Sunday, December 31, 2006

There was a knocked-over stack of sodden newspapers in the middle of the tarmac between rows of empty, waiting luggage trailers.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I was reading an Ian McEwan story in the New Yorker about a clumsy and anxious couple on their wedding night when a couple just like them drifted into the restaurant where I was having lunch, a corner bistrot, French in every regard. They were mute and bewildered, evidently Anglo-Saxon. They stared blankly when the patronne offered them placemats at the bar. Eventually he pulled his knit hat back on his head and they retreated out the door. It seemed to me as though they had strayed off the page and, momentarily, into reality beside me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We took turns walking out on the balcony to have a smoke or think about jumping.

Far below there were Christmas lights in windows and on buildings and in trees. The various bridges in the distance. The Chrysler Building.

That floaty, wobbly feeling when you look down from a great height, like your fear is cruelly lifting you out of your shoes.

I knocked over an entire tray of good artisan rustic bread and some kind of big, soft cheese.

I was drinking rum and Cokes, like I was back on the beach in 1985 with Matt and Nat and Rich and John. Pouring the Coke out of the big, squishy two-liter bottle and watching the bubbles sizzle on the ice. A nostalgia drink. The effervescent essence of my adolescence.

The night ended dully with The Matrix on TV, a movie everyone likes except now some people said they didn't, actually.

It's a good concept, is what I said.
Dan had prodigious sideburns, he was a student of my dad's. He had a nice house and a wife or girlfriend or whatever who had short hair and was an actress. She showed us pictures of a play she did where she played a princess and a pauper or something. She had a picture of herself all scintillating and pretty and then one all poor and dirty in the pauper makeup. She said it took thirty seconds one to the other, you couldn't tell this was true from two pictures, but we were impressed.

Someone gave me Coca-Cola and I watched a football game on TV. It was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers always lost those days.


My dad had another student, she used to be Miss Connecticut. She had a boyfriend who was a car mechanic, long shaggy hair and a mustache. They drove up our driveway. She had a baby I think, rocked it in her arms. It had a knit hat with flaps over the ears. She rocked it as her man peered under the hood of our car. Our fan belt broke I think, maybe. He showed my dad and mom something and laughed.

"Look where it landed. Look where it went."

Everyone looked and laughed.

"See? See where it went?" He laughed.

The former Miss Connecticut rocked her baby in her arms and laughed as well.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I had a dream I walked around a corner. I was a little girl. I had a dream I saw a red-painted thing. It was a plank of wood, a bench. Maybe. Peeled paint. Propped upon the dirt. A simple and poignant object.

I was in a novel written by Don Delillo.

I stood above the Pacific Ocean, like a room-size map. At my feet. Prepared to make a journey from Hawaii, south. To who knows where. Why. A long journey south across the dark blue, white-capped sea.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Since I've moved the unending stream of things I buy. Like I refuse to settle in, unconsciously. Or I'm caught for the occasion in the idiotic grip of materialistic lust. A spatula. Shades. Matching lamps on matching bedside tables. Goose-down pillows and a wall mount for the TV. I've been patiently waiting for it to all end. But there is no end.

I have a spasmodic, heaving cough I've not tended to so well. And as the ominous, pulsing waves of droning ambient music swell around me I lay me down to sleep.

Friday, December 01, 2006

As I walked along Third Street a man burst out a store door looking dazed. He held his hand up by his chest in the universal indication of something wrong breathing, something wrong heart beating. He staggered toward the wall. There was a strand of foamy spittle on his black turtleneck shirt. He was a healthy-looking black man, early 30s. He bent over to cough and heave as I walked past the door and looked inside. An aisle formed a ramp up to the door and I stared down it, saw the white floor's waxy sheen.

It appeared to be some kind of hardware store.