Saturday, November 17, 2018

I made myself a martini and when I felt the buzz come on I said out loud, “Now this is a familiar feeling.” And right away I opened the freezer instead of the fridge.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Election Night 1981

We arrived at our hotel by cab, in the middle of the day. There was a light rain falling and everywhere people clutched roses and embraced each other. Laughing, crying.

After we checked in we went back out and met a family friend for dinner. The daughter of my parents’ friend. The grown-up daughter.

We took a walk toward the river where a crowd had gathered. The bridge was closed and a band played courtesy of the communist party. Drunk dancers whipped each other ‘round, chanting “Mit-ter-and! Mit-ter-and!”

The family friend stood next to me and I stood next to her. She asked me to dance.

I placed my arms around her timidly, tremblingly. We circulated for a little while in the mayhem. Celebrating victory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I had a flash sitting at work in the middle of the day, I don’t know why. I saw the intersection of two country roads we used to pass a lot when I was a kid. It was a bit far from home, deep in the beautiful, monotonous landscape of Connecticut farmland that stretched all around us. It was about halfway to somewhere we used to go—a bookstore, a restaurant, friends of my parents, I don’t know. I measured our trip there by the two pieces before and after it for some reason. An ordinary, winding little road branching off a bigger, straighter one, in the hazy golden light of an autumn afternoon. There was nothing remarkable about it or the way it made me feel but I remember it like it was a dream.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

There’s a part of the block by the hospital where suddenly there’s a sickly-sweet smell, like cough syrup mixed with bleach. It feels like you might get high just walking by, or die a little sooner. I wonder whether it’s the smell of medicine or cleaning supplies or embalming fluid or maybe it’s what they use to flavor the dessert.

Monday, November 12, 2018

I flip to the DVR and there’s a new Anthony Bourdain episode, like he’s still alive, or like he’s haunting us. It’s like there’s somewhere new to go, new experiences to be had, especially if you’re dead.

I like when the project manager reviews the key dates and they’re deep into the future, dates like February 9, or April 27, far away but specific, with benchmarks and deliverables associated. It feels like we have lots of time, but that’s not really it. We’re connected to a point in the future. A time when god knows what will be going on in the world, but there we are, gathered safe and sound again on the MS Project timeline. What it really means is that we believe we’re going to survive.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


“You’re dead and don’t know it,” he said with a grin that couldn’t help but be evil.