Thursday, October 08, 2009


Yesterday I awoke from a dream in which I was being photographed by a painter. We were in the vast expanse of his warehouse during a costume sale and the space was filled with the scurry of bodies rummaging through racks and racks of clothing. The painter adjusted a light and directed me toward a sheet-covered table. "Lie down and act like a mother," he said.

This morning I lay in bed remembering the beach of my dreaming. The sun was high and I stood by a low table painting long fanned strips of paper with R. A woman approached me, a stranger, and she and I began to discuss how children deal with death and loss better than adults. We discussed a particular tragedy involving an entire kindergarten class, in which nearly all of the schoolchildren had been killed, and how the few remaining children had dealt with the situation better than their parents.

R continued to paint, working off his hangover brought on by the previous night's drinking. As the hangover wore away, R's mood improved, his face brightened, and he smiled at me. He took me by the hand and led me away from the table. We laughed and I climbed upon him, piggy-back riding across the sand as he ran in zig-zags until I fell off. R took my face in his hands and we kissed slowly and deliberately under the bright sun. "Does Sarah ever make you cry?" he asked me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

my girl anya

I love her. Great cameo too!

Monday, October 05, 2009


Last night on the bus I met a fellow named Randy. He had, perhaps, six teeth in his head, grey hair and a beard, and an oddly cheerful disposition. He'd been chatting up a man across the aisle when I sat down. That man got off on the next stop and Randy turned his attention toward me.

I got the sense that he was cheerful precisely because he needed to talk. I wasn't doing anything else, except looking up at the large white moon and thinking sad thoughts about sad things that I won't get into here, so I drew up a smile and let Randy engage me.

He said, "Can a person admit they've made a mistake?"

I said, "yes."

"I'm a man who made a mistake."

"What mistake was that?" I asked.

"I left my first wife. I don't know why I did it. I didn't have a good reason." Randy looked out the bus window across from him as he said this. "You know, they say the grass is always greener on the other side, but it's not. It's the same color, made of the same material, but it isn't any better. Fact is, I was happier on the side I left."

"Well, at least you recognize that," I said. "Too often, it seems, people don't appreciate what they have until they've lost it. And once you've lost something, you know it becomes really important to appreciate what you have."

"Yeah. Later, when I broke up with my second wife, I told my boys that I wanted to get back with their mother. And they said 'No, Dad. She cried for eighteen months over you. We're not going to let you put her through that again."

"It sounds like you raised some good boys," I told him.

Randy's face lit up, a huge gap-toothed grin spreading wide. "I have a whole lot of respect for my boys," he said, "My daughter too. I don't get to say that very often." He seemed to turn inward for a moment. "I'm the only one of my family out here," he told me. "I talk to my dad on the phone. He's 76. And I still talk to my first wife. I call her and she just yaketta yaketta yaketta and I'll listen all day to her."

Randy smiled, but he looked sad. At least as sad as I felt, probably more so.

"I'm the only one here and I don't have any friends to talk to... so you know what I do?" he asked me.

"What do you do?"

"I go out to Montgomery Park, you know, near Forest Park, and I talk to the trees." He paused. "They listen and I cry." He traced his fingers down the length of his cheek. "They've listened to a lot of me."

My stop was up next. I pulled the cord and stood up. "It was nice to meet you Randy," I said, extending my hand. He took mine and shook it. The bus lurched to a halt.

"Thanks. You too. You know, you didn't have to talk to me."

"No," I told him, "I didn't. But it was nice." And then I waved to him and stepped off the bus and into the rest of my night.