Posts tagged "love/relationships"
How to Fall in Love For Real

How to Fall in Love For Real

At twenty-two, I fell in love with the sales clerk who helped me pick out clothes at the mall. I was in love with my best friend’s wife. I was in love with everything. The sales clerk’s name was Cricket. She was six months pregnant. And for two weeks at sea, I imagined how I...
Thank You

Thank You

You will never know me, will never know your father once professed (many times, over a few months, the way boys will) to love me, will not know the first time we made love you were in your bedroom next door sleeping, and we paused to listen when we heard you (I worried, unused to...
Balancing Act

Balancing Act

A man in my neighborhood stacks rocks in his front yard. From a distance, the cairns remind me of a small throng of people. Some wear long coats or dresses: clerics in cassocks. Some stand on two, wide and chunky legs. One stack sports a wide-brimmed, flat-topped rock, sat at a jaunty angle. The first...
The Bedroom that was a Beekeeper’s House

The Bedroom that was a Beekeeper’s House

Jim was given custody of the bees in his divorce. Not knowing where to go with them when he moved out, he house-sat for a woman in her seventies who needed someone to look after her hives while she summered in Canada. He integrated his bees with hers in the backyard, fed them sugar water,...

Girl/Thing

Because I needed the cash, because it seemed like the girl thing to do, I took a certification course in babysitting to learn the essentials of diaper changing, of getting a baby to take the Gerber’s off the spoon, and of infant CPR, which we practiced on naked, rubbery dolls. But they didn’t teach us...

There Are Distances Between Us

The interstate highway system in the United States is the largest and most sophisticated in the world. It is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There are two points and between them, a distance between you and me. These two points are connected in ways we will never fully understand but they are connected. You are there...

Come Back, Jimmy Dean

At my hometown community theater, there is a staircase that goes nowhere.  Two separate theater boyfriends have promised—threatened?—to have sex with me in that stairwell, and I put both off with excuses: those steps are filthy; we’ll get caught; I’m wearing a skirt; I’m not wearing a skirt. My living boyfriend, as distinct from my...

First Apartment—Brooklyn, 2002

Loaves rise, engorged as dangerous moons, all through the night. I ring the bakery’s back-door bell, buy Pumpernickel for a dollar. No matter the after-bar hour; the late-night bakers always take our neighborly buck. The dark street’s swollen with the smell of bread—intimate, in-folded—like the small humidity behind an ear, between the toes. I carry...

Please Do Not Shoot the Pianist

The U-Haul guy asked my brother for a “destination address.” My brother, confused, arched an eyebrow and cocked his head. “You know,” the U-Haul guy said. “Where you’re moving to.” “Oh, I’m not moving anywhere,” my brother said, finally understanding the question. “My ex-wife is.” The U-Haul guy chuckled and nodded like he’d heard that...

Letting the Dog Out

Under the pretense that a dog needed to pee, I accompanied a new guy to his duplex in the woods. We had just met at a literary festival afterparty, me swirling beer around in a plastic cup as I stood with him beside a keg in someone’s backyard. It was November, I was a senior...

The Blind Prophets of Easter Island

Jacques Cousteau and his son, Philippe, circle the thirty-foot stone Moai heads of Easter Island. I sit on the matted carpet of my Oakland apartment. He squints and purses his lips and nods towards each elongated face in some ritual of recognition he usually reserves for communing with aquatic life. I bounce somebody else’s baby...

There Was a Moment to Turn Back

I wait before I enter. Pausing briefly at the door, I am suspended in this space, between the coming and the going. The yellowed linoleum is tacky against the bottom of my feet, and the fluorescent bulb in the ceiling illuminates the white of the bare walls so they tint blue. I stand in the...

The Upholsterer’s Wife

I only met her once.  It was summertime, and I was riding with my dad out to the airport. As an amateur pilot, he was required to log a certain number of hours of flight time per year in order to keep his pilot’s license, and we would often take little trips to neighboring Wisconsin...

Small Love Letters

“Cleopatra’s nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.” —Pascal, Pensées I. The real history of the world happens in small ways because it concerns the history of love, itself a series of small events. A glance might shift the order of everything, move the heart into open...

The Moment

No sound from the kids, not for fifteen minutes. I trust they’re asleep. I get my tiger-striped chenille robe off the back of the bathroom door and put it on over my jeans and flannel shirt. I am that cold. Lately I stand sometimes for a whole half-hour over the floor furnace. Other times I...

I can’t stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton

I bought it on E. 7th St. in a shop that was only open for one day. Kerouac used to live in that building, but he was dead by then. No zippers or buttons, just strips of fabric to tie on either side of the waist. If I had been one to twirl … but...

Closing Time

Pedro the dishwasher told me about how his sister died. We were drinking gin at a table by the window. He dried his hands off with a towel, ran his fingers through his black hair and described the way the hot water was still running when he found her hanging from a cord in the...

As I Unscrew: A Letter

Dear Karen, As I unscrew the cap to the bottle of Gordon’s gin, the boar’s head on the label looks appalled, its eye a wide dilated circle of disbelief (that yes, I am pouring yet another drink, that no, I am not measuring my pour, that yes, I do think a 1:2 tastes watered down,...