Tuesday, July 07, 2020

We’d bought a two-story house that was coupled with a 747 jet, kind of like the Space Shuttle was when it was ferried around the country. The jet was attached to the roof upside-down and at an angle, as though it could take off, tear the house off its foundation and flip over so the house was on its back. Otherwise it was a very nice house. I tried to rationalize the presence of the airplane. We’d never use it of course, but it was a curiosity. Maybe it would be interesting for Jackie to explore.


Monday, July 06, 2020

P. C. had discovered my writing notebook and accused me of “ironic pessimism.” I said what do you think, I’m gonna be an ironic optimist?


I slid down a ski trail on foot, wondering why more people don’t do this. It was easier than being on skis, slower, safer.


Friday, June 26, 2020

I was stranded on a tiny island with an open stone structure, floors and walls about head-high. It was cracked and worn like ancient ruins. There were window openings along the walls with square wooden inserts, or maybe cardboard, that I was trying to adjust and fix, pulling them out, putting them back in. I began to wonder what I was doing there and how I was going to leave. The Manhattan skyline was visible not too far away. But there was no bridge, no boats, nothing.


Tuesday, June 02, 2020

K. C. was visiting. I went with him to the liquor store. He had expressed an interest in margaritas and I wanted to buy him something. His basket was already full of various bottles. “Do you have tequila?” I asked. He said no. “I’ll buy you a bottle of Cuervo,” I said. “Do you have margarita mix?” He showed me some off-brand he’d selected and I insisted on getting the better kind. In the check-out line we stood in front of the UConn men’s rugby team. It was the last day of school and there was a festive, reckless mood. We followed them upstairs to some kind of party, not sure if we were invited. It was boring. No booze. Then we were on campus. K. rode a bicycle around while playing a fiddle. I chased after him on foot. I had my phone out, wanting to get good pictures of him and anything else but I never quite could.

Friday, May 22, 2020

It was my turn to present my song parody concept to the breakout group that would be singing it with me. Larry David was in it, as well as a couple others. The idea was “Why Am I Always Eating Food That’s at War?” sung to the tune of the doo-wop classic “A Teenager in Love.” The catchy opening line would be “babaganoush,” and the song would catalog Israeli and Palestinian foods and how they’re both delicious and if you live in Israel, how hard it must be to love these foods from two sides of a conflict. I hadn’t sorted out the specifics but I figured, falafel, hummus, couscous on one side, shawarma, tabouli on the other. I’d do some research. I thought I was doing a good job explaining, singing the Dion & the Belmonts original and making sure they remembered it. But they were distracted by something on the array of televisions hanging around the space. A soccer game of some importance. I had to abandon their attention. I found myself looking up, too.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Corvette was a proud English company. Its president had worked on the atom bomb in the Great War.


I got on a bus and found a seat in the back with a footstool. I began reading a gigantic novel.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I observed the city of Hartford, near where I grew up. I was watching it, like a film. I thought of its past. The old department store, G. Fox. You had the feeling of a living city.

In a maze of shops and restaurants in a vast mall, I lost Jackie in the crowd. I’d been distracted by some pointless, narcissistic thought. Now I was plunged into panic and guilt.

I was watching a movie. It had been billed as a thriller but it was actually a self-referential Hollywood tale. Famous actors and directors playing themselves. S. appeared as a drug addict. I was stunned—when did she have time to do this? To make the connections, get the gig, learn her lines, rehearse?

I was on a cruise ship with S. and Jackie. We drew close to some beach hotels and restaurants and I could see us, the three of us, sitting at a table. I said, “Look, that’s us!”

I went for Easter brunch at a diner, a place I knew from better days. I remembered going there with friends I don’t see much anymore, a rousing song on the jukebox. I told a waitress I was meeting people and wanted to check if they were there. She pointed me to a long line outside. There were lines to other lines, separated so passersby could get through. People sat and mingled, forming a spontaneous community. A drug dealer conducted business in one corner of the lawn.