Friday, February 16, 2007


Because of my son's fascination with the answering machine buttons, we get to hear the real estate agent's message over and over again. Her voice sounds almost bored -- “as convenient and painless as possible,” her dog barking in the background.

My buffer is gone, nothing between me and the outside world, which has apparently just become even more hostile. Where should I put the daffodil blossoms?

Holding Isaac in the rocking chair, he is long asleep, but I don't dare put him down. It's like the weight of him is rooting me, like without him I will just float away, or he will, or both of us, in separate directions.

Mike comes home; the house is dark. He finds me, finally, in Isaac's room. “What are you doing?” he asks. “Holding the baby,” I answer. “You have to put him down some time,” he says. But I shake my head and rock.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


People are made of concrete and splinters. They are made of tear gas and florescent lighting. People are made of latex, and litter, broken brown beer bottles left in paper bags and spoiled seafood. People are made of Sweet n Low, cayenne and anything they can get their hands on. People are made of glossy pages and construction sites. People are made of red lights, asbestos, the smell of too many copy machines in one place with no ventilation, hang nails and road kill.

Our creeds read like deeds the devil owns. Our minds are lists of sweatshop toys

when people are made of lactic acid and vertigo, barbed wire, Taco Bell, and melanoma, when people are made of minor chords and smog.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

renters’ haiku

My sister still talks about the haiku I wrote in the entry from over two years ago when I was a starving, raving preggo locked out of my car at the pool. So, in the whirlwind of stress that has been my last two weeks, as my landlord prepares to sell our house, prepares evil messages on lawyer letterhead, as my son recovers from a stomach flu that had me wondering if we would just run out of things to wear that weren’t already covered in vomit, as, as, as…I thought I’d offer just a couple renters’ haiku. Nothing like some 5-7-5 to still the mind:

Application hell
your references haven’t called
meanwhile homeless

the pet deposit
she’s a CAT, not a RHINO!
are you kidding me?

No one trusts the cat
maybe I’LL pee on your rug
or just get a fish

“Why don’t YOU buy it?”
realtor asks in a sweet tone
someone hold me back

Friday, February 02, 2007

moving and marriage

I knew what he was, but I married him anyway. My husband is a dedicated optimist. I think they even have their own clubs, these people. You don't hear about it, though; it's secret, like the masons.

When my favorite houseplant, the one with the hint of yellow-orange in the center of each leaf, began dropping those leaves one by one, Mike's take on it was “Maybe it's just part of its cycle.” I've heard the “cycle” line plenty – right before my rosemary bit the dust for good, and when the umbrella plant browned and withered to nothing.

This move has brought out the worst of his optimistic tendencies.

“What if the garbage man at whatever new house we find doesn't wave to Isaac?” I worry, the anxious knots in my stomach worthy of an Eagle Scout. “Maybe it'll be the same garbage man!” Mike pipes.

“Geezuz Christ!” I tell him. “You would think of something positive to say at a time like this!”

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