Sunday, October 31, 2010


Marianne was often kissed at parties in junior high school. It couldn’t be helped. She had a way of combing her long auburn hair and arranging it on her shoulders and down her back that drew the boys’ eyes to her like a girlie magazine left accidentally on a desk in a father’s study. The kisses usually came at her in a sudden rush – a quick peck as she chose a cookie from the cut-glass platter. Her lips, dressed heavily in Bonnie Bell rootbeer lip gloss would find themselves for a moment joined to the quivering dry lips of boys: Johnny Tewilliger, Jacob Hirsch or Donald Farquar.

Marianne, stunned, simply blinked at them and offered a little grin, a thank-you, polite as she was. Another way the boys snatched her kisses was when she pulled on her red and green plaid wool coat, her arms temporarily occupied and her curtain of hair partially hiding her face. The boys hid their cowardice behind her hair and leaned in to peck her on the lips, which were now free of rootbeer glaze and were stained with Hawaiian punch, and her breath scented with peanut butter cookies. Marianne never minded but she never understood why she was often kissed at junior high parties.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Waking up first, I savored the minutes alone. Slanted morning light covered the kitchen table and I chose the chair that would let the sun warm my back. I made myself a simple breakfast of 12-grain toast with butter and honey and a strong cup of espresso. I alternated bite and sip, bite and sip, letting the honey coat my tongue and the deep, earthy espresso wash it away. Each triangle of toast was gone in four bites and I greedily considered toasting the last two sliced and telling him we were out of bread. Just then, I heard the rush of the pipes as the shower kicked on across the house so I abandoned my plan. The morning light had risen to warm my head so I changed seats and let the cat have my spot. She blinked and sniffed the pale yellow and let it warm her blue-black fur, dust particles floating near her whiskers. She meditated before settling down to nap.

The click of the gas stove nudged me back into the moment and I saw him standing at the stove testing the level of the tea kettle. His hair was towel-dried, graying curls at his neck, emitting its salty lavender scent. Like the cat, I turned my head toward him and sniffed the air, then, slow blink, slow blink. His smile turned into a yawn and he covered it with the back of his hand.

“What did you have? Toast?” he asked, approaching the table and looking down at my masterpiece of crumbs on my favorite plate: red apples with brown birds.

“With honey.” I replied, raising the bear from the table, supplied as evidence.

“Ah. Any more of that bread?” I stood and extended my arms and pulled him towards me.

“Two slices, just for you.” I said breathing against his warm, showered shoulder. He returned my embrace and pressed his lips to my temple, my hair still wild from bed, unwashed.

“Lovely.” he said.

Written 10/26/2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I wish you hadn’t done that.
Looked across the bar at me
and stared as you sipped your beer.
I felt like a specimen, trashy,
with too much jewelry
and too little sobriety.
I wish you hadn’t smiled like that,
slowly. A grin spreading across your face
like a bit of paper picked up by a breeze.
I had no choice. I smiled back
and oddly studied my own glass,
the beer foam drying around the rim,
as though I were begging for a refill.
Really, I wish you hadn’t.

(written at the High Desert Retreat, October 2010)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


prickly hearts
Originally uploaded by jeesau
Bits and pieces from today:

Heard on the street: "Outside of work, I'm a nice guy."
"...going as a slutty Chilean miner." Not sure how one would pull that one off, but hey, it's topical.

My spirit seems to be sufficiently broken now that my days off are over and I'm back from the desert. Funny how a job can do that to a person. No more howling coyotes at night, no more cocktails by the pool. Sigh. Big sigh.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the bean

I'm off the bean again. Too much coffee over several days or weeks equals stomach pain. Waaah. Was it worth it? Eh. Not so sure. Hard to quit cold turkey though. Tea just doesn't have the kick I'm looking for. Sure, caffeine comes in pill form, but what fun is that? Can you add sugar and cream to a pill? No. Well, you could but that would be messy. I feel a case of the grumpies coming on...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

sky like puzzle pieces

There's something hopeful about right angle bits of sky, hammered in blue and air not warm, not cool. A precious second of silence among the still buildings, steel and concrete, like bark on trees.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

a little corny


“Well, turn around. Let’s see what we can do with the bangs.” Jane pivoted to face the bathroom mirror. She’d been a victim of a free shopping mall makeover and her date, her first in 17 years, was due in less than 10 minutes.

“Oh God, Oh God.” Jane croaked, velvet black streams lined her face.

“Now stop that. They’re all right.”

“Look how short they are! I look like the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan!”

“Honey, now stop it! Let me ask you this: Do you have any kind of headband?”

Yvonne bent at the waist, sparing her swollen knees and rummaged through Jane’s wicker organizer under the sink: her brushes, clips, shampoo-conditioner-in-one free samples she’d never use.

“What about this?” Yvonne resurfaced with a plastic headband that still clutched a few strands of blond hair.

“That’s my granddaughter’s! I can’t fit into that! I have to do something now. Oh God, Oh God, he’ll be here in 6 minutes!” Jane clutched her head in the international symbol for all is lost.

“Don’t panic. There’s still hope. You said he was 65, right?”


“How fast do you thing he can move? Come on. He’ll be late. Let’s see.”

Yvonne dropped the lid on the toilet and sat heavily. She pawed a magazine out of the holder next to her began flipping through pages.

“Yvonne!” What on earth are you doing?”

Startled, Yvonne dropped the Marie Claire. She resisted the urge to scold Jane for frightening her and said with utter conviction, “It’s Spring, right? Let’s go fresh and natural! Wash your face. All of that junk has to go. I’m doing a sable liner on your top lids only, dusky rose on your lips and we’ll just flat iron your bangs for length and sweep them to side!”

Jane’s expression morphed from crazed panic to blindly gullible.

“That sounds OK.” She sniffed and wiped her trembling fingers across her face, a mess of tears and cosmetics.

Just then, the doorbell sounded and Jane’s dog sprang to life from his spot on the loveseat. He barked savagely and his delicate poodle names tapped code into the entry way tiles: intruder! Jane groaned wearily and reached for the soap, watching steam rise from the basin.

“That a girl. I’ll get your beau a nice glass of Chardonnay then come back and make you beautiful!” Yvonne kissed her a wink and danced out to greet Jane’s date.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

big rock

So, maybe we are a little defeated. What the hell kind of airline closes it's door 1 hour 15 minutes before departure?

The big reunion is put off, yet again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


OK, so maybe that little old lady was a harbinger of travel plan doom, instead of a cute little gal dancing to oldies. But, Attempt #2 commences at 0430 Monday. We're not entirely defeated.