Friday, June 28, 2019


…I’ve never been so aware of time in my life.  I’ve also never run errands this fast in my life.

…Freedom, like most things, is relative.  When you lose it, that’s when you realize how much you take it for granted.

…I’ve had a lot of time to think about the ppl I miss.  Missing someone really sucks, but it’s a good reminder of how much they mean to you.

...That's my niece, Aniyah, up there.  She's cancer-free and sassy as ever.

…I had a good stretch of reading some amazing books.  Then I fell into a bad stretch of meh.  But I just finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, so things are looking up.  Next has been When Faith Fails, which so far, isn't helping a lot.

…Someone tagged my blog on LinkedIn, which was really nice of them.  Daily viewing has jumped astronomically.  Yikes.  All of a sudden, massive amounts of new people are reading these words.  Kind of makes me feel like I need to buck up, though here I am, babbling away again, hanging that laundry up, one dirty garment after the other.  

 …I talked to one of my best friends yesterday and we delved into the subject of envy.  It was really just a brief mention about the topic, but afterward, I sat down and wrote a lengthy piece about how easy (and natural) it is to covet what others are achieving when it seems like they haven’t worked half as hard, and maybe aren’t all that skilled to begin with.  I probably sounded like a whiny bitch.  I probably am a whiny bitch.  Somedays I am one, that’s for sure.

I keep a record of the wreckage in my life.
…Perspective is necessary.  Otherwise things can start to feel like hallucinations, or make-believe, or sheer luck.

…Writing to you is like driving long distances.  It’s something I do without really thinking about it.  Not the words or the meaning behind the words, but the act.

…You view life a lot differently when you really allow yourself to see all the options, all of the opportunities.  Suddenly everything looks wide open, and that can feel a little scary.

…Nothing ever sounds the way you think it will.

…The amount of special moments a person gets in life is equal to the amount of special moments a person wishes to recognize, celebrate and grant themselves.

…What you don’t know won’t hurt you.  At least that’s what some ppl say.

…Why bash your head against the wall when someone else can easily do it for you?

…A good reminder: In reduced circumstances, it’s easy to believe anything.

…For every rule, there’s always an exception.  The tricky part is figuring out what kind of exception.

…Sometimes I have to make myself laugh or else I start crying.

…Speaking of crying, I haven’t done that in at least a week.  Does that mean I’m happier?  Or am I just getting better at shoving things under the bed?

…When I look in the mirror, I have the same face I have, and will always have, until I die.

…This morning I had breakfast at the local bakery.  I bit into my croissant sandwich and had one of those soap opera flashbacks.  Do you know what I mean?  In soaps, when they swing to a flashback, the scene goes black-and-white to signify you’re watching something from the past.  That’s the way it was this morning.  I was nine, sitting in the kitchen, at the small round table where I used to copy the Webster’s Dictionary, trying to improve my penmanship.  My mom was still alive.  She stood in front of the stove, apron on, a huge pot with something boiling in it, chest-high.  Sweat dripped off her face.  A cigarette dangled from her lower lip.  The room smelled like clay and potatoes.  My ankles wouldn't stop twitching.  It sounded like I had wasps in my ears.  Just as my mom swung her head around to say something, a little girl in the line in front of me shrieked and poof! the scene disappeared.

…I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to have feelings, to let them get to you once in a while.  But you might think differently.

…You live with certain things before you understand them.  You can’t always take the analytical approach.

…Some things matter more to me than most people.  I’m not boasting, because I over-value a lot of the things I probably shouldn’t.  But I guess it’s like that Dawes’ lyric: I can’t help how I feel, I don’t think anyone can.

…Context helps, too, if you can find it.  If it makes any sense at all.

…The thought of forgetting anything about you is horrifying to me.

…If it’s only a story, no one gets seriously frightened or concerned.  That’s one of the good things about fiction.  It’s one of the main reasons I write it instead of non-fiction.

I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow

…Where would be without flowers and bees and deer and children?  Where would we be?

…All I have to do is keep my mouth shut and look stupid, which shouldn’t be all that hard for a guy like me.

…I’ll save the blood and guts until Monday, if I can make it that far.  Patience…what a virtue.

…Thank you for being alive at the same time I am.  It’s helpful, even if you don’t realize it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


                                            Stretch Your Legs

When I cut and paste you, I do it wrong, miss your legs, leaving them on the page where they cross and kick and finally find stasis. 
After work, we go for walks.  Stretch your legs, I say to your lower half.  Heel, toe, I say, stretch your legs. 
Sure, people stare.  We’re a voyeur nation after all.  But it’s hard to indict a pair of legs that know what they’re doing, that are walking on their own volition.
Weekends we slump down on the couch that faintly smells of your apple blossom shampoo.  We watch reruns of Forensic Files until your ankles slouch, revealing how tired they are. 
If they allow it, I file and paint your toe nails.  I shave your legs when they become downy.  I apply a light film of lotion and give them a luxurious massage.
Sometimes I carry them to bed, careful about the pressure or where I rest my chin. 
         Under the yawning moon’s breath or a nightlight, I sometimes search the right knee for that old skating scar, the one I used to trace when your legs were attached.
I get down on my knees right next to your knees.  At first, I hum that George Michael song we first danced to all those years ago, but then I always end up whispering the same thing, asking for forgiveness, wishing I’d never made you take that jump with me over the falls where the water sat colder and harder than I thought it was, harder than it should have been.

Monday, June 24, 2019


Gently Used Babies for Sale

In what was once an old grain mill or slaughterhouse, they lined us up in an inverted pyramid, like scuffed bowling pins. 
We wore price tag earrings.  On each was written a guess about our ages--Circa 9 months, Circa 11 months.  Circa No Clue.
We’d been told to stand stock-still, but we were infants after all and, for most of us, every command sounded like pureed gibberish. 
The baby behind me tottered and spat up chalky gravy over my shoulders which our guardian wiped away at once.
“Some are already potty-trained,” our guardian said, “but their mouths still need work.”
Potential buyers held their chins. Bent over studiously, they slowly strolled our formation while scanning us for defects or potential. 
I arched my back and wiggled my chin, even though my head felt too big, too heavy, like a fishbowl filled with bloated bath toys.    
“That one’s a bargain,” our guardian’s wife said about me.  “At two months, he was counting cards and predicting the weather.”
We’d each been branded on the back of our necks with a capital O, signifying we were orphans.  My branding happened immediately after circumcision, so already I’d built up quite a tolerance for pain.
My heart was a different matter, however.  It mewled day and night, trying to form the same question I had: But what about our birthparents?
The buyers tried to barter our prices down by flashing wads of food stamps and Confederate $20 bills.  It was a clash of defunct commerce.  Our guardians drove a hard bargain, and so the sale ended up being a bust with no one purchased.
A tractor backed up with its rumbling trailer and we were each pitched in, our fall broken by horse blankets and a layer of scratchy straw.
On the drive back to the storage shed, I peeked through the trailer slats.  I lifted up my chubby arms and hands and shook them at the musty, black clouds. 
Seconds later, the first fat raindrops fell, just as I knew they would.  I closed my eyes and made a smile.  I opened my mouth and throat wide, letting them fall inside of me, like coins in a well.  For every one, I made a wish.