Sunday, November 17, 2019


I never folded a paper crane, much less made 100 or 1,000 of them to hang in Hiroshima as a symbol for peace.

Squirrels are burrowing ever deeper into the wooden skeleton of my wooden house.

Would a standing desk and a faux surfboard make office job life tolerable? What about regular massages and an in home vegan chef?

Notice my new non use of hyphens.

Shampoo that comes in bars. Toothpaste in tablet form.

There is a purse made of cork leather in a return shipping box on the floor that has been in return mode for nearly a near.

The new goal, instead of reclaiming $124, minus postage and the shipping box's cost, is to just use the thing. Some things retained after being deemed less than perfect or undesirable become tolerable. Strange. There is danger in failing to recognize which things are truly detrimental.

Arguably, most things are, because fossil fuels and plastics and shipping and low wages and politicians and billionaires, etc etc.

I have the ability to conform to a less than perfect purse, and it will replace a free gift tote I have used for years, first used long past its acquisition point (for it, too, was once deemed not great), received at a Bloomberg news sponsored journalism workshop, so long ago that it came with paper handouts and CD-ROMs. The bottom is fraying. The handles are robust. It holds my laptop well but has been crammed with too much for too long: things I cart around because I'm acting short term nomadic, going on three years now.

The laptop tells me every day it hasn't been backed up. Today it was something like "in 846 days."

On this computer, there is a large collection of .txt files labeled "links x-x-20xx," containing lists of things I once read or once meant to and things I once wanted or meant to buy, if I had more time, were I only more flush with cash and less overwhelmed by things I already have, such as many purses (but not as many as Carrie Bradshaw or Miriam Maisel or even, like Esther Greenwood, just color coordinated purse covers to match every outfit).

I must not mind the risk of losing files. I already know that there is nothing guaranteed linking those URLs to anything readable or buyable for any length of time. Take a look at the blogroll to the right; so few of those names are just ghost markers now.

Before the internet, I once commissioned my mother's husband, who was living in New York City, to find a dark green leather purse I had seen in a fashion magazine. I wanted it so badly. I had a pair of dark green leather Mary Jane shoes then or around the same time, and I had no reason not to believe that the listed store next to the photograph would have one of these wonderful purses for me.

But printed things go to press so long after they are reported. And capitalism only makes so many of any one thing before retooling the lines.

This man was not a reliable witness, anyhow, and for all I know he never checked the store, but the disappointment in believing in something that turned out to be so ethereal left me feeling left out.

Friday, November 15, 2019


A light dress layer otherwise known as a dressing gown.

A loan that puts a fifth hard-pull on your credit report just to relocate some debt, otherwise known as a shell game. The object is to inspire a sense of control.

Getting dressed is a form of control. You don't want to meet roofing estimators in a gown signaling still-sleeping; you don't want to be on the news looking like that should the house implode.

Three weeks ago, I was roused from non-slumber by voices droning in a hall. The neighbor my mom never met, after 15 years of living across the street from each other, had knocked on the door on a Sunday before 9 a.m. to "exchange information" that the evening before I had already laid groundwork for doing via text or call.

Mom's the kind of person who keeps robes for guests, so, bleary eyed and tousled, I "met" Bob, who ended up having no sense of humor -- or apology for backing into my parked car Saturday morning.

So, for the next number of days, I'm driving around a white rented Nissan that Bob's insurance is covering. They are also covering $3,100-worth of replacing-both-drivers'-side doors where Bob's white Hyundai cracked into my black Toyota with all the force of a suburban street dweller on his way to work at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday, a little rainy, definitely dark. The intrusion bars were damaged, so to make my car safe to be hit again, it will get two used "new" doors.

They are not covering my lost time, of course; the universe asks about my banked moments, says that getting up too early on a Sunday, talking to insurance people and body-shop people and rental agency people, and traveling to and fro, don't count as real transactions.

There's nothing to shift to fill in those spots.

Time is money, but we're only going to compensate you for your property. And by compensate, we mean keep body-shop folks employed, shift risk from Bob to the American Family pool of insured, and possibly bill Bob at a higher rate come renewal time.

It's been more than a week since I've absorbed the news of having to have two doors replaced, along with the bumper and light removals to match paint and reconnect everything, and I only this morning realized that there is a high chance that these used new doors will come with standard windows.

My car has tinted windows.

Should I mention this?

Should I wait until Thanksgiving week when the job is scheduled to be done to say, "Oh, wow, well, now, that sure looks weird. One half of the car has tinted windows, and the other half does not."

Should I ask them to put new tint on ... or to take old tint off so that both halves match? And what of the rear window, where the tint is decidedly starting to look shoddy, a little bubbly and, let's face it, makes seeing anything through it basically impossible?

My voicemail to Bob was passive aggressive. I called after I talking to my insurance company about whether I should make the claim myself, after I had read the two notes that were left for me -- one in my mom's screen door, the other on my windshield, permanent marker, good penmanship, written by his wife on a waterproof "for sale" sign of neon pink and green. I tossed in a "I guess you don't have a back-up camera" in my introduction speech.

I didn't say, "Wow, you really like to zoom all the way across the other side of the street from your garage in the morning without looking."

Or, "I can't see out of my back window either."

He said he had looked but didn't see my car. Really, he must have "looked" once, glancing behind in the dark, in the drizzle, and where no car was expected, he saw none but proceeded to accelerate, not just coast, across the street into my parked car.

During the bland chatter, my mom noted that since my windows were dark, too, my car was even more difficult to see. Let's not help Bob's case ... let's not regret the urban-dweller decision I made to park at the curb instead of the driveway.

Anyway, I'm worried about this loan. Was it the right thing to do, to zero out credit cards, to bank cash for impending roof repairs?

I'm worried about whether the car doors will match or if the electric stuff will work right six months from now.

It helps to have small things to worry about, since impeachment hearings and collapsing ice sheets and governments can't be helped.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Quoting myself 10 years later

Recently, someone made fun of me — or perhaps she was teasing, because eventually she came back around, I think — about my being addicted (she did not use that word, no one ever does; we're all enablers) to making excessive social networking posts, and my answer was that I enjoyed the communication.

She disagreed that it was communication.

I eventually replied, using the same format as she despised, that I have always hated the phone, have phobias about the face-to-face, and have found of late that it's a bad idea to use one's real senses when encountering ex-lovers.

I was not so blunt, and she is not at all dull. I'm not sure where that will go now.

I hate the past when it encroaches on the present. How was I to tie up all loose ends, run out every kite string, pour out all my lingering and apparently unfulfilled affections?

I have always lamented (you can look it up in my paper-based archives; get them quick, paper is becoming extinct, you know) the sadness inherent in our limited possibilities, the unidirectional mandate of a single life trajectory of 80 or so years, most of them achy, either spent growing (ignorant) or declining (regretful) — and for some, spending the middle rearing offspring.

The idea of multiple lives, of reincarnation, was absolutely attractive to me, until I understood that Buddhism's purpose was to release one from both living and dying. The point of the cycles of life is to no longer be cycling. Spinning is bad? I thought motion implied growth, that change was essential to improvement. Ah, but if "perfection" and so-called inner peace descend, perhaps that is god-like, a stasis of wholeness and calm.

Bah, but here we linger in our bones, skin, blood and all the rest, stringy veins, pre-cancer, wrinkles, fatigue. Desire strikes every once in a while. A spark of perhaps flits across the usual routine. Routine always wins; fidelity to the actual over the potential is convenient … then spinning begins.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tide life

11 What I need to know, I can't Google about:
13 The it that is how relationships in-flow to start
4 And, then, ebb out.

11 The ocean doesn't distinguish water parts:
13 It is all one soup of molecules (our word), flowing
5 In and ebbing out.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

While I was other-ing

My armpits smell like heaven,
because heaven stinks too, in
The best and sexiest ways.

While I was other-ing, my old
Number was receiving calls,
And, I shall blame the seller's
Phone on how I don't know
Whether this is about a roof,
A car,
A cat (no, just waxing) or
Something else. Bad connection.

It's certainly not a therapist's voice.
Something we need.
Something you would think
With Healthcare Benefits...
that we would have used by now.

Ah, but I have learned that
Using them, free, paid or semi-paid
With one's direct labor,
(see, note, it doesn't matter)
Is a matter of personal character
And not provision.

SO, give it to everyone.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It feels so light

I did not expect that.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My perspective

So much is in that red wheel barrow (wheelbarrow) (wheeled barrow)
As in your 10 fingernails.

My dad's nails are an involuntary standard.
I chose mates based on his faults, so
It is OK, now, so many enough years later, that
I judge on this one aspect.

I hear it is made of nail-protein.
Invoke cycles.

I adore your fingertips.


PS, my dad's nails are clean, uniformed/clipped, something patrician but maintained into older (82) age, so there.

PPS, he is aging, so, they are still clean, but so short, so far below fingers' edge. My nails have been betraying me, too.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I am tired of carrying forward the faults
Of my ancestors.
I am weary of their is/was turning into
Present mistakes that
Mirror theirs then/now.

Those ancestors failed to
Provide the tools for me to
Repair ourselves or
Anything around

Monday, October 02, 2017


to a place that will ask you to jump to another re: cervical cancer (you've seen the commercials: did you know that cancer could be caused by a virus? a virus!)

yes, some of us did know, and some of us are still getting a clue, but as my now-hometown-cohabitant/(that's "slash") blogger points out, some of this is still a moooooot religious point: come on, if there is a vaccine for anything, and you live in U.S.A., go ahead and get it!

p.s.: it's not about "being a whoooo," Antonio. Some of us were way under-slutty and ended up with things pretty much from Mars. because, p.p.s: you (males, females alike) could totally have this and not know it; try the tune of the tenor of a physician saying "it's so common, it's not even worth telling anyone about."

oui, mes amors du monde, no one will tell you.

and chances are, you won't even know.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

experimental poetry lol

Being a clod of electrical impulses
We call them feelings
that I can't control
and they rule our justifications.

I am resigned at the young-old age that I am
My body is strong
so much so that long
and is ruling justifications.

Once we fell apart overnight and once again
We call them feelings
at dawn again slept
and they rule our justifications.

Being a clod of electrical impulses
that I can't control
We call them feelings
and they rule our justifications.

I am resigned at the young-old age that I am
so much so that long
My body is strong
and is ruling justifications.

Once we fell apart overnight and once again
at dawn again slept
We call them feelings
and they rule our justifications.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Having achieved the goal of dreamless sleep

We went out of the country for about a week, January 2017. For about two days, framing that week, we were crossing the International Date Line, being in the clouds above several oceans, feeling cramped and cranky, dried out and faux-hungry.

When we got home, there was no real reason I could not go to work the next day. However, after 10 days of relative sobriety, the kind of sobriety that is called normal by most people, my impulse was the same as it always is in this household. And it's always an insane choice, the textbook sort, the kind that expects a different outcome and doesn't care to remember it will be the same horrible thing — because the thrill of remembered oblivion is a favored carnival ride. There are lights; there is music, warmth and a cradle when it's over.

It was easy enough to plead for another day off. Reasonable on the outside.

I did go to work the following day. I don't recall much but an intense sinus headache, a mild nausea that could be well attributed to the ending of "travel stomach."

Four days later, somewhere in February, that stomach is still not working properly. I hardly feel hungry, every food is repulsive and gives me a headache just to think of. And when I think about my health, I grow anxious. I worry I will never be well. I worry I will never be able to walk.

I walk downstairs to the kitchen. I make it, but I have to sit down. I am perpetually self-monitoring for a heart attack.

I check my blood pressure and find that I'm still, as I have been for a year, at high risk for stroke.

The great thing about being on vacation was that I didn't have heart palpitations. I didn't have to worry about being hungry. Food was plentiful and provided. I am not sure I was ever actually hungry. I ate and started to doubt the one previously reliable factor of my body.

I walked a lot. We wore our feet out on bumpy sidewalks, quick-paced traffic-threading, museums with tile floors. There really is no carpet in Vietnam. There are mats outside the toilets/bathrooms — usually the same room and with no water-barrier around anything that sprays. Poorly graded floors make for perpetual puddles. The Japanese keep these rooms separate and also have specific shoes for the toilet. I appreciate that now.

Abundance includes having banana trees like weeds everywhere, jackfruit in the front yard, coconuts. Our trees here make bitter acorns and difficult-to-eat walnuts.

Seeing fields of pineapple was a treat. One reason they are expensive abroad: they live in rows accessed by little boats and require an individual human to cut each one individually. Rice, I have seen, is likewise planted, by hand, but its yield is not 1:1. Is that the difference?

I didn't eat that much rice. The rice I remember rejecting outright was on the airplanes and very un-Asian in flavor and how it was cooked. Of course, if I based wedge potatoes on how All Nippon Airlines makes them, I would likewise reject them, too; but we gravitate toward the familiar.

Thinking of the airplane meals still makes me nauseous.

A lot of things make me nauseous right now. I still gag when I brush my teeth, and sometimes, it's worse.

The bottom of my digestive system is a wreck. Mild, but persistent.

When I slept last night, I could smell mustard. I haven't eaten that for days, and I still smell it, and it's confusing to me.

Vietnam is full of smells I can't describe. I can only hint that they are intense, constant and constantly changing. Any good one will be followed quickly by another terrible one. Not that chickens cooking or chickens tied up in a bunch on the street-market ground make intrinsically bad or good smells. Sweet crab meat under fingernails yields to yet another stenchy toilet. The sea — well, we never made it to the sea. All the rivers, though, they are brown, there are many, and they are unapologetically floating with trash.

Sensory overload in the past would render me either snappish or reclusive. In the face of so much hospitality, I did not have those easy, selfish options, but I also did not regret their absence. Is my bedridden, congested state — complete with the confusion of gut issues (compounded by a menstrual cycle that is depressing me with its irregularity and vengeance) — something I can attribute to "stress"?

And why can't I handle stress?

I'm barely functioning. I made it to the shower about 20 hours ago, and I used a motor vehicle, because we needed toilet paper and I needed an excuse to buy a box of wine. I avoided one of the most positive and entertaining events that happens in my neighborhood last night, a pre-Mardi Gras march (with food, costumes, joy, instruments and a little bit of fire) just because I had no receptor whatsoever that was open to something so social. Even the gentle kind of anonymous socializing of a life-forward, happy-centric, full-moon event. With food and costumes and instruments, joy.

My hair, it has not been washed since last Sunday night, when we prepared to get up again at 3 a.m.

I haven't gone this long before, and I haven't had such "good" results. The scalp is not an oozing, scabby mess. Maybe I just can't smell anything with this sinus condition. It is so very dry here, though.

Loneliness is strong right now.

Before we left, one, then another, told me I was (my words, I'm grouping) in the way. They who had embraced my being, my spirit, my body, my time — they both determined that what I was giving was not wanted, was an obstruction, was theirs to terminate without discussion.

We are all independent beings. We do wish to be included in decisions, even if they are unilateral, when the outcome includes us. I would agree. I did agree. I wasn't ready to agree. In one case it was a matter of four minutes. After an emotional push that took five hours that I was pushed to (and happy to) make. They let themselves off with an "I hurt people and I'm sorry you are one."

I knew they were not mentally stable. But the joy we brought each other, I thought, was special. It felt different to me. I gave differently because of it. Door opened, now shut.

That same door, once unsealed, made my heart "game" for another, more physical, less spiritual, wooing. My resistance was intellectual; my behavior was, by the textbook of _________, wrong.

When this particular they got out of the more intense place of their own grief and noticed I shouldn't be included in any recovery, they didn't use the word "mistake." I know.

My regrets include: feeling pain.

I am too lonely to call close friends. I am too fragile to try anything. I can barely use my voice. I don't have much to say on social media. I have been saying for weeks, months, that I feel blank. I am a study in non-reaction. I have been killing off every feeling for my whole life, and I must have gotten suddenly very good at it?

Accumulation. Wet sands of tiny chips of every rock slowly drying up above the tide mark. Starting to blow away.

Limited access

While I have not yet (?) been able to garner anyone more than a decade younger (fewer than 10 years) than I to fall in love with me,
I see what's happening.

The coincidence is the location.
Is it *a* location ... are there such places, torn-holes in the fabric, etc.
Where I can see what's happening (because it is)?


Saturday, November 05, 2016

15 months later

A lot has happened
As it should

At least one friend fell off
Culled by my indifference
And his wisdom

There was
Another conference of 800
Women religious

There was

And between those
There was a baby

Not mine
But mine enough

Happy hello niece person

I wish I could say she
Made all the difference
But nothing
No one can or does

A whole winter was
As undocumented
As the people fleeing here
Have been
And treated as pawns

A cat died
A snake was found in the bedroom
And several dozen other things ensued

What I'm here for today
September 3
A Saturday
An accident
And now
Two months later
I am confused.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Right shoulder

After being inundated for days by the presence of 800 women, gathered for an annual meeting, I found myself flanked by three males, in succession, in the space of a single day, at my right shoulder.

It's nothing really, but it strikes me now as funny, how this one deltoid could have been so socially engaged in such a short span of time.

Wednesday night, after dining on the second of what ended up being three ocean-based meals that week, with two female colleagues, at a restaurant enclosed by the thick concrete walls supporting a parking garage above it and painted in a very bad shade of blue, where the server brought us water but offered no other beverage, I took a social plunge and sat myself at the short end of our hotel bar.

Quite a feat for an introvert, the move did show calculation: no one could sit next to me, and I watched the baseball game and could see all the other people lined up with their backs to the tables.

My closest neighbor was reading a magazine. He was about 35 and married. He did not say anything or acknowledge my existence in any way.

It's an uncomfortable thing to be alone at a bar, for a woman who doesn't have a book or magazine, and whose hometown team is playing on the TV she can't see, while the game on the nearby screen is a languishing 11-0 in the sixth inning.

Drinking alone, exposed, it's not something I'm at used to at all.

I don't go to bars. My younger colleague laughed when I told her I had Googled "liquor stores." There apparently is only one in all of downtown Houston, though, and it was 15 minutes away on the other side of an interstate.

And bar drinks are expensive.

And bar-ing alone sends one of two bad signals: "I'm here to get drunk," or, "I'm here to get laid."

Or both -- though for a man especially it could also just be, "I'm here to socialize with whomever else happens to be in the mood and here to do so."

The man with the magazine paid and left. He didn't even finish what he was drinking, something in a highball glass, cherry-tinted amber, with ice that never melted.

His replacement turned out to be someone similar, without a wedding ring.

He ordered a Sam Adams beer and bantered a bit with the bartender.

My position also gave me full view of a rather large group of women from the conference who were gathered in the corner of the lounge, a square open-view area in the center of the lobby, itself open to the roof, 30 floors above.


At some point, a large man took up in the middle of the bar. He was about 46 and he did make eye contact. He proceeded to drink his face red in short order; later he would openly glower as another man, younger and more attractive, started in with this long-haired woman who was chipper, pretty and amenable.

Suddenly the women in the back corner burst out into applause. Everyone at the bar turned around. I barely had to turn my eyes to see what was going on; they were congratulating one of their leaders, a slightly stooping white-haired woman, who had just walked in from outdoors.

"She's a famous Catholic sister," I told my closest companion.

That broke the ice, so to speak, and we chatted off and on, then generally had a nice conversation,  about the hotel -- he had been there many, many times, as it was a layover spot for his airline; work -- it was his last day as a flight attendant, after seven years of seeing the world, having his housing provided in Dubai and saving up a good deal of money; politics -- he is Canadian and took interest in the whole Donald Trump phenomenon; his Malaysian girlfriend from New Zealand, who also worked for the airline, had had a difficult childhood and whose parents stereotypically were anxious for her to marry and have children.

We shared an interest in the drama playing out between the pick-up man and the long-haired woman next to him.

I explained why there were 800 Catholic sisters at the hotel and why I was there, too. "I'm well-chaperoned," I said, jokingly.

He asked intelligent questions about what it's like to edit material for a religious publication.

We became Facebook friends.

The next afternoon, my colleague who had run the booth with me in the exhibition area for the conference and I were picked up by the shuttle van to the airport.

Another sister got in at our stop. A man got in at the next, and he sat next to her, behind us, though with a space between. Another man was picked up, and he got in the front seat.

The next man was tall and from another country -- and seemingly an other era, with his perfect teeth, small round glasses and tight, smooth afro.

No choice: I said hello, moved over and had him sit next to me.

In another culture, it would be unthinkable for strangers of the opposite sex to be so close. We were touching, off and on as the shuttle made turns, but mostly on, because there literally was no space, no place else to go.

It's weird how people will pretend in such situations that the situation is not happening. The coping mechanism for awkwardness is a polite kind of negation. He closed his eyes while we were on the highway. Sleep means you're not here.

So, our arms are touching. There is flesh touching flesh. And nothing will become of that.

In another circumstance, things would be so different. I kept thinking, "Do I feel anything?"

We finally arrived.

He laughed in surprise when I bounced out of the van. I guess it's surprising to see someone my age spring out like that. I suppose I have fun when I can. Next stop, TSA, the bodyscan and being flat-palmed on my breast that the machine flagged as "something."

The man I sat next to after that, once again in the dreaded middle seat, worse for being on an airplane, the middle seat between a woman on the aisle and this man at the window, was close enough for me to have kissed his left ear.

He kept a small computer open the entire time, even during take-off and landing, watching television shows, including "Naked and Afraid," the survivalist reality show from the Discovery channel.

He never once looked at me, and he barely looked out of the window.

The woman likewise watched golf on her phone, or swiped through a bunch of news feeds. When we landed, she did ask if I was home or going on and what was it like living downtown.

During the two-hour flight, I read a book, Milan Kundera's The Joke, and struggled against passing out from days of too-little sleep and too-long and too-social days.

Intimate proximity without actual intimacy . . . 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Someone I never met

Killed himself today.
Thank you, Facebook.
I'm not being sarcastic.
Thank you for bringing the All Our Struggles
Are Family.

By his posts, he was a Christian believer,
Someone who put up less-trite-memes than others;
I watched him "function,"
Melt-down over his relationship with his wife,
Asked him, "Are you O.K.?"


Saturday, April 04, 2015

The love of my life had a baby

With a man who is in the Navy.
It might be the Air Force.
I haven't wanted to know.
I don't find him attractive in photos.

She is complaining, in a way, that the baby girl
Who has the name I would have saved for my own,
Is suffering from colic and is too "in the way"
To be carried while she is doing dishes or

I was colic-y myself:
Now somewhat a disaster who
Wishes science etc. were better 40 years ago
And that marriage laws only a few ago were