Posts tagged "love/relationships"
I Wonder What Happens Next

I Wonder What Happens Next

Sister, you already know what I am going to say. We leave our mother’s womb together. Our stomachs flower brownly into diapers. Screaming from our cribs, we watch colorful bears bounce across television screens. It is right that a bear should have a rainbow on its stomach. It is right for that stomach to radiate...
The Longest Con

The Longest Con

Whenever I’m too in love with somebody, I imagine him in prison—orange jumpsuit, laceless slippers, his days a humiliating routine of following other men’s orders. He’s been convicted of something cowardly, or neglectful. Not murder, but uttering and publishing, maybe, or accidental mail fraud. Something worse than failing to fall in love with me back,...
After the Hysterectomy

After the Hysterectomy

When you meet someone at twenty-one, someone eight years older and wiser, you learn the world through her eyes. You are a blank slate, a boy who hasn’t lost enough. You adopt what she wants and her views on life. Her interests—nature, birds, the infinite flat of Illinois—become your interests. And suddenly, you, the urban...
Cake

Cake

At the edge of the counter, on a plate and wrapped in plastic, was a single wedge of cake. Not just chocolate cake, but German chocolate, layers of sodden coconut and crushed nuts bound by nectar as sweet, I imagined, as the honey drop I once sucked from a trumpet-shaped petal of a columbine. I...
Too Soon

Too Soon

Summer ends too soon this year as all the seasons do. Funny, how after sixty-eight summers, time, the thing there always seemed so much of, collapses in on itself, and I find myself counting out the number of summers until an end. And someone, a woman friend I knew a long time ago, and always...
Shame

Shame

I stole another woman’s boyfriend once. Maybe he was her ex-boyfriend, or she was about to break up with him. I can’t remember now except that he came to the apartment I shared with his girlfriend, and he watched TV with me while she went out and had sex with other men. One night, the...
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

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...