Sunday, July 27, 2008

On losing a friend

suddenly the transition between is and was
is like learning past tense in a foreign language
(when did "we are so close" become "we were so close?")
training my brain to naturally say
I was you were he was

while thinking about the strangeness of that foggy place
where the present is sloughed off
in a seedy bus terminal
of departures marked by tears
or by shouting and spite

and in the tumult there is me,
dry-eyed, shoulders sagging as I watch you retreat
fading into past tense
as the back of your head becomes lost in the crowd

later, alone on a train headed home
I'll watch dusky backyards through my reflection
in the window and conjugate, murmuring
you were he was we were

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Amber is the color of your energy

I may not have remembered this verbatim, but I promise you that the following conversation happened between me and some woman yesterday.

Woman: There is too much going on in the city. It is just so much better out here; this is where I am meant to be.

Me: Oh? Whereabouts in New York do you live?

Woman: In the Village, St. Mark's Place. I mean, it's nice and all, but I just can't sleep at night sometimes and I really feel my glow there (she waves her hands around her torso), you know? It just glows and I have to get away. I'm trying these crystals (tugs at the amethyst necklace she's wearing) but it is just too much there; I need to escape and relax near the water.

Me: (smiles and nods)

Woman: Well obviously I would need to be on the water, I mean, hello . . . Pisces! I don't know if you are familiar with astrology but water is our element. The coast is where I am meant to be.

She begins walking out the door.

Woman: We Pisces are very straightforward, but also very romantic.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reading trumps sleep again

I'm on a book binge . . . I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns a few minutes ago. Part of me wishes I had something to write about, but for now I'm content in having the time to read anything and everything. Next on the list: We Were The Mulvaneys, to be started tomorrow because I'm going to the track at eight.

Gah. That is five hours and nine minutes from now. Goodnight? Good morning?

Side note: why is goodnight considered a compound word while 'goodmorning' is not? V. curious.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gas guzzler

I have driven to and from Port Jefferson five times today.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You are flushed cheeks

The babydoll tee that shrank in the dryer
Cellulite on pale thighs
Tight clothes
Stage mothers
Prepubescent beauty queens
You are lying about your age
Named Tiffany or Brad
Teenage angst
Dancing in groups
You are band night at the Y
Boys with shaggy hair
Writing a word in lowercase and capitals
Using Myspace
You are failing to grow a beard
A half-buttoned shirt
You are hair gel and highlights
Hoop earrings like bangle bracelets
Forced laughter
You are trying too hard
A declined credit card
You are paying with nickels
Pretending you’re drunk
Beer goggles
You are talking too loudly
Giving your twins rhyming names
You are Willy Loman
A résumé in Comic Sans
Coffee spilled on the front of your shirt
Avoiding eye contact
You don’t get the hint
Singing off-key
Empty seats
You are reunion tours
A one-hit wonder
Watching sex scenes with your family
You are the same lame joke
Kissing relatives
Bigoted grandparents
Political correctness
You are canned goods
Using a public restroom
Farting in class
You are forgetting to brush your teeth
And pretending not to watch

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"The Nearsighted Ninny," a parable

Once upon a time, there was a girl who ventured into the city of New York one summer Saturday. By the end of her adventurous day, she was grateful to sink into the backseat of a cab and simply watch as Museum Mile, Columbus Circle and Times Square sped past her tired, heavy-lidded eyes. When the cab pulled up to Penn Station, she scooted out of the yellow chariot without a backwards glance--thus unable to see that her beloved eyeglasses lay forgotten on the black pleather seat. Alas, the poor dimwit was no princess, so hopes of a dashing young prince finding the glasses and returning them to her were nil.

Realizing her blunder minutes before the train left, there was no chance of recovering the forgotten glasses. For a week afterwards, the nearsighted ninny squinted over the steering wheel (though still fully capable of driving safely, she wishes to note) while pining for her black and red frames. When the time finally came to see her optrician, it was discovered that her pupils were not the same size. As if realizing she had an asymmetrical face wasn't disconcerting enough, she was directed to reschedule an appointment with an opthamologist for further insight concerning her Picasso eyeballs. Request to simply get another eyeglass prescription: DENIED.

Chaos ensued, frustration culminating as she screamed obscenities over Coldplay in the car after being told that she couldn't keep her most recently rescheduled appointment because she needed a referral from her physican. The nearsighted ninny felt completely foolish for losing her glasses in the first place.

Did she mention that there were no princes involved?

Moral of the story: Risk increasing your tool factor by wearing your eyeglasses on a cord, because when you go back to replace your dearly loved frames, heartbreak will ensue upon realizing they're no longer made.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


There is now a map pinned to one of the walls at work, and we're all marking the hometowns of customers who come into the store. It's only been up for two days and already we have two pins in South Africa (Johannesburg and Durban), one in Buenos Aires, one somewhere in Peru, and a scattering of them east of the Mississippi. I could've pinned six European countries off the top of my head, but the rule is that we're starting fresh so they don't count.

I can never decide whether I think the world is tremendous or tiny. Meeting people from all over the place makes me lean towards the latter, but I also haven't ever been out of the country (excluding the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, but the border doesn't really count, eh?). Yet. It will happen. In the meantime, I'll just practice my geography at the register.

Loose chains and video games

Yeah, I heard the "ooooooh" you expelled upon realizing that the layout is new. If I were you, I'd be impressed by my computer skills too. I'm kidding: almost all technology-based knowledge I have has been acquired on a trial-and-error basis . . . and I don't think I can brag very much about luck.

Anyways, it's time for a change. I've recently dumped some baggage (see: tools) that I've been carrying for way too long, and I can't even express to you how liberating it feels to have an uncluttered mind. In terms of Atari, my thoughts are more Pong than Pac-Man.

In unrelated news: I caught a shoplifter today; this woman tried to lift a Cap and Tee from the store in her baby's stroller. Classy. Perhaps I'll share the story when I'm not nodding off, yeah?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A letter to the hammers and wrenches

Dear Tools,

I'm starting to think that traits like cleverness and charm are simply shoddy attempts to mask your collective personality flaw. I'm all about the "live and let live" thing, but hustle me and I'll hold an eternal grudge. You may succeed in throwing me off for a while with seemingly intelligent conversation and party tricks, but don't be hasty in claiming a victory over my Tooldar because my moderate level of intelligence will kick in eventually.

Blips on the Tooldar include:
  • Telling a story that is exaggerated beyond recognition.
  • Knowing something about everything . . . news flash that is impossible. Sorry.
  • Withering when not the focus of attention.
  • Eagerness to take and never to give.
So, uh, think of this as an olive branch of sorts. When I punch you in the face, you won't be able to say I didn't warn you.