Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Something I probably wouldn't put on Facebook

I'm not sure how changing your profile picture to an equality icon does anything for your cause. It's nice and all, but it's symbolic. I highly doubt the Supreme Court judges are like, hey look! Joe Douchebag changed his profile pic, let's change the law of the land!

Now to duck and run.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I don't think Steve is going to make it. We received notice that anyone who wants to visit should come as soon as possible. As someone on the other side of the country, I feel simply helpless.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Barbara and Steve

Barbara and Steve Weinstein are two of my favorite people in the world. I have literally known them forever, and my mother went to high school with Barbara. They have treated me like a daughter and Adam like a son.

Last week I got news that rocked my world.

It started with a forwarded news story from Adam. Bus/car crash in New York. Made no sense until I clicked on his other email.

Barbara and Steve were in a terrible car accident. Barbara was killed instantly and Steve was in critical condition. I read those words and they made no sense. They still don't. I read every news article I can get my hands on, look closely at Steve's mangled Porsche. I can't make the connection.

When something like this happens, it's like getting the floor pulled out from under you. Barbara and Steve have been facts of my life since before I understood what that meant. All I can do now is remember Barbara and hope for Steve's recovery.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Coffee Bean on Ventura

Thrum of a freeway, but no one within these walls hears it. They are concentrating on their ice blendeds, their paper cups. Across the street is something called Slaw Dogs, Doner King, Carnation Nails. I'm hearing a lot of a-words: acknowledge, appreciate. Another one: apologize. What's with all these supplications? For once I'm writing without thought, without editing. I'd like to think I do this on a regular basis, but really I'm always tweaking. Twinkling? Whatever. I sound like I'm high. I'm not.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recent writing

Jerry is their 10-year-old pug. The dog is, put simply, a clown. Like all the best clowns, his clown-ness is not deliberate. He’s a sunny one, Jerry, generous of spirit and of licks to the hand, face and beyond. They got him as a puppy and Leigh swore she’d never get through it. The energy, the propensity to levitate around the backyard and then settle down to a good session of shoe- and sock-chewing. Somehow she made it through, as most of us do. Now a decade later he’s finally showing some signs of slowing down, and she misses that puppy, of course. She misses him in a way that makes her chest ache, makes her remember the nature of impermanence, as if she could forget.

“I’m just concerned,” she says. “That’s all.”

“What are you concerned about?”

“What aren’t I concerned about? What if he gets out? What if he eats something he shouldn’t? What if –”

“We keep the doors closed. We keep the food in the pantry. No pug is getting up to the pantry. Not even Jerry.”

“But that’s just it. We keep the doors closed and the food out of reach. But who knows what Shasta does?”

They’re barreling through Marin now. Leigh doesn’t know much about Marin except for a great-aunt who lived in Sausalito. Visits to her smelled like Vicks Vap-O-Rub and felt like a peach-fuzz cheek pressed to Leigh’s own. But she knows the stereotype: a place of guilty liberal cash and redwoods, a place that is so utterly consumed by itself as to be its own joke, self-referential like that.  When you grow up in San Francisco, Marin is not just the suburbs. It’s way the hell across the Golden Gate Bridge, and with everything to do in the city, why would you bother to cross it?

She did, though. She and Sid. They rattled across in his old Sentra and there she made the memory that departed from childhood. They went to Muir Woods, got high, wandered amongst the trees. Then they went back to the car, tucked away in a shady corner of the parking lot, and had sex. Was it making love? Sure, if you want to call it that. Thirty-eight-year-old Leigh isn’t sure that she knew the meaning of making love at eighteen, or perhaps love was different then, It tastes different at different ages. At eighteen love tasted like soda, fizzy and sweet. Now it tastes like something to which she can’t put an easy metaphor, so slippery is it even in its structured security. It’s a taste often interrupted, confused by its sheer stature. It throws the tongue and baffles the brain.

Evan chews on his lower lip. He’s annoyed. This is always the sure signal. It’s a warning to proceed with caution, something that’s not exactly Leigh’s specialty. “I interviewed her,” he says. “You were there. Remember?”

“Yeah,” Leigh says, picturing Shasta the dog-sitter sitting cross-legged on her couch, exposing the holes in the soles of her shoes without shame.