We Want To See

 I shield my eyes from the glare of the sun reflecting off the pond and point to the branch extending out over the water while Katie, nodding, fishes her phone out of her pocket and moves quietly toward the water’s edge. The object of our attention: a heron, perched on one leg, stands on the branch, contemplating the cold late afternoon. He is gray and stolid, his orange beak, slightly open, pointing out over the water as the wind ruffles his feathers and stirs the waters beneath him.

While we’re stalking our prey, attempting to get a good shot of it, off to our left, a man, bent and silent in a wheelchair, sits beneath an umbrella that’s been wedged in the crook of a tree to keep the sun off of him, and a woman, presumably his caretaker, has parked herself on a rock by the shore as she chats on the phone, oblivious to the scene.

Friday, February 23, 2024

A Critique

 The tall, older black man with the plastic shopping bags and the khaki vest stops and watches me as I wheel my scooter up the sidewalk towards him. The sidewalk narrows right there, so I assume he’s waiting for me to pass, and I make eye contact and give him a smile as I do.

“Damn, you’re a grown man!” he finally exclaims as I pass him, eyeing my helmet, my scooter, my sweats, my whole... thing with evident disgust. “Join the military or something!”

Thursday, February 22, 2024


After the ritual recitations of intake with the friendly receptionist (“Name? And could you tell me your date of birth? Any new cough or fever? Exposure to anyone with COVID in the last fourteen days? Any international travel?”), and after having given the appropriate responses, I am admitted to the waiting area.

The un-color beige of the carpeting is soothing, and makes no impression whatsoever, save to create the understanding of a space where a floor should be, on which to strategically place long, comfy  couches and low, easy-to-get-out-of chairs. Almost every couch has a couple on it, one member of whom is closed-eyes or napping, head fallen back in the abandon of exhaustion, while the other taps on their phone, lines of habitual worry or concentration unconsciously furrowing their brow.

The hospital leaves out large, clear plastic bins filled with single-serving packets of graham crackers, because they soothe the stomachs of chemo patients, and I grab a small handful of them to nibble on while I’m waiting, even though they aren’t really for me

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The View From Up Here

 Thankfully, the bus driver chose to see me hobbling across the street in front of him, and he holds the door open until I can clamber on board. “Thanks,” I tell him with a big smile.

The view down 7th Avenue is different from up here, from the high vantage of the front of the bus surging like a whale through the jet stream of rush hour. The congestion, the traffic - both in the road and on the sidewalks, the seething cars jamming the intersections, pedestrians jostling by dog walkers and baby carriages, delivery drivers swarming the bike lanes with electric scooters and cigarette smoke - all of it seems to soften and meld together into a whole that nearly becomes a rhythm, a pattern I can almost decode before the stoplight goes red and I lose it again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Walking Home After the Reading

After a successful night out, the streets of Brooklyn seem charged with the magic that you always wished for when you first moved here. The simple sidewalks seem sturdy and important (you’ve walked them thousands of times before). The buildings bear witness to the great deeds you will do (their indifferent facades have ignored your despair on so many walks they’ve lost count).

The moon gleams incandescent white above as it grows toward full, the love of your life grabs your hand and calls you your favorite pet name, a text from a new friend buzzes in your pocket, and, for now, all is right with the world.

Sunday, February 18, 2024


I’m standing with Katie in the vestibule of our building, between the outer door, which opens out on the steps leading down the sidewalk, and the inner door, which leads to the stairs inside up to our apartment. The outside door swings in, and I’m carrying a large bag of groceries, so it’s easier to wait while she opens the inner door and goes in, then I can step in a little further, shut the outer door behind me, and go upstairs.

“Do you ever worry about opening the inner door with the outer door open?” I ask her as she pushes her key into the lock.

“Actually, it was really freaking me out that you were just holding it open like that,” she replies, with a look of mild panic. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Study In Monochrome

Katie stops to take a picture of the ducks huddled on the freezing pond, giving me an excuse to lean on the fence bordering the path to rest. I’ve foolishly left my cane at home to walk through the snowy park with the rest of Brooklyn after last night’s storm, and although I’m not regretting it yet, the faint but insistent clamoring of my knee and hip tells me I will be soon. 

The trees overhanging the path are covered in white, fluffy snow - the platonic ideal of snow, the kind of snow that they try to simulate in movies with flocking and chemicals they’re considering banning under the Geneva Convention - and the trees stand wet and black, stark against the white and grey around the perimeter of the pond.

The ducks ignore us in the quiet, paddling through the unfrozen, glossy water and cutting dark paths through the thin, matte ice that glazes the surface, and I look up to watch a plane push itself slowly across a matte grey sky.