Showing posts from 2010

in 35mm

It’s interesting, this getting older thing. In so many ways. But the way that I’m thinking of now, is the feeling I get when I look at old pictures of a person I’m dating. Not pictures of him as a child, but pictures of him as an adult, years before I met him. Here he is, much younger, but still grown-up. He looks different from how I know him- his hair, his clothes, the expressions on his face. His scars aren't there. He is in love with someone else. He thinks, maybe, that he is going to marry her. But then he doesn't. Then other things happened and he got older and his face changed and his body changed, and now here he is with me. Not a single cell in his body remains from that time. It’s a strange sort of jealousy.

into absurdity

So I have, this month, been faced with a moral conundrum. And being a (over)thinker, I found myself caught in a labyrinth of internal debate and personal conflict. This conflict has had me agonizing for weeks over the definitions of words and their numerous meanings as interpreted by myself and different kinds of people, and wondering if my or anybody else’s personal interpretations matter one way or another when these meanings can just as easily be simplified into RIGHT and WRONG. Navigating my way through seas of grey area, thinking even of religion and its relevance and irrelevance, postulating theories to friends and knowing all the while that I was still being swept against my will (or maybe with it?) in the direction of WRONG. “Will you stop Spanish-Inquisitioning yourself?” Abi said, tired of hearing about it. One night, still tormented, still undecided, I set out on my evening walk. But this time, I felt for a moment, that I somehow belonged to the bad people that lurk in t

before earth

     If you want to compost your vegetables in Greenpoint, there’s only one place to do it, at the North Brooklyn Compost Project. They’ll take your greens and give you fresh compost for your plants, but you have to volunteer once per summer in exchange. Last summer I managed to wheedle my way out of volunteering, but this year, someone trapped me, and I found myself headed to the compost pile to give my time on one of those hot, humid mornings where the air sits on your arms and weighs you down, the kind of a day that make you hate New York. I tried not to be grumpy about it, even when my roommate fled to the beach. It was only a two hour shift after all.      The compost project was set up in a busy corner of the park, between the dog run, the farmer’s market, and the farm share. It was 11 am, and the corner was crowded with the early risers, people that I rarely see in the neighborhood on saturdays. I stood there next to the steaming piles of decay and looked at the farm s


    This morning, I caught myself muttering, half-awake, in the shower, "....cookie road.... coookieeee roadddd......." I think I REALLY wanted it to be the weekend. It made me think about how the new little bakery next to my house has imbued my saturdays with a sense of vacation. Just sitting in the shade under the bright orange awning, sipping a coffeedrink, nibbling on a macaroon, watching the people walk Europe in a cup.    One weekend I was out of town and I called Katerina. All she said was, "hello?" But I could tell by the tone of her voice where she was.    "You at cookie road?"    "Yup!"    It is that kind of place.    But this morning it was thursday, and so instead of orange awnings, there was the oppressive subway heat and the commute into Manhattan. But soon, soon... I thought about the bright cookies piled neatly on their racks and tried to figure out what to order when the time finally came. And then discovered I w

old bread

      “Hello! Is this a bookstore! It’s a bookstore!” A tiny, shriveled, old man pulled open the door to our coworking space, struggling with the room divider we used for shade, and stepped inside. “Hi! Are these the books you have for sale?!” He eyed the single floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the corner of the room.       Alexis stood up politely and began his canned response. “Hello. [big smile] It’s not a bookstore. This is a coworking space. It’s a gallery and performance space at night, and by day it’s a place for people who work from home to come in and work together. Like an alternative to a coffee-“       “Do you want to hear a story? Have I got a story for you! I am talking about HISTORY!”        I looked up from my computer and thought about whether or not I should be annoyed. I was on a tight deadline, happy to sit in the quiet sunshine of the coworking space. Not so happy to be interrupted. But I liked stories. I looked over the tiny old man, his oversized

underground and underfoot

        In February, on one of those cold, grey Saturdays that is best spent curled up under blankets, we decided to attend the Subway Scavenger Hunt. We knew nothing about the organizers save for a brief internet flyer I saw on facebook one dull, working Monday. And so here it was, the weekend, and we were fighting the urge to go back to sleep, lacing up our running shoes.        “I’m packing a book,” I said, shoving my book, a New Yorker, and the front section of the New York Times into my bag next to my water and enough food to keep me from getting grumpy. “And if gets too boring, I’m just going to go home”        “But it was your idea to do this!” Zosia said, laughing.        “I know,” I said. “But I’m just saying. If it sucks, I’m not sticking around.”        “If we don’t leave now, we’re going to be late,” Katerina said.        So then there was the rush out the door and the race to catch the bus.         “Look, I’m already running!” Zosia said, chasing after the bus in her

stuff and numbers

       Today was the one year anniversary of the night I fell for boy X. I commemorated the evening by doing my taxes.        Twelve hours into it, during my break, I raided the cabinets for a drink, propped my feet on the coffee table, leaned over to Zosia, and said wryly, “Do you remember that dinner where X and I stared into each other’s eyes and said ‘what are we going to DO ?’        “Yeah?” she said.        “I’m writing it off as a tax deduction.”        “Hmmm, “ Zosia said. “How much was the dinner?” Then it occurred to her. “Priceless!”

on the water

     This is an old one- from last June- written as I remember it. I wasn’t going to post it, but then I changed my mind, so here it is, long after the event. The facts may have shifted a bit in their transport to the page, for which I apologize. Also, I changed a few of the names.     We were shooting a dolphin tour on a white catamaran off the coast of Hilton Head Island, the last shoot of a day that began at dawn. Just Chris, me, a camera, and a white binder filled with travel channel documents. We shot footage of everyone climbing aboard the boat, shot the tour guide’s introduction. Then we settled in to wait.     “When you did Semester At Sea, did the boat look like this?” I asked.     “Naw, it was a giant cruise ship.”     “Wait,” I said. “I always imagined a great big sailboat. And you had to raise the sails and swab the deck and stuff.”     He laughed. “There was a crew. We didn’t have to do anything.”      “Oh.” I looked up. Giant white sails pulled up the breeze. P

coffee break

     I was working this week’s semi-corporate editing gig in a suite sandwiched between miles of identical office cubes. When I took my break, staring at the coffee machine, trying to decide which flavor of coffee would make the job more palatable, I heard a gasp and an “oh!” from around the corner. A woman came into the pantry, saw me and said, “I thought that sign outside the door said ‘ poetry ’! But then when I looked closer, it only said ‘pantry.’ I was so disappointed.”      I blinked at her, waking a bit from my fog. “I wish it said ‘poetry.’” I said. “We should replace it with an identical sign that says ‘poetry’ and see if anyone notices.”      “That would be so great!” She walked over to the door sign and scraped at it with a fingernail. “Hmm, it’s not paper. Looks like they had it engraved into the plastic.”      “Well,” I said. “We could get a piece of paper the same exact size and – “      “OR we could get another piece of plastic and find a way to burn the

adventures with telephones

I do this thing, sometimes, when I meet new people, of not saving their number in my phone. You may ask, as others have, how I am able to call those new people. It’s easy, really. I simply find their number in my recent call log, and press “Send.” Simple. That is how I accidentally prank-called the 94th precinct police station. You know sometimes when you call a friend, and they pretend they're a pizza delivery place, and so you play along, imitating their funny accent, and order a pizza that isn't actually palatable? It was like that. Only with cops. But it’s not really my fault. Who would know that Brooklyn cops sound like that? I mean, they really sound like that. And who would know that they don’t have a sense of humor enough to laugh after they say you’ve called the ninety-four-fourth precinct, and you respond in a terrible approximation of their accent- (but in a singsong version) that you are sooo disappointed, because you wanted to talk to the ninety-third-