Thursday, December 11, 2008

a moment from my day

i'm in ikea today walking around slightly dazed, looking at things and listening to my ipod. My phone rings and I look down to see that it's my mother. "Hello? Hello?" I say, but no answer, though I hear her talking to someone in the background and I realize her phone has accidently called mine. I listen. My father is being placed into the passenger seat beside her. She's picking him up from radiation and I hear him groan, "Ohhhh.....ohhhh." I listen. She thanks someone who has helped dad, and then the sound of traffic as they pull onto Wilshire blvd. in Beverly Hills and their drive home. They're talking to one another; maybe dad will get a haircut; when will they be able to fit him into the triage for the removal of the gallblatter; she thinks she'll get the nurse tomorrow so she can do some holiday shopping. "I hate to leave you again," she says. I listen, evesdropping on my parents. Every now and then I whisper, "hi mom, hi dad," but they can't hear me. They keep talking, saying little things, and then there are spaces where they say nothing. It's just like I'm sitting in the back of the car with them. My parents are real, they're alive; this isn't just a memory or a fantasy. And my father is alive. I'm with them and I'm content to just sit in the back and listen to them drive; street sounds in the background, my father saying little things now and then, my mother responding. "Hi mom, hi dad," I whisper again.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What my teacher said today

"Through devotion comes change. The luxury of neurosis is over."

—Deena Metzger

Saturday, May 10, 2008


If I touch the hem of his garment
If I drink more water
Pick them up on time
Have healthy snacks for them to eat
If I remember to get cash for dinner and call the theater for an extra ticket
If I get the email from the company who is hiring
If I remember to thank her for the gift
Send the flowers
If he tells me he loves me after I tell him first
If someone beautiful calls me out of the blue
If I remember to pray and stretch my bad arm
If I lose those two pounds
swim the whole mile
Brush my teeth and hug him for no good reason
Write the check, feed the dog, wipe my ass, move the laundry, pick up the poop, thank my father for the money, pluck my eyebrows, change my underwear, respond to her email, swap the sheets on their beds
If I touch the hem of his garment will I be saved?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


This is about a woman coming home from a four-day trip and standing on the corner of Broadway and 12th with her bags at ten o’clock at night waiting for her husband
This is about him being late and her wondering which other more important thing has delayed him; a call to his lover, one more email, a decision to take the long way.

This is about seeing his car on the other side of the street and the way she has to cross,
how instantly cross she becomes

This is about the shut of the car door and the pull into late night traffic
The way she doesn’t reach over the stick to bridge the gap, no hello honey kiss
The distance, the disappointment that has come out of thin air;
Suddenly, glad to see him, then angry out of nowhere.

This is about a conversation earlier in the day with her friend about how loving people heals us. About how we should love because it feels good in us, not because people are deserving of our love. This is about the way her friend nodded and kept staring at her as if that was the freshest idea she’d ever heard

This is about the man and the woman and how the conversation in the car moves to the kids and what’s happening tomorrow.
This is about domestic life.
About the slightly bossy way he asked her to lock the front door after they got home
The flat spans of dessert as they lay in bed, neither moving to connect. This is the mountain of shoulds, the way she sidles up next to him, her stomach facing his hip, her hand on his chest.

This is about a late night conversation where she suggests they talk about telling their 10-year-old about the lovers because it might be worse when she does find out and feels she’s been lied to
This is about him saying no
How she turns away

This is about coming home but not feeling at home
About a soft blanket of depression she reserves for this man,
About silence and exhaustion and retreat
A decision not to bring up money until after Valentines Day because it would just ruin things
And the long list she imagined making of all the ways she loved him; everything he’d love to hear, how happy it would make him
How down the drain that idea went, for no good reason.

This is about the way we turn away as easily as we turn towards
This is about choices,
Reasons to love, reasons not to
This is about a woman standing alone at 10 at night in downtown Oakland with her bags, which are packed. This is about not knowing if she’s coming or going.