Thursday, May 31, 2012

Food Day in Brooklyn - 1

We went with the others across the park, through the fields and the woods, against an equal current of those returning. It was a bright-blue day, hot. The sort of day when nothing can possibly go wrong.

I scrutinized the faces of those passing us. Some bore wry expressions. Others seemed perfectly content. But it was hard to tell the former from the latter. We continued.

I thought I heard fragments of dejected speech. Almost mocking in tone.

When we arrived the line was hundreds long and wound along the semis parked on the service road. Over the fence and beyond a wall of trees were assembled the multitudes. You couldn’t see them yet. No music was audible at the moment. But you could tell they were there.

The line was moving, but not so fast that you could see it move. It moved like a minute hand. Like the burn of a cigarette.

We commented on the youthfulness of the crowd.

I spotted Joe and Maya walking our way down the line.

“It’s a complete disaster,” proclaimed Joe, smiling faintly. Maya concurred.

They were just describing the scene—long lines for everything, no way to get a drink—when we came upon a woman on her hands and knees, vomiting spasmodically onto the pavement. A man—her man?—stood a few paces away, discussing the matter with a cop. We were struck by his lack of regard for her immediate needs—don’t you hold her hair back when she’s puking? Tell her it’ll be all right?

We parted ways with Joe and Maya, telling them we wanted to go in just to see.

Upon entry we were each handed two packs of Orbit chewing gum. Spearmint and peppermint. The gum lady’s emphatic gestures, her vendor’s tray packed with rows of cellophaned packs, her saccharine little getup—these all belied the scene we were to witness.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


One woman is walking away from the kitchen area, ending a conversation with another who’s lingering by the microwave, watching her lunch rotate in the amber light.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss!” she says over her shoulder. “In my opinion.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buzz the Buzzer and They'll Buzz You In

In the rush-hour crowd at the 14th Street station this morning I wheeled Sophia to the emergency door and found it locked. Usually it gives way like a magnet separating. Sounds the alarm.

“Buzz the buzzer,” a portly black woman beside me said. “And they’ll buzz you in.”

I pressed the button and peered through the bars at the woman in the booth. She gave a little glare and I felt the door release.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The walk, six miles each way, was a tiring slog

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sugar in the Raw: A Very Short Play About Something I Saw Today


Man: A man in his late thirties.
Woman: A woman in her late thirties.


The present.


The kitchen of a corporate office. The Woman is stirring a cup of tea on the counter, by a rack displaying a colorful variety of sweetener packets. A cup of coffee and a gallon of milk sit on the counter a few feet away. A few feet farther still, the Man stands holding a second gallon of milk which he has just removed from the refrigerator.

Man (holding the milk and staring at the other milk on the counter): I already took out milk.

Woman: Hmm?

Man: What am I doing? I already have milk. I am losing my mind. (Opens the fridge and puts the second milk back on its shelf.) Donna, can you get me one of those Sugars in the Raw?

Woman: Sugar in the Raw?

Man (closing the refrigerator door): Um-hmm.

Woman (as she hands the Man a packet of Sugar in the Raw): My cousin’s husband designed the logo for this.

Man: Sugar in the—?

Woman: Raw. Yup.

Man: Raw. Wow.