Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Dear Ozzy,

Here we are, little man. 1. Honestly, this year has been a blur of you and my very large boobs, buying a house, moving, working on the house, working on work, my very large boobs shrinking, you, and you and you. You with your funny little teeth and big hazel eyes. Just who are you anyway? My boy who pushes his fingers deep inside my mouth to run his fingers over my gums as if I were speaking in Braille. You do not know yet where you begin and I end, or maybe it is that you know that there is no ending at all. Silly me, why would I think--?
This is the year that we called you El Guapo. For you are handsome and talk of things I cannot yet understand. I can already see that you will teach me much, of the customary slugs and snails and puppy dogs' tails, sure, but there is more. You're fearless, for one, how you crawl to the edge of everything. I watch as you open doors and drawers and lids and life, just to see, just because, just that. So? You with the mommy who stops at yellow lights. Already you have taught me about joy, noodles stuck to skin, the moment split wide and ripe. More than anything, you are a really funny guy (my very favorite kind).
What I will remember of this first year is Scrunchy Face, how one day you discovered that it made us laugh so now you do it all the time. My class clown in the making, how you make us stop and look. Playing peekaboo, only you stay under the napkin a beat too long, already seeming to understand the genius of good comic timing.
But I will also remember this, your hands. How they stick to my skin like tentacles, fat fingers gripping at my breasts, my neck, the thin skin on the underside of my arms like a kitten. You smell of warm bread and sheets, your blonde hair wispy soft and spiky. You don't know how to kiss yet so you try to eat my mouth instead, and I offer it to you, whisper secrets in your mouth that you swallow whole. Sweet boy, if one day when you are 4 you ask me to marry you? I will say yes. Yes. Yes. Please, thank you, yes.

Happy Birthday, to my great and powerful Oz.
I love you,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012

Dear Future,

I am dead. But that is neither here nor there but then. I hope this letter finds you well, that you have found an answer to plastic. Because my times were fantastic. We stared at screens and sat. And sat and sat. Most everyone was lazy (but we meant well).

I write letters to my children. More small screens but I do print them out and bundle them in boxes. In homage to your dear friend Time I asked family to write Zoey a letter for her first birthday, not to be opened until ages 13 through 21. I assigned them like homework and they arrived sealed. Advice for Zoey when she turns 15 from her grandmother, what her uncle wants her to know at 19, maybe. I don't know what's inside each letter because I did not open them, so they sit in a box, thoughts from 2007 to be read on a day that will make that seem like silly ago. Tomorrow Ozzy turns 1 and we are doing the same for him. For their first birthday I give my children time machines and invite them to travel somewhere ineffable.
Dear Future, thinking about you is like contemplating the size of the universe or the meaning of anything: it’s disturbing and too abstract to comprehend. How entropy only increases. Time and space are much the same, not to mention love. Because tomorrow is like Mars and the year 2030 is Andromeda dressed in a bonnet.

So I wonder. Are they happy? Did I raise my children to know they are loved? Deserve love? To love? Do they remember my voice when I sang, the sound of me saying their names? The feel of my hand rubbing circles on their backs, and do they trace those exact same circles around the silken staccato spines of their own children? How bad does climate change get anyway?

Sorry about that, by the way.

Why can we remember the past but not the future? Who said the arrow in the space-time continuum can only point in one direction? I mean, check me out: yesterday I wrote to the future and here we are! Dear Future, how you scare the shit out of me. I drop these letters like bread crumbs so that I can find my way back, though we have already established that I am dead, so fat lot that does me.

Another thought, another stab at bending the mesh of this manifold: each year I write a letter to my children to be opened on the year that I am. Was. See? That is, this year I turn 40, so I will write a letter to Zoey to be opened on her 40th birthday, to Ozzy on his 40th. Me to my children, mano a mano, if you will, sans reference to combat. One 40 year old to another, despite the fact that I will really be 73 then 78, the numbers adding up to me falling through the years to say hello. How are you?

I was here. This is why I write, I think. More than anything else to just say this:


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Step Closer (But Too Lazy to Walk)

If I could just get off my ass and walk the 5 blocks from work to the nearest Aldo I could buy these rad $12 peacock earrings that would match perfectly with my cheap peacock ring which I love to wear with my leopard print coat which I sometimes wear with my leopard ballet flats although even I know that's a no-no. Then my transformation into crazy old lady would be complete.
So if you're going out for coffee would you be a lamb and pick these up for me? I'll also take a venti nonfat, no water 6-pump, extra hot chai. Thanks, dearie.

Bonus points simply because they're called Camero Earrings.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gordon Gartrelle

Dear Old Navy, Target and Forever 21,

No doubt you will say it is my fault. The Endless Summer t-shirt I thought was cute but didn't try on because Ozzy was crumbling, the striped sweater cropped beyond what was acceptable even back when my stomach was flat, the pink and orange color block dress that has never been worn, the fabric so thin you can make out the curve of my belly button. But you seduce me here from the glow of my laptop late at night, and I drop things into my cart because you have my credit card stored from last time anyway. Plink! I'm easy like that. So yes, maybe it is my fault, but the other day I looked in my closet at what I have bought from you simply because it was only $12 and realized that $12 x often = too much. Too much money spent on too much crap that I will never wear because it is poorly made or the fabric is cheap, or both. I mean, did we not learn from The Fable of Gordon Gartrelle? Oh, sweet Old Navy, Target and Forever 21, you are too young to remember, but back in the day when 8:00 o'clock on a Thursday night meant everything good and right and prime time, Gordon Gartrelle was an expensive designer shirt that Theo wanted to wear to impress a girl but his parents wouldn't pay for it so Denise made a copy for him and blah blah blah, don't you get it? You are not a Gordon Gartrelle.
Which is why I am breaking up with you. Sure, we can still be friends. You can borrow a few bucks from me here or there in exchange for a pair of chenille sleep socks, but let's not make it a habit. Because I want to see other people, people who don't make themselves so readily available, maybe, but then again their medium probably won't range from XS to XL and if I order online and don't like it I won't be so lazy to return if the cost is higher. That's all I'm saying. I deserve more, I guess. So while I can't afford a real Gordon Gartrelle as often as I've been hanging out with you, maybe that's ok. Better even. Maybe that's right. To have less of what I really wanted in the first place.

Don't bother calling. I've already changed my (credit card) number.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our House

She holds her brother now tight beneath his arms, hands clasped across his chest with the rest of his body falling away as if she were saving him from drowning, and he laughs and she laughs, so I laugh. This is how they dance each night. Girl party! Zoey says, but Ozzy's allowed even though he has a penis. Because there are rules, such as this: How we stand and hold hands, curl toward each other and then unfurl apart quickly shouting Hollywood. I don't know why, this rule not one to be broken. We would have such a very good time, such a fine time. Such a happy time. Lately we have been dancing to this.
When daddy and I were little, I tell her, although to her 8th grade would be old, he always wore a gray trench coat with a Madness iron-on patch, and one for The Specials. He had a crew cut and bleached the tips white. God, he was so cute, I say, although she is dancing with her brother who is scrunching up his nose to make her laugh hard, harder, until she puts him down saying Hollywood for him. Then we'd say nothing would come between us, two dreamers...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Queen of Magical Thinking

I can think things into happening. Or not. More often not. I do not want it to rain this weekend, so I think it will rain, I worry it will rain, I obsess over rain and it does not rain. Of course it has never been about rain but about health or luck, life--who am I kidding? Mostly it's about health. And even more a matter of course is that a + b does not, never has and never will = c, though that does not stop me from thinking about b. B. Be. You can see how I keep myself awake at night?

I am happy. There. I said it. Wrote it, looking over my shoulder for what comes next. Because everyone knows that the minute you say you are happy something comes along to snatch it away. And so I play the game, think no, things aren't that good, I mean, we owe lots of taxes, and Bryan's been working so hard lately, too fingers pulling at the strings of the fabric of a make-believe mechanism that unravels the days into happening just so. See? I'm not that happy. And then someone says something in a way that tightens my tongue and pulls me sideways so that everything is right again in that it is wrong. I am unhappy. I am safe.

What is it about happiness that embarrasses me so? The unconscious possibly-puritanical belief that it is somehow better to shun the pleasure of being at peace? When did annoyance become my go-to, fall-back state of being?

Because I am happy.

I watch my kids and feel full of time. Full of hyperbole, the palm of my hand flat across rounded bellies. Lucky, although luck, too, hints at something undeserved or limited. No, what I feel is absolute unabashed joy. Yes, silly, chicken, tickle, stupid words that make them smile and so I say them even when they don't make sense. Because I have to remind myself that being unhappy doesn't keep me safe just as living my happiness doesn't make it any more likely that this weekend it will rain.
Ozzy at the beach, heading straight for the riptide with absolute glee. This kid's going to teach me a lot, I can tell.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I have been having a Cathy cartoon kind of day. Make that week. Weak. I mean, one minute I'm floating on the magic of fairies, feeling like the awesomest mom outside of a pearl choker, the next minute I feel like whatever the opposite of gluten-free would be. Globby? Thick. Stupidly viscous and a little bit mean, to be honest. PMS, yes. Ok? No. Hint: I identify with the lady on the left, only my hair is way frizzier.
For instance: I am been growing increasingly annoyed with my houseplants. Anthuriam, Maidenhair fern, Bromeliads. They're all so goddamn needy, what with the watering and the watering. So I might have ignored them for a bit, and now? They're dead. I sure showed them, didn't I?

Then today I came home to find Bubbles Bubbmax--the Betta fish Zoey got for her birthday--desperately trying to swim in one inch of water, the counter beneath him soaked. Apparently the brand new fish tank we bought cracked at some point today, and now Bubbles is living in an acrylic water pitcher until I have time to get another fish tank.

I mean, really?

For breakfast I had an english muffin with nutella. For lunch a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a handful of Trader Joe's cat cookies. For dinner, McDonald's. Dude. I know. See pic above.

Off to research tasty, cheap, pre-made juice cleanses and chia seeds...