Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peering out from our balcony onto the Promenade des Anglais I saw the usual nighttime parade of pseudo-rich younger couples trying to make the scene or something, of vagrants and mediocre musicians, of tourists like us. There were two little fucking fountains erupting from somewhere on the sidewalk, or maybe from the island in the middle of the street. I couldn’t tell whether they were meant to be functional—to water the palms and those shrubs with the pointy leaves—or decorative. Or maybe it was the water main. No one seemed to notice or care, anyway.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We are staying in a vacation apartment on the water in Nice. It is clean, modern. Unlivable.

Behind the kitchen faucet there stands a bottle of dish detergent whose brand name is the Soviet space station that fell to earth.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I found the passenger list from the QE2, when my family came back from France, not quite a year after I was born. It fell out of the back of some old photo album, a not-quite relevant one—of my father growing up—the way these kinds of documents often do. It was blue, and plain, with a stylish little drawing of the ship at the bottom. There was no preface, no preamble; no ads nor filler about the grand history of Cunard Lines. No nothing—just the list. And it was absurdly long. Like the list of minor donors in the back of a program at Carnegie Hall. But worse. Hundreds upon hundreds of names, blanketing the alphabet; every common name you could think of and a good number of weird ones, too. Speaking of which, there in the expected place were we: my father, my mother, my sister with fourteen in parentheses, my brother with ten, and me without a number. I realized later that the date on the cover of the booklet, August 22nd, 1969, was exactly forty-five years ago today.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ten hours of deep, dark jetlag sleep. I dreamt about work; the project manager on my team was sleeping on mattresses on the floor in the office. There was a bit of copy she wanted me to edit on a manuscript. I tried not to sound insane as I asked her about it. There must have been lots of other dreams, probably dreams inside of dreams, but I can’t remember them now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


One thing that shapes almost all of these concepts: They're practical.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Some awful, frustrating reality kept intruding upon my dreams. Something to do with the sheet and the blanket, with being too cold or too hot, but maybe none of those things really because nothing seemed to make it better. Even as I was deep in a dream—about band rehearsal in a music store with packages of every kind of guitar string arrayed on the wall but always out of reach, I think—I felt the discomfort.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I think that before you decide that you're in love with a guy from Russia,

Monday, August 11, 2014


Katie just melts. I've never seen her melt before—