Here is the transcription of my voice-recorded guidebook entry for Arches National Park, written in July, and dedicated to Wilma, who I bet would have wanted to be there, but who couldn't for the reason that she died last December. We had always wanted to drive out west in a big camper, to just see the things that are to be seen. And then we couldn't, so I went and decided to make a series of recordings to accompany the pictures that I took. Anyway, here it is: Wow! [huff] We
Barbara makes this clicking sound with her tongue. Or maybe less of a clicking than a clucking. It’s how she announces displeasure with me. Or conveys her frustration at something stupid I'm doing. Sometimes, I haven’t necessarily done anything wrong. But it’s like she wants to remind me to reflect on how I might be failing her in a general sense, which is fine and warranted. No one seems to notice, least of all Barbara, as if she makes it using muscles she can’t control and
Hawks aren't uncommon up in Westchester County. It seems like there are more ever year, in fact. They trace out lazy circular courses above the Hutchinson River Parkway, gliding on the updrafts from car exhaust. Sometimes they flick their wings into the wind and vector menacingly at squirrels on the fairways of the public golf courses -- Saxon Woods, Maplemoor, Dunwoodie. The golfers lean on their drivers and cluck. Geese scatter. Watching from cars, suburban kids pouting abo
John Milton the Cat weighed four ounces. He pawed and scratched the couches, the table legs, the bookshelves (bowed into slumping parabolas with the weight of books), the rugs, my bike shorts. John Milton the Cat is my friends' cat. Across two hours spent in their hot apartment eating lunch and talking in circles about politics and anxiety and the Cubs, John Milton the Cat did not once paw or scratch his scratching post. When conversation died, we looked at John Milton, fumbl
We drove to Jersey today, and I thought about going there as a kid, carsick in the backseat of mom's pale blue Nissan Stanza. On the way to her mother's house, going over the toll bridge at Spuytin Duyvil, she'd pull into the right lane, so I could look down toward the train tracks on the river below. My sister would be passed out, leaning on her pink pillow against the port side window. I loved catching quick glimpses of diesel engines on the Hudson Line as they chugged arou
The ambition is pretty straightforward here: (1) I write 500 words per day and post them here. If I miss a day, expect 1000 words the following day. If I miss two days, expect 1,500 (and so on). (2) Pay no attention to genre, continuity, form, or narrative coherence, but... (3) Make sure -- above all -- that the words don't suck. (4) This is my lab. Some of what starts here will likely end up elsewhere.