Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Thing About The Dishes

We're cleaning our house more aggressively than ever, or maybe I am. The Three Short Drunk People have yet to master toothpaste clearing of the sink, but The Kid, when he has time, is using the rake more often.

Me? Detailed cars. Washed windows. Disinfected the garage. Googled "squeegee" a bunch.
I have learned that shop towels are far superior to Bounty. And cheaper.
You need me to clean something? I'm your girl.

It's weird how anxiety shows up and how we deal with it.

But dishes? Typically, I cook and he cleans. That's what my parents did.
My mother in law cooked AND cleaned, and as much as I tried to help, she deflected me, kindly.
"I need to digest," she would say, while fending me off, her hands in soap and water and dishes.

A silver lining of quarantine is The Drunks have learned to cook for themselves.
Tonight, there was no cooking by me here: I was too tired, and me and their dad we're camped out on the porch reveling in our mutual aches and pains and the good work we'd done.

They fended and that's great. Creative chefs!

(For fuck's sake, isn't there always a "but"..)

After the whole long day of chores I couldn't quite complete, and with evening conversations that never seem to end well, all I wanted was a deep sink of the dishes they left behind to scrub and make right. I asked the Kid to leave it for me.

He did not. He cleaned. I was mad.

I'm like his Mom. I just need to digest.
Digest, an important word.

So I do it here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Crying in the Market

I saw her, even masked, by the chicken.

"There you are!" we said, grateful to recognize our eyes.
We chatted, masked, distant, sad.
Her daughter would graduate the next day in all the weird ways.

Did she see my tears?
What does empathy look like now?
Can I show my love when I can't hug?

Her daughter, this graduation.
It breaks all our hearts.

Let me say this as loud as I can from my quiet perch: celebrate your tears!
Cry as often as you can.
Be sad! Now is not the moment for bravery.

Now is the moment to grieve with others.
Now is the moment to bitch and moan and whine.
Now is the moment to be sad and sullen and lost.

If you cry in the market, so be it.
That is exactly what you should do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


We fight over the "good mask" we have. It's easy to breathe in and fits well.
We stock our cars with the homemade ones my sister so generously made out of old sheets and shipped to us. Double ply cotton, super cute, with little girl underwear waste band used for elastic.
She is the sewing hero we all need.

I'm disgusted that wearing a mask has become a new flag to wave, to stake in the ground.
Of all the things either side could beef about, this is not one.

You are not "better" if you wear one. But it's gently wise.
You are not flying your freak flag if you do not wear one -- it's just selfish if you don't when it's needed.

There are so many ways to express your politics right now.
If you have any extra change, invest in local races.

Whatever you do, and please, do as you will, please do not make public health a political beef.

Monday, May 18, 2020


We're gonna need a bigger boat...

We're like many -- suddenly unemployed.
Gratefully, we are healthy but the Vids has ripples, and it did for the Kid.
We can't wash our hands enough to stop this, to help him.
We can't mask up enough for him.
So here we are, middle aged, two Drunk Short People in college, the GYSO...

And this girl just trying her lousy best to keep the ship upright.

Friday, May 8, 2020


Like a dog to a whistle, I alert to sirens. I think I inherited that from my grandmother and my mom. We are drama chasers and perhaps, wannabe savers of the world. Lately, I hear them a lot and so I'd run to the porch, maybe with some binoculars, wanting so badly to be a part of the emergency. Once I took a soccer carpool on a misadventure like this and we got stuck watching a house burn down.
I know now why I hear them so often: birthday party.

At some point, my neighbors house will be burning and I'll hear the sirens. I'll sip my ice coffee and apathetically whisper, "Happy Birthday...."

When I first wore a mask, I kept my eyes down. I felt awkward and embarrassed. Now, I'm thrilled if someone recognizes me by my eyes! I'm happy to socially distant chit chat with a fucking mask on my face. Someday someone will rob a bank and we all salute him or her for being so kind.

Forget handshakes. I never liked 'em much anyway because it felt so much like a test of masculinity.
I'm not great at the social kiss kiss, but I love the meaningful hug. I hate the air hugs.

But here we are.

I miss not talking about grocery shopping. It's weird that we talk about it as much as we do and compare notes on "what we found." As if we were hunting for truffles.

Soon we will measure our moods by news or phases or tests.

Masks hanging from rear view mirrors will also be something we won't blink at.
Peeing outside will become more acceptable.
BYOB is now socially responsible.
You'll never have to clean your house for guests ever again!

We are all pioneers in a very insecure new world.
Come with me, pioneer!
I'll elbow bump you...

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The UpSide

I have been lucky: I have connected with all kinds of people during this weird moment.

I have learned how to prop the laptop so my double chin doesn't show so much and I have learned how to wear my hair in a way that hides the grays. I know now how to mute the dog barking.
I know this is now what we do.

Turns out a lot of you do this too: connecting in weird and awkward ways is what we do.

Tonight I connected with former colleagues at a record company I miss so much.

Later, I connected with friends from middle school -- most of us there, our little bunch -- and all I could think was how kind and supportive we were. Clapping on mute, listening to the story of someone we haven't seen in years and yet care about, all of of us remembering the same teachers and the same moments that made us. The way we loved each other...

Clapping! Celebrating!

This is the upside of all of this.

Would this happen before?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Another Story About Music

We all have good days, and really shitty ones. I've decided that most of us take turns: it's your bad day, or it's mine, or it's hers. Each turn sucks.

Recently, it's B's turn. 
I suppose grief happens in waves and now, it's washed over her. 
Chatty kid, suddenly silent.

She had some set backs when college started two years ago, but she quickly figured it out. She became so involved there and she fell in love there. She loves her small classes and the way it has made her think. Now --- she suffers everyday with Zoom classes or the ones that get cancelled and she misses everything... her boyfriend, cooking by herself, parties, becoming the person she was ready to be.

Grief is strange and measured in new ways now. 

So she takes a music class like I did. 
Turns out her mother gets asked to step into one those Zoom classes.
It turns out my long ago career and/or this hobby of mine matters.

It won't fix her heartbreak.

As we used to say, back in the day, when rekkids were what we did, when music was all we liked:
this isn't the cure for cancer.... It's just rock n' roll.

I guess right now -- rock n' roll is the best we got.
Rock on!

Saturday, April 25, 2020


He was four when this began.  Then he was five.

He was giant then, and he is still now. The GSYO is a full foot bigger than me: sometimes I wonder if I willed this to happen, if my imagination made it real. Then I remember genetics, and the Kid who is super tall and I think, oh yeah... There's that.

He hasn't changed in other ways too: he's very nice.
The first time he had a physical tussle with a friend, he was so bummed: "I hurt him!"
I helped him write a note and soon all was well, but this kid, he's so kind.

He goes to his sisters' games now willingly and with such pride.
He loves what his mom cooks, even during a pandemic.
He is the little brother everyone wants: he's got your back, and it turns out, they have his.

He is that surprise boy, that weird thing I needed to learn. He his smelly and he grows in ways I don't anticipate. He needs to be alone. He needs to hug me. He needs to eat food in amounts that stun me.
He is quiet and loud, grumpy and sweet, kind and mean, aggressive and so perfectly gentle. He is everything a good man will grow up to be.

The GYSO knew all along what he needed: the trampoline in the back yard, the hoops shooting.
This boy will surprise us all.

The GYSO, our sweet and excellent dancer, our clown, our funny friend, our musical curator...
The GYSO throws out the line to anchor our boat --- we're grateful to catch it.