Friday, May 15, 2009


I let the water run, full force, from the faucet into the drain, for somebody's pleasure down below. Noises coming from far away, I decided then, the ones that have nothing to do with your own life, can be more important than anything anyone says in your own ear.

(from Janet Kauffman's The Easter We Lived in Detroit)

Sometimes, the stories, and the shadows of stories, assumed their own shapes and lay like giants, almost close enough to touch. If Joe stayed out all night, that would be news, too, a turn of events, connected with other events elsewhere, entwined, like the soft, continuous organs of living things, warm for a long while even out of the body, collected in bowls.

(from Janet Kauffman's News)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Couple

Now is when we love to sit before mirrors
with a dark beer or hand out leaflets
at chain-link gates or come together after work
listening to each other's hard day. The engine dies,
no one hurried to go in. We might
walk around in the yard not making a plan.
The freeway is heard but there's no stopping
progress, and the week has barely begun. Then
we are dressed. It rains. Our heads rest
against the elevator wall inhaling a stranger;
we think of cliffs we went off
with our laughing friends. The faces
we put our lips to. Our wonderful sex
under whatever we wear. And of the car
burning on the side of the highway. Jukeboxes
we fed. Quarters circulating with our prints.
Things we sent away for. Long drives. The rain. Cafes
where we ate late and once only. Eyes of an animal
in the headlamps. The guestbooks that verify
our whereabouts. Your apple core in the ashtray.
The pay toilets where we sat without paper. Rain.
Articles left with ex-lovers. The famous
ravine of childhood. Movie lines we've stood in
when it really came down. Moments
we have felt forsaken waiting for the others
to step from the wrought-iron compartment,
or passing through some town with the dial
on a Mexican station, wondering for the life of us,
where are we going and when we would meet.

C.D. Wright

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It certainly sounds like a squirrel is stuck in my wall. Or ceiling. That, or the masons refacing my building are dragging a delicate pick across the bricks. Actually, no: I am decided that it is a squirrel.

Montreal was excellent! I'd forgotten what it's like to be in a city (a real city), and I did all those things that are impossibilities in rural suburbia: rode the Metro, had leisurely meals in sidewalk cafes, perused the erotic cinemas, and so on. Yes, erotic cinemas and peep shows are everywhere in Montreal, as is coleslaw. Go figure. I ate more coleslaw this weekend than I have during the past two summers, or three.

Returning to Massachusetts, we stopped for lunch in Burlington at a place called Henry's Diner. This was a late lunch - 3:30 or so - and the place was packed with students in sweatpants, hoodies, and flip flops. They ordered breakfast foods with great enthusiasm, and I thought, "Weird! It's like, mid-afternoon." Then it hit me: Sunday mid-afternoons = hangover time! I could not quite believe that I'd forgotten those college Sundays when I stayed in bed until 1:00, and then got up only to purchase a Dasani, a diet ginger ale, and a Powerade from the machines in the basement, but I remembered fast. And chuckled.

Sadly and predictably, I returned to a pile of work. It's the last week of the semester and I'm working both jobs (old and new), scrapping to finish my screenplay and my independent study. It was raining this morning, but the cloudcover just broke. Lilacs are in bloom; I wish I could wrap myself in a comforter and read Richard Hugo.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Off to Montreal in a few hours to celebrate my birthday/Eric's birthday/our anniversary, but for now am detained at the Key Office, empty as it is. I am the most excited about this minitrip! But I am also afraid: filled with fear about swine flu. (Or H1N1, if that is the correct way of referencing this strain.) When I woke up this morning I felt more than a little woozy and I'm not sure if this owes to my general lack of sleep (was awoken @ 4:10 by screaming, but that's another story) or to swine flu. There could be other causes for this lethargy: I could just have a cold, or a different strain of flu. Or, I might be hypochondrizing myself into a state of near-hysteria. Whatever. Amherst College has two confirmed cases of pandemic-making swine flu, and the fear of God has been struck into me. After work, I am going to get a latte and pray that it revives me. If it does not, my paranoia will remain unwavering.

In other news, I hit the quarter century mark this week. The day itself tended toward anticlimax: I was scheduled at both my jobs and didn't get home until after 9:00 (at which point I ate some delicious, strawberry-rhubarb birthday pie). But the approach and the aftermath were both uncanny. I can no longer say I'm in my early twenties, but I'm OK with this, I think. I'm a month away from finishing my master's program, in the best shape I've been in since high school, and about to return to my true homeland. All in all, things are pretty good.

Except my hair. Yesterday, I went to my normal salon for a trim - I'm hoping for an even longer, shinier ponytail - and the stylist (not my normal stylist) butchered my hair into a blunt mutation of the Rachel 'do. Yes, that Rachel 'do. Though Eric assured me my hair looks "great," Ali would not stop singing the "Friends" theme song. All I could think was, "Chin-length layers? Srsly?" Because those look bad on everyone. The worst part is, I can do nothing but wait for my hair to grow out. Siiiiiiiiiigh.

I realize that was an extremely vain paragraph, but I am filled with woe: both by my potential contamination by the swine flu of death and by this redonkulous haircut.

Canada, I hope you cure all ills.