Monday, May 30, 2016

Fixing the damage

I have a history of needing to be needed. The more wounded the person I might run into, the better, since it was a greater and greater chance that I would be called upon to take care of something. I spent hours talking, soothing, analyzing.

And in the end, I got left more often than not.


Saturday, May 28, 2016


Shock is a soft blanket. You sink in without even realizing it. I’d never experienced it until two years ago when I found out that my lifelong friends – my mother’s best friend and her husband – were in a catastrophic car crash outside Saratoga Springs, New York. She was killed and he was thrown into a coma for weeks before his halting recovery began.

I’d literally known Barbara and Steve since before I was born. There was never a time they weren’t around, never a family occasion where she didn’t bring a handmade trinket or he his huge camera that hung around his neck like a particularly amazing piece of bling. One year their holiday card prominently featured his red Porsche. He loved that car. She died in it.

I was having breakfast when I found out. It was a place called Quince Café and Grill, nondescript in most ways except for its food. I always liked the basic special: eggs any way you like it, meat or fruit, your choice of bread and amazing, amazing hash browns. All for less than six bucks. I was finishing up those hash browns when I checked my email. The first thing I saw was an article about some random Saratoga Springs woman dying in a car crash. Adam had sent it to me.

We live in such damn denial. I couldn’t imagine how that article applied to me.


Excuse me. What?

My laptop felt soft and pliable beneath my fingers. I could almost sense my butt sliding off the chair. A snatch of a line I’d heard at many meditation retreats came to mind: Feel the earth under you. It is there to support you.

Fucking hippies. Bring back the dead, Buddha, then we’ll talk.

Before dawn

I was never a morning person. I'm still not. Unless I decide to be.

All this to say that I'm sitting at a Starbucks on Solano Avenue at 4:40 in this morning. This is the time for me. This is the time where I can fuck around, listen to my crappy music on YouTube, and do my writing.

We take our places, me and the old guys with piles of papers. They pull up in their clapped-out Volvos. I do the same in my Mazdaspeed.

This morning I listened to Nine Inch Nails on LIVE 105's Rock Block. I hurt myself today to see if I still feel.

I do.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

End of an era

I put this on Facebook just now:

I started my career as a freelance writer nearly two decades ago. Today, I'm narrowing that scope to involve only select projects.
This decision is based largely on the fact that I have a book to finish. That is my priority and I take my priorities seriously. I am extremely fortunate to be in the position to make this choice and I plan to make the most of my time and resources to get it done.
Freelancing has been a wonderful means of achieving everything I've wanted to achieve over the better part of 20 years. Now it's time to complete the transition to the creative side.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

This weekend's work

Tina couldn’t just reach into the tackle box where she kept her beauty potions. She had to give me the academia behind image.

“They say put your best face forward. It’s true,” she said. “I mean, do you want to score Matt or not?”

I pictured myself winning him in a game, poker maybe, or something more physical like badminton. Matt as prize, Matt as reward. All you needed to forfeit was your pride.

“You make it sound like a fucking lottery ticket. He’s not a Scratcher, you know.”

“He’s a dude,” she said. “He might as well be.”

I hopped up on the granite countertop and swung my feet against her bleached-wood cabinets. I didn’t know dick about home design, but I did know that the 1990s called and were demanding their elements back.

“Anyway,” I said.

Adam, on looking at a picture of Barcelona

"Didn't we bang on that balcony over there?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Being an animal advocate means tears -- both shed and unshed. It means thinking about those who were unwanted, walked to The Room, and killed. The sweet beating hearts stopped unceremoniously, the eyes with death-shade drawn. It's sometimes too much to bear. Like today.