Monday, August 03, 2020

The roofers traipsed up the stairs. The last one was the boss and he gave a dazed little nod, like Jesus fucking Christ, another job. I pointed up the open hatch and said through my mask, it’s all set, let me know if you need anything, just because I thought I was supposed to say something. And he said OK with a look that made me think I shouldn’t have said anything at all.


I heard their movements up there over the course of the afternoon. Finally he called while I was working and left a message. “We found the source of the problem. You should be all set now.” And I didn’t see them again and I didn’t even hear them leave.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sitting in my easy chair I remembered that not an hour ago I’d had an idea for a song and now it was gone. What was it? Something to a country tune. It’s always easy to think of a country tune when you get an idea for a lyric, or to think of an idea for a lyric when you think of a country tune. I don’t know. The one follows the other eagerly, easily. Not that it has to stay that way, or should. The lyric can change. The music can change. Or both. Now I had neither. You can’t abandon something you forgot. Was it about forgetting? I wish I could forget… my name? No. It was about doing something, getting through it, something rote. But it was poignant, maybe all the more so for being mundane. Definitely started with the word I. Like so many country songs do.


I stood in line for vegetables at the corner farmer’s market. It wound and stretched around the stand, off the pavement onto the grass, over a path, almost into the woods. But six feet apart, it wasn’t that long after all. Everyone peering down over their masks at their phones. I thought about the beginning of this in March and how life was the same of course but different in weird, small ways: we favored an Italian restaurant for delivery back then but we haven’t ordered since and I can’t remember why or if there was a reason why. Our hallway was cluttered with different things. We had no cats. It’s as though years had been condensed into months. It was forever ago. You could just about trace the time in the lines of your face.


Thursday, July 09, 2020

Thanks

I accidentally titled this post Thanks so there it is. Thanks and praises.


I saw a bridge in ruins in a Japanese anime and it reminded me of the rope bridge over those river falls in Jamaica. It was just scary enough to be a little rite of passage for all the tourists, at the beginning of the climb, something to make us feel brave. It was exposed on either side between the lines you held onto and the base of bundled bamboo canes a couple feet wide. It wobbled a little—just enough. Really you couldn’t fall unless you wanted to.


Sunday, July 05, 2020

I was watching a classic French movie late at night, drunk, after the fireworks and after the guests had gone home, actually the fireworks were still going on and they still go on now. I’d watch a scene and descend into a psychedelic interpretation of the events—is that what really happened? Did he think she said he said she thought? I fumbled for the slender Apple TV remote and swiped back 20 seconds, whatever the device is set to do. And 20 seconds more. Turns out nothing of the sort took place.


Saturday, July 04, 2020


The fireworks begin at dusk and go on late into the night, sometimes in quick bursts, sometimes every few minutes, no rhyme or reason. Of course they’re in honor of nothing this year. Each concussion is an anti-celebration, an assertion of how fucked we all are and everything is. Boom, boom, boom, boom, bang.

Friday, July 03, 2020

A bead of water trickled down Jackie’s electric toothbrush after it had been replaced on its stand, probably to gum up the electronics once it reached the charging base, causing a short circuit, starting a fire. I envisioned us naked on the street as annoyed firefighters clambered up the four flights.


No matter what technology you have, smart devices, app controls, computers in the car, nothing works like a toilet.


Jackie had a fortune cookie in her lunch. I unfurled the little wisp of paper, spotted with sauce. Ready for another fortune? it said, and I thought: good fortune. Smart. Did not expect that. Then I realized of course the fortune was on the other side:


Declare peace every day.


Lately when I read a book that’s supposed to be good, I think: this book has been read ten million times. It’s been read to death. I start to worry there’s nothing there for me. I try to reassure myself that every act of reading is unique. It must create its own universe from the reader and the text. I believe that, but still I worry. Hasn’t everything been thought already about these words? Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway. I thought this reading “The Sound and the Fury” and now I think it reading “Ragtime.” But then a word or phrase comes round to penetrate my brain. Tonight it was this: The freaks were delighted.



Thursday, July 02, 2020

Sara said look at the moon, see the moon? Jackie said it’s almost full. It seems like a couple days ago I was showing her the sliver of new moon out her bedroom window before she went to sleep.


I’m looking at it now, its giant aura shrouded above and below by black clouds.


I’ve always been obsessed with my computer doing things, updating itself, fixing itself, restoring something or other. I thought it was because I want things to work and then I thought maybe it’s because I want them not to work. Just so I can worry. Just so I can care. So I can wake up and see: Is it done yet? Is it fixed? But really I’d just like my computer to count from 1 to infinity. I’d check its progress now and then. Sometimes often, every ten or fifteen minutes—when I’d be working and in need of distraction. Sometimes once a day. I’d see: how far up is it now?


Wednesday, July 01, 2020

After the beans were already cooked I found a raw one on the counter, pristine, more beautiful than all the rest. Smooth, unblemished sea-green flesh. I threw it away.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sideways rain gave way to hail, rattling angrily off the windows and air conditioners. They were marble-sized or less—not like the ones upstate someone had posted pictures of, which were the size of a man’s balls and dented the roofs of cars. Still I beheld them with awe. They had come from so far away to land on our planting terrace. I imagined they were fragments of meteorites, or a warning from God. Frogs and locusts next.


Then the sun shone again and I tried to remember what it felt like, two or three minutes before, to be in the storm, and I barely could, the way you sometimes remember a dream.