Sunday, July 12, 2009


I met a guy. He’s married. Don’t worry – it’s already over.

We were in his little cabin on “the mesa” – they call it that – in New Mexico. He bought my plane ticket – the biggest romantic thrill of my life.

The cabin was, well, basic. No running water. No electricity. It was freezing when we stepped inside but he built a fire and we were quickly feeling really cozy. We cooked a meal on the wood stove – steaks in butter – potatoes cooked right on the coals – no foil – you just have to brush off the ash and coal and you’d be amazed. I don’t know. Maybe they sucked.
Everything seems good sometimes.

Anyway were drinking– beer, wine, whiskey “because this is the west” – though I cannot stand the stuff ever since I was sixteen and spent the night vomiting. I woke up the next day with a bruise on the inside of my lip. Did I already tell you that?

So we were drinking and getting uninhibited, so to speak, and talking and making out and losing pieces of clothing here and there.

James – he’s called – is a writer for a big newspaper. A columnist. He’s fifty-four. We met at a bar. He knows Sunny’s husband who told me to stay away because James is a trouble-maker in more ways than one – but I only know the one way. I knew from the get-go that he was married – Why did that not matter to me?

So there we were, caressing, and James was going on about a painting – “A Turner,” he called it – a massive canvas with massive ships and massive gods and weather and fire and lots of little, non-descript men. “Epic. Just epic,” he repeated.

Then there was a knock at the door – of the cabin – which was a mile from the nearest neighbor – at the end of a rutty driveway a half a mile long – very late at night – did I mention we were in New Mexico?

Suddenly James changes. Gone is glowing confidence. He just shrunk. Shriveled. And froze – so I had to go to the door having no clue whatsoever.

From the light of the crack in the door I coulr make him out, a young man from south of the boarder somewhere – later we find out he’s from Guatemala -- smelling very strongly of alcohol.

He spoke to me in Spanish – through the crack I opened in the door – I wasn’t totally exposed but I wasn’t wearing much on the bottom. He wasn’t looking straight at me anyway – having trouble with the blurred vision I’d guess.

I took Spanish in 7th grade and that was a long time ago so – Help! James speaks Spanish, he says, but still doesn’t come to the door, so I have to repeat what the guys says back to James. Anyway, after many tries – dormir – dormir – I finally – finally – understand this guy wants to know if he can sleep in the shed behind the cabin.

This stuns James – he says, "this has never happened before, this has never happened before." What the hell. I tell the guy “Sí” and he weaves himself around to the back of the cabin. I hear the latch of the shed click.

And that, as I look back, is the end of our affair – still Friday night – a very short weekend – but a long night of James crying.

Whatever fantasy James was living out ended suddenly – like a door slamming shut – and locked. He just kept crying – on the floor in the kitchen because he didn’t want to share the bed with me anymore. Crying with brief periods of silence, which must have been when he slept – then more crying. I tried to comfort him but he wouldn’t let me touch him. Why don’t I get to know people better BEFORE I go off to their cabin in another state to spend the weekend? I felt like a stranger. You really wouldn't know this man was capable of this kind of crying just by looking at him. Tall. Tan. Tailored. What the hell.

The next morning we are up and dressed and packed by dawn. I go out to the shed to check on the young man and manage to wake him up when I open the door. I give him the glass of water I am holding and communicate with my hands and sound effects that we can give him a ride somewhere. He says blah blah blah “autobus”and I say “si” and go to tell James.

In the car James is all built up again. No sign of the weeps. He doesn’t tell me what they talk about – him and young man – but I understand Guatemala and coyote and Denver and figure the young man has crossed the border and is on his way to Denver.

James takes me to the airport and pulls up to the departures curb. I think he will say something along the lines of “I’m sorry this didn’t work out the way we had planned” or "I don’t know how to explain myself but I'll call you in a couple days." Nope. He says “you’d better get your stuff before the cops hassle me to move the car.”

I guess I was so stunned by the sudden change of heart I couldn’t think anything to say. Now I have lots to say – asshole shit-head jerk – but no James to say it to. So instead I have a recurring daydream.

Wielding a large sword I cut him in quarters – top to bottom and across the middle. This particular image is very satisfying even still. I keep thinking of the word “flay” but it’s not quite “flaying” that happens. His skin is still attached. Then he is in the backyard of his suburban home – in quarters – under a dogwood tree after the blooms have all fallen off –it’s raining.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I don't know what came over me but it happened again yesterday in the thrift store. I saw a scarf -- really more a shawl -- many feet long. And even though it was not more than $10 I stole it.

You know you have a problem when you steal from thrift stores -- or friends. Ugh. So ashamed.

Some time back I was staying with my friend Frida in Kentucky on my way to Virginia. She was a friend in high school. I don't know what happened but she left me alone in her house while she ran an errand or made an appointment -- I don't know what. I was drinking water from this blue glass with yellow stars on it and next thing you know, I get the bright idea to take this blue cup with yellow stars -- yup -- I steal her cup. Into my suitcase it goes and into the trunk of my car and down the street and onto the highway and into a neighboring state. You know what though -- I can be a real oddball sometimes -- I told her I did it. She has a guestbook in her dining room. I signed my name. I thanked her for the comfortable hospitality. And I said without explanation -- like there could possibly be an explanantion?!!! -- that I took her cup. Bye Frida! Thanks again!

This was many years ago. I have no idea where that cup is now. And she and I have lost touch.

So this scarf is nothing really remarkable. It's cotton. It's long. It's a kind of dull green and red and orange. It looks kinda old. I took it into the little curtained dressing "room", lifted my shirt up to my shoulders, and wrapped the scarf around my midsection -- like ten times. I pulled the shirt down, picked up my bag, and off I go into the haze.

O yes I've stolen before. Not just a cup. Not just an old scarf. But candy! O yes. When I was 8. I also tried to steal some glittery pink pencils from a toy store but I got caught and had to put them back.

Come to think of it, I see stuff I can steal ALL THE TIME. Usually it's something lying around someone forgot about or left for just a moment -- and there I am faced with a decision. For the most part I've been trying to not take other people's stuff. Every now and then, though -- a pen! a newspaper! -- and it happens again.

(Krishna Stealing Clothes by Kailash Raj)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


OK I've had a lot of time on my hands -- still not employed in the formal sense of the word -- and I've been doing a lot of walking around.

I love love love -- love -- walking around. I love how I can see the world and pass it by. If I have the right outfit on -- this is key -- I can be more or less invisible.

Unfortunately I wore the wrong outfit yesterday -- shorts. Short shorts. And one of my many backless halters. What was I thinking.

Well it was hot, for one. And I felt pretty. That should always be the red alarm warning danger siren. If you feel pretty, then THEY will see that -- this is not a good thing.

Why? Because they -- men who like have sex with women -- will pretty much go for anything that maybe has a vagina. And if you for sure have a vagina then they start grabbing their crotch -- with both hands -- and saying the nastiest rudest words they can think of while bending their knees a little and tucking their hips -- you know exactly what I mean. So totally disgusting.

So this guy sees me coming and does the above -- I'm not making this up -- and after a long string of nastiness he finally gets to the exact image he was looking for -- leaving nothing to the imagination -- and I say loud and in my alto voice -- watch your mouth!

You know what? This is what kills me. He gets mad. He's all Sheeeeeeit, she didn't even say hi to me and his friend is all Fuck that shit.

I say You want me to say hi to someone who is being so rude and insulting? And I keep walking and pick up my pace a little and this ends the exchange. I turn the corner and make a bee line for the hotel -- my fortress. I thought I was just going to change my clothes. Piece of shit. But no. I get in my room and that is it. I can't leave. I'm too scared. Stuck inside because of a stupid shithead man. Asshole. Shithead. Jerk. Dick. Damn damn damn.

I'm so mad I have to stop writing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sorry to be gone for so long. I could tell you what happened but you wouldn't believe me. Ok well truth is I was walking down the street after work -- on my way home -- and a big stretch limo pulled up in front of me. The window rolled down and this totally adorable little boy stuck his head out -- "do you know where the nearest Dairy Queen is?"

Of course I did. I started to tell him but he just looked at me blank -- "would you come with me?" This boy is ten, maybe younger. He opens the door and I see no one else is in the car except the driver, who is there alone in the front seat looking at me in the rear view mirror. What the hell. I get in.

I know, just getting into an unknown car seems like a baaaaaaaad idea. Especially me and my Bad Life Choices. And it's true at this point I don't know if this is as safe as it seems. But guess what, we go get ice cream.

Next thing you know I'm his -- what should I call it -- assistant? Mainly I kept him company. Yes I got paid. Pretty well actually. Yes I quit my job at the bakery. Yes this was a little like baby sitting for the rich and famous (I didn't know him but I guess he was in some movies for kids.) And yes he has since moved on and yes I am jobless.

But can I just say AWESOME FUN. We went shopping most days -- mostly for video games. His folks -- who were not even in the state the entire time I was there -- don't want him to do more than four hours of video a day. Ahem. Four hours seems like a lot -- does that make me old?

We ate grilled cheese and alternated it with spaghetti and that was it food-wise -- except for the DQ runs -- which were many. I never craved fruits and vegetables so much in all my life. I'm eating my second apple of the day right now as a matter of fact.

OK so that's where I've been. Playing with a rich ten year old for 30 days straight. I feel a little disoriented actually. Oh wait -- never mind -- I know exactly where this is -- square one. Again.

(Where are You by Rachel Perrine)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It occurred to me today (not for the first time) that my relative socioeconomic poverty status is tied up with a lot of emotional and attitudinal shit. So what?

I just got back from work – cookies all day. I thanked the plants growing here around me for their lovely presence. I think they received my thanks. I’m so grateful!

Endlessness played out with words. I’m so excited!

So I hope I can work this out – earning money, taking care of myself.

In my imagination I see myself looking like a chicken – a really strange chicken – knees and elbows all out. Anyway – how thankful I am for them – my limbs.

And yes, there are some things I would not mind having – mainly clothes. But no – more than that – what? It’s like I want love but I want more than just love. I want total beyond everything amazement – and someone to keep me company.

I can’t think of what else to do but work – work is my best asset – work makes me look good – as if work is going to get me what I want. It isn’t, is it? Maybe drugs.

(Drawing: "We Work and We Wish" by Rachel Perrine)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


For a while I was the assistant to my boss at the Institute
for Physical and Mental Well Being –
where I worked for a couple years –
in New Mexico.

My boss was one of several co-founders –
we called him Max – his boxing name –
Maximally –
his real name was Leonard. Anyway.

I was in charge of arranging all of his appointments –
Max made sure everyone meditated
ate their vegetarian meals
and walked or swam once a day.

Most people really loved Max.

Well I got to spend a lot of time with Max.
I was falling in love with Max –
I guess –
even though he was married – with kids – and grandkids!

I felt pretty damn certain he was in love with me too – his gaze –
his responsiveness –
all the mutual everything.

At one point – what the hell – I was so pumped by all this love –
vibrating – I went to the store
and bought a pack of condoms.


But the weirdest thing– in the midst of my love –
when I tried to picture sex with him –
which I really wanted –
I thought –
I kept visualizing a brutal thing–
my legs held apart and–
him –
is this what you want? – over and over –
is this what you want? is this what you want? –
not waiting for an answer –
not kind – and I couldn’t answer – stunned and silent.
Is this what you want?

(Photo by Alison Bank)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I really can't eat a dessert a day and not gain weight -- not possible -- and unfortunate! In the bakery, we make so many delicious pastries and pies and creams and parfaits with berries and tarts with berries and kiwis and mangoes and meringues with hazelnuts and custards with champagne and cobblers with bright red fruit. AND we layer cakes with berries and walnuts and ganache and make cheesecakes with ginger and praline and sorbets from cantaloupe and watermelon and honeydew with Calvados or vodka or cherry sorbet with Kirchwasser. We also make huge pans of tiramisu with lots of booze and macadamia or pine nut tarts with marzipan and caramel oh my it goes on and on . . . pistachio phillo this or banana apricot that and pecan-chocolate this and . . . oh my I have to stop.

Yesterday my boss, Michelle, made cannoli -- whew -- guess how many I ate before she stopped me -- five -- whew! The incredible thing about her cannoli is how light they seem -- it's the ricotta. Still, after five cannoli I did not need to eat anything else for the rest of the day .

Nothing like weight gain to remember the pains of the teenager inside. I don't know about you but as soon as I turned fifteen -- the time I left home -- I gained like 30 pounds. It was crazy. I went from being a stick to having very round buns.

Of course being out of the house I was free -- free! -- to eat whatever I wanted. Oreos -- oh boy do I love Oreos. French fries -- oh boy do I love french fries!

I remember a month or so before leaving, I came home with a bag of fries and sat in the kitchen with my salty greasy treat and my mom comes in. "Your hips are spreading from those fries" and pokes her sharp finger into my side. Was that all she said? It doesn't seem all that bad, but wow -- those fries stopped tasting very good. For a little while.

Not that food is my only vice -- alas no. But there are times when it feels so right to just eat and eat.

(Drawing credit: "Obesity" by Rachel Perrine)

Friday, March 13, 2009


Nothing says goodness and light like chewing gum. It's cheap. It's fat free -- heck -- it's sugar free. What is it then? Never mind.

I chew a lot of gum -- buy it in bulk -- keep packs all over the room. I often have chewed gum in little wads of paper just waiting to get thrown away in my purse. In fact, one of those little wads fell out of my purse -- or pocket -- and somehow got smeared onto the floor.

It just so happens that I have a decent set of tools -- I'm very do-it-yourself-if-at-all-possible. So I have a flat scraper and it was the perfect tool for the gum.

Chewing gum tastes good. I like the fruity flavors. It makes a good dessert. It cleans your teeth.

O and according to the link above (click title), chewing gum reduces stress and increases alertness.

Chewing gum, I love you.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This bakery where I work is attached to the back of a restaurant, so we not only cook and sell our baked goods to people on the streets, but we also sell our desserts to the people eating in the restaurant. I’ve met all the line cooks and all the prep cooks from the restaurant. They come through the bakery on their way outside for a break. One guy, John – a line cook – is pretty handsome and very flirtatious. He has invited me over several times to play cards and hang out at his house. So last night I go – what the hell.

He gives me a beer and we hang out with his roommate and some other people who are there – I’m pretty sure we didn’t get introduced –but that's beside the point. We don’t play cards, actually. We just drink beer and hang out. I honestly don’t remember a thing we talked about – probably because I didn’t say a word.

Later he invites me into his room and I go in. I see he has – I’m telling you the truth – a water bed with red satin sheets. I sit on the edge and wait for him to come out of the bathroom. He comes over and we kiss. I feel nothing but don’t stop. We get in bed. Then -- guess what. Apparently he feels nothing either. We roll apart – as much as anyone can roll away from anyone in a waterbed – and pretend to sleep.

Next morning I reach my hand out and he slaps it away – like OW! Ok! I get up and dressed and leave. As I start my car, his roommate is standing in the door staring out at me. I feel like I must have missed something. I have no idea what happened. He was not at all interested in being with me – so what's up with the flirting and why did he invite me over and -- you know -- I also wonder if his roommate might have been his boyfriend. Was he? Why didn’t he tell me? Did he think he was interested but then he realized he wasn’t?

Me? I don’t have a clue. I mostly felt his lack of interest. Maybe we needed to get to know each other better – really I thought that didn’t matter.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


There’s something you would need to know about me – if we were to hang out – it might happen that you’d come to my door and even though I was home, I wouldn’t answer.

I sit every day – that means I meditate -- sometimes several times a day. If I’m going out at night, I’ll sit before I go out. It really helps. So if you come to my door – how unlikely right? – but anyway I would keep sitting. I don’t know a lot of people – so my social life is kind of solo. I go out, but alone – so hard! Sitting helps me get it together – and keep it together.

Like the other night I was listening to these beautiful Flamenco guitar players in the lobby / bar of a nearby hotel. They were so passionate. I was standing by myself in the back – leaning against a kind of rail – by myself but there were others in a small group next to me – all older though. I had on a short green dress and black tights – not risqué at all – but cute! This guy – chubby – drunk – tries to convince me to come to his hotel room. And remember, I have like ONE friend in town and I am perpetually lonely so I totally WANT company. But no way am I going to this guy’s room. I mean come on.

So I am friendly and smile because I don’t want this guy to get upset – drunk people get upset so easily – the worst! And the problem is he’s not getting the message – what with me smiling so much I’m sure – I really smile too much. Finally he drops it and leaves. And then I realize that the waiters have been watching this whole event. Were they watching in a protective way? I have no idea. They’ve never bothered to smile or introduce themselves to me. Whatever.

The point is I sit before I go out so I don’t do something really stupid like go to a stranger’s room just because I’m lonely. I have all these experiences, but I don’t forget how to watch out for myself.

Not that I haven’t done stupid things. Sheesh. I have. Soon grasshopper. Soon.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


One time I was driving with a guy I was seeing – should I give him a name? . . . Nah. We were on the back roads bumping along – it wasn’t paved and his shocks were useless. It was February and there was nothing growing and the sky and every shrub and stubble of plant fiber on the ground was grey.

In the fields around us were hundreds – maybe thousands – of crows. Crows on the ground and in the air – crows flying back and forth in overlapping black lines – a layer of crow hovering 100 feet above the ground. It was a convergence of what seemed like every crow in the four surrounding states. Cawing.

We were riding along in his Chevy Nova – also black – he had spray painted it to cover the brightly colored hippy drawings the previous owner had painted on it.

In the road I could see the swollen corpse of a possum – a big one – maybe 14 pounds. We’re not driving very fast so we could have avoided it. But ex-boyfriend drives us directly over the rotten body. It is unbelievably disgusting and he – him – this guy is laughing and mocking my disgust – eeeeeeewwwww, that’s soooooooo groooooooossss – as if the smell doesn’t bother him at all. We get out and possum flesh – which is mostly liquid and jelly at this point – is smeared all over the fender around the front tire. His laughter goes on and on while I ask him a hundred times over, what did you do that for? And what the hell is so damn funny?

I once had a friend who decided to move to Arizona because she saw two crows cut a sharp left turn in the sky and head in that direction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Again with the headache. It started at the bakery -- the new job is going great -- where they had me make 55 little ramekins of flan. I love flan. It has this borderline burned flavor from the sugar -- not your usual desert. As you know, flan is baked in a water bath which makes it all muy tranquilo for the flan. But the little ramekins are so shallow and the pans we use for the water bath are also shallow -- the whole thing jiggling and slopping like crazy putting it into the oven -- well the water evaporates pretty quickly and if you don't put more water in the water bath then not so tranquilo for the flan. Honestly I don't know what would actually happen if we just let the things bake without water.

So I'm standing over the open oven with an 8 cup pitcher of boiling water which I have to carefully pour into the water bath pan without getting any into the flan cups and I'm sweating bullets. Nevermind that it is still winter. It is probably close to 200 degrees standing over that open oven -- OPEN OVEN! -- with boiling water -- you get the picture.

Ordinarily I really like to sweat -- I think it is very cleansing -- and one of my Korean acupuncture Buddhist healer friends told me sweating is good for the liver -- but this kind of sweating gave me a migraine. I know -- dehydration. Whatever. I was drinking tons of water. And yes peeing too. Clear and copious. But still this headache got so big I couldn't see. My peripheral vision turned all white. I had to lie down in the manager's office with a cold washcloth over my eyes. That helped for as long as no one walked into the office.

Later at home I called Sunny to come over to help me. First thing she says when I pull the towel off my eyes -- I'm lying in bed in the dark and still need a towel over my eyes -- "your head has gotten bigger!" Which is exactly what it felt like.

This was yesterday. I still kind of have the ambiance of a headache. What the hell is going on? I probably have a brain tumor.