Monday, August 19, 2019


Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
   --Mary Schmich

Friday, August 16, 2019


A.M. Expired

Here I am again,
time-stamped expired,
a sour emulsion,
like an ashtray wish
rising up from
beneath the irises. 
Even the moon
forgets to pirouette,
her hollow bones
nailed to the souls
of so many tree stumps. 
In the barren forest,
I found a corpse
under a great mound of mulch,
life nibbled away,
as ugly as any,
but I took the
ring off your finger,
dropped it down the
well of my throat and
let it choke
the remaining breath
I could never seem to locate.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


…I don’t want to be afraid, but I very much own up to the fact that I am a misfit.

…Sometimes nothing’s good enough, or right enough, or smart enough, or doesn’t seem to be, so those are your answers, however broken.

…Other times it’s just WTF?

…I hope there’s a different pill for this.

…I’m definitely winning Ugliest Man of the Year right now.  Hands down.

Lord restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.

…I see it.  Just can’t reach it.

…Fire has always been a pretty well-worn metaphor.  I know it has for me.

…What if it was really simple?

I don’t need you to fix what I’d rather forget.

…--85% of the things you worry about never happen.
…--But what about the 15%?

…God either gets too much credit, or not enough, and therein lies the predicament.

…A person at peace is hard to miss.

…Sometimes it’s wise to remember that things are not always as they seem.

…What do you think it means when you have some great triumph, when you’ve achieved something you’ve wanted for a long time, then you’re joyful for, like a day, or a minute, then the dark flood comes without warning or apology?

…Amy was right.  You can’t ever have enough Donny Hathaway.

Every wave at your name.

…Sing a little louder, please.

…Yes, please.

“I wish you’d make up your bed so I could make up my mind.”

…I wonder what it would be like to sit half a dozen sad people in the same room.  Maybe we’d all get our stuff sorted out.

…I don’t know if you can see it, but we’re upside down.
…I tell myself the struggle is part of it.

…“You know, back when everyone had fists on you?  Maybe that wasn’t all bad.”

…Just help me explain this, please.

…Sometimes all I wanted was the screams to stop, the blood to stop.  But what child wouldn’t?

…The difference between empathy and sensitivity is pretty difficult to prove.

…Sure, sure.  Whatever you say.

…Somebody has to be punished.  Might as well be me.  Just look at my skinny wrists.

…The truth is, I loved everything about it.

…Before the sun even showed up this morning, I already watched Bud swim the lake, and Pete fly by twice.  Those should be good signs, if one believed in those kinds of things.

…Out of everyone in the world, you’re the one I wanted to tell.

…Words matter.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.  I’ve been spending time with it.

…Maybe it’ll get easier.  I hope so.

…I’m just laying here, coughing up gluey leaves.  How’re you doing?

…One pill, two pills, eight.  There you go.  Good night.