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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm trying to delay posting anything right now because I am hoping to see the fruits of a new collaboration. The artist Rachel Perrine has agreed to work with me to supply some visual work as an accompaniment to the blog. I have supplied her with some words from upcoming posts:

tossing bread into a snowy field

and I forget the other. But this should be tremendous. She is supremely talented and her work is exciting and just great great great. I can't wait to share it with you in the Search for Red Tea Pot.



One time I baked three loaves of bread. This was a long time ago, before I had heard about this baking job (starts tomorrow!) I wrapped one loaf up and took it over to Thom's house. He didn't ask me in even though that's what I really wanted. I gave him the bread and left.

Later he told me that he had chucked the bread into the snowy field behind his house. He also said that he didn't have much food and kind of regretted tossing the bread.

I remember how moody he was, but I also thought that it was something that I had done. At the time, it had to do with getting to know some friends of his and getting along with them pretty well. I thought he was unhappy about that.

Later in our friendship, after I left New Mexico and we would write letters he was more consistently loving. And this would never cease to surprise me. Even at the end, a week or so before he died, he said to me, "you are my prize."

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Sunny sometimes watches her neighbor's kids Ray -- 5 -- and Lizzy -- 7. Today Lizzy was puking and so Sunny called me to hang with Ray while she dealt with Lizzy.

I set Ray up with some paints and a carboard box on Sunny's floor.

"Don't get any paint on Miss Sunny's carpet, OK?"

Five minutes later: "Red, I got paint on the carpet."

"Oh no, Ray. What am I going to tell Miss Sunny?"

Moment of Silence.

"Tell her I'm an idiot."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hey check it out. I've been through a few hells lately. Man it's so exciting when they're finally over. Next week I see a woman about a job in a restaurant -- baking -- sweet! I mean where do these changes come from? So cool.

It's weird to have a future. Baking -- with a woman -- and others. Not real. Therefore, I'll do it!

I've been doing pretty much nothing lately. I do have another job but it's not enough -- cooking and making beds at a B + B twice a week. Still behind on some bills -- don't worry the room is covered. But there's no money for aquarium supplies. I changed the water and things seem to be stabilizing. The fish are swimming faster. That's good. But only three left. Actually four.

It's all completely perfect. Stuck in my miserable petty little self. Then transcend -- new job.

I feel like a fart in paradise.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tonight Sunny had me over for hamburgers on the grill. She lives near the train tracks and there was something about the way we were grilling hamburgers while the noise of the train hammered by. Her dog was there too.

She recently got a piano. I'm not sure if her mother gave it to her or if there was some friend who didn't want it any more. This was the first time I saw the piano in her living room and the first time I heard her play.

I knew Sunny from a long time ago when we were teenagers in New Mexico. We used to smoke pot in the bushes by the river. She had a lot to do with my moving here and my trying to start over.

Sunny played me two songs on the piano by Beethoven. I've never actually had that experience before -- of having a friend play for me. It felt so peaceful. She looked smaller than her usual size sitting there at the piano. And the room also felt different while she played. Like the furniture and us were just there in some temporary way while the real room -- what we could hear there -- the walls and the floor reflecting the piano sounds -- was an empty shell that would always be there.


Saturday, February 7, 2009


This required the large cart they keep in a room off the lobby. Large cart. Big load. I rarely clean out my room and after all the stuff I've had shipped to me -- months ago -- there was just a lot of cardboard.

I loaded up the cart and carted it out to the big recycling dumpster in the parking lot. When I came back in to return the cart some painters had set up their ladders in the doorway to the cart room so I had to go in another side door. As I was turning the cart around Angel, the guy who sweeps and vacuums our floors and generally cleans up after, appears from behind the corner. I had seen him mopping the front hall. He came over to help me.

I've been thinking about this since yesterday. Do you know anyone who is just really really sweet? I sometimes think I'm the sweetest person I know. But then there is my friend Sunny. She's very sweet. And then there is Angel.

Angel has a high-pitched voice that makes him sound like a child of 8 instead of somewhere in his 20's. One of his eyes doesn't open. I don't know what happened there. I always say hi and goodbye, pretty much one after the other because that is what he does. "Hi" -- walk by -- "Bye."

Angel took the cart and wheeled it into the room and parked it in the little nook. I followed him about, moved a little chair that wasn't really in the way. "Thank you," I said. "Your welcome," he said. "How are you?" I said. "Fine." He maybe doesn't speak much English. I did manage to find out he's from the Philippines and he goes there once a year.

Whatever background he has, how did he get so sweet? How come he's not hard with suffering? Maybe it's not that bad. Maybe he has religion. I know some people get very sweet with religion. It sure softened me up.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


One night, as she was getting ready to go out, I put a note in my mom's papers that said: "Hi Mom, I just wanted to give you this note to say hi. I love you. Please don't tell anyone I put this note in here." I was twelve.

She was going to a weekly, evening meeting with some group of educators, one of whom was a friend of my mom's -- Mrs. Lazar -- who came over after the meeting. I went into the kitchen as they fixed themselves drinks and munched on a bag of microwave popcorn.

When Mrs. Lazar saw me, she said, "We got your note."

In my memory Mrs. Lazar looked at my mother even though she was talking to me. Like she was watching my mother's reaction. And my mother, with all her gorgeous brown hair and silk blouse and gold jewelry, showed us her back. She continued to do whatever she was doing at the stainless steel sink. I think she felt really bad for sharing that note and didn't want to turn around.

I think she feels really bad generally for all the mean things she said and did. It really breaks my heart.

And how about Mrs. Lazar? Just as my Mom betrays me, she betrays my mom. Right? Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Too bad Mrs. Lazar didn't scoop me up right then and there and say to me "you are so great to write that note and I know your Mom really liked it and she was so happy to get it that she just had to share it with us."

Too bad. Because instead I was totally mortified. Like lobster-face humiliated. Like wow I felt silly for reaching out to my mom. What a mistake.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I've been keeping a close watch on this guppy in my aquarium because I think it is going to die. It isn't eating. It isn't really swimming. Its gills are pulsating rapidly as are its fins which keep it in a suspended position behind the fake tree root near where the bubbles come up. Every time I go over to the tank I expect it to be belly up.

Thom died a couple weeks ago. Not a guppy, he was my human friend in New Mexico. We dated for a while and then he called it off. Fine. We stayed friends and we wrote each other letters. The last letter I got wasn't from him but from someone who told me about how Thom was in hospice. I went to see him and we had a few hours together. I said goodbye and thank you because he gave me help when I needed a lot of it -- when I was 21 and very clueless and very alone. When I saw him in hospice I could see he was probably facing the end -- so thin, no appetite, oxygen tubes and the pink gums I've seen happen in dying people -- like pepto bismol pink. But he was talking about how he wanted to get better and even drive his car again.

About ten days later he died in his sleep. I miss him, blah blah blah.

The last death I want to mention here is Timothy Treadwell's. He is the guy in the movie Grizzly Man -- Werner Herzog directed it. He seemed like a really sad person in a way I completely relate to. So vulnerable and sensitive it feels impossible to survive in the mean world. So what does he do? He flees. He goes to live with the grizzly bears in Alaska. So what happens? He goes there for 13 consecutive summers, films them, talks to them, lives near them. Then, after a long summer and a little bit of the fall, one of them eats him and his girlfriend. The crazy thing is there is an audio recording of the killing. He turned the camera on but didn't have time to take the lens cap off. The director described the audio -- moaning, a frying pan being wielded, six minutes in all -- but decided not to play the audio in the movie --thank god.

It's good to think about death because it wakes me up. Snap to it. Awake! But so far it hasn't made anything happen faster. I don't want to waste my life. I want to live it. Wake up! Wake up! But I'm still just here. Blah.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


If you are like me, when you feel indistinct and vague, it is helpful to come upon a person to model yourself upon. I don't know how those backless halters fit here -- because they are a little hippie -- but there is this woman who is about as sharp as you can get. Of course you know Shirley Chisholm is the first African American woman in congress and the first African American to run for president -- seriously -- with support and with delegates -- in 1972 -- but have you heard her speak?

I just don't know if my brain can get behind my mouth like that. I know my brain is strong but sometimes it is so sleepy. Actually it's a confidence thing.

Confidence, as far as I can tell, is really hard to learn if you didn't get it early. Kind of like learning a musical instrument. Easiest to learn when you are a child, open, easily formed. There have been times when long periods have passed where I haven't spoken to ANYONE -- like days of not speaking -- and I am forced to leave the hotel room -- for work or groceries -- and people can't hear me and worse, people don't see me. I am invisible. Ugh. Have you ever tried to talk to the butcher in a grocery store? You have to shout.

Now you are wondering how I can wear the backless halter tops. I tell you, it is a challenge to put the damn thing on my body.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Somewhere around the end of July I took an evening walk around the White House with a friend -- a professional psychic healer minister fire walker -- I meet the darndest people. Well it was hot and there was a vender out selling these halters without a back that hippie girls wear. You know what I mean? Well he kind of convinced me to buy one -- pink camouflage!

Now I have about ten of them. Blue, orange, green crochet, stripes, beaded. My favorite is the one with stripes -- black and white stripes.

I swear people treat me different when I wear them, especially the Jamaican women in the safeway. More friendly.

These halters have nothing whatsoever to do with January. Which is what it is now. Which sucks except for the fact that there is apparently more oxygen in the air when it is cold.

While we're having a good time with the Obama's (saw Michelle yesterday at that restaurant!) it is just a hard, unfriendly, season.

Friday, January 30, 2009


The headache continues. Probably the beer and waffles didn't help.

These two sisters are my mother and aunt (see photo). They are prone to headaches too. One is a PhD in education. The other has taught science in middle school for 30 years.

They were in their 20's during the 60's.

When I asked them what their experience with drugs was in the 60's they said they tried weed but it just made them paranoid. Plus, they were overseas and "kind of missed the whole thing."

This is exactly what I'm worried about.

Right now I am missing: exercise, income, beauty, and success.

Success. Let's ask the snail his views on success.

Snail: Well there was the dead little neon I happened upon yesterday. Wonderfully fleshy.


Last night two ibuprofin. This morning, excedrin migraine strength. Later tylenol sinus extreme pain (love these sympathetic names.) I also took a generic claritin. O and many cups of fine Chinese tea. I believe tea will be the key to the search. Oolong.

I am being serious but this is of course, subject to change. If your search is like mine, the lightest moments seem right and the serious moments seem wrong.

So join me! It would be wonderful to have you with me. I hope you are a good listener.