Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Zeffirelli's La Bohème was the first opera that I saw at the Met, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, when I was young and impressionable. My primary complaint was that a woman withering away from consumption should be, well, withering.

Today I realized an additional complaint, namely that no one with TB would have a lovely clear soprano voice. While this isn't TB, my voice is a pack a day jazz singer's growl. I'm smothered in Vick's (fully mentholated), downing codeine, sticking my feet in a mustard bath, and reading bad novels.

So, DYP! is on sick leave this week.

Next week, DYP! will be making pies.

Then we'll be back.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

dead pen office

The piano stayed in the apartment, far too much of a hassle for the landlord to move, and no one came to claim it. The apartment was rented to a young family, to two sisters of dubious profession and questionable genetic similarity, to a poetess who became quite famous for her communist views and habits of vandalism, to a school teacher, to a recently divorced chemist, to a dentist, and to a small arms dealer for third world countries. These tenants all kept themselves to themselves, except for the chemist who began an affair with the concierge a week after moving in, more out of habit than passion, and the two sisters, whose constant stream of visitors made them unpopular with the other residents and whose inability to ever pay the rent made them unpopular with the landlord. Over the following years, one infant was born (a boy, with a head full of dark hair), three plays were written, a dozen or so vaguely illegal military coup were organized, a cookbook full of recipes for the perfect omelet was researched and written, a still was operated, three marriages ended and two newlywed couples conceived their first children (both daughters, born elsewhere).

Meetings with Time / Carl Dennis

the only thing I dislike more than this time change -- is the other one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

invisible shadow

The truth is, you began this correspondence under a misapprehension; you found my name and address on an envelope with the Christmas cards or penciled in an old address book, and you convinced yourself that you knew me, that you remembered me, although we have never met, never spoken, never had a relationship. We did not sit next to each other in third grade, we did not take driver's ed together, we did not work in the same office, we did not attend the same camp, church, or university.
The truth is that we are strangers, that the first letter you wrote was delivered to an address that no longer exists, that may never have existed, and, yes, I confess to you, here, in writing: I committed a federal offense and read a letter written to someone other than myself, and for four years, seven months, three weeks, and five days, I have allowed you the luxury of the fantasy of your nostalgia. You do not know who I am, you do not know where I am, you do not know how I am: in fact, you cannot be entirely certain as to my age, my gender, my values, my hobbies, my politics.

Fragile Things / Neil Gaiman

deep frosts

Monday, November 1, 2010

trapped in time

{Oct. 31, 10}

So simple, really, if only she could remember what it was that she was meant to be doing. It was no Herculean task that she had forgotten, but it was becoming harder and harder to grasp at the moment of intention and implement the thought into action. Once she had only to think a thing and it was as good as done: not merely simple things, like paying the electric bill or calling her mother or making a cup of tea, but more difficult tasks as well once use to almost complete themselves: writing annual reports, compiling financial audits, once even rebuilding a carburetor.

It had all been so effortless, but now she found herself standing in doorways not even certain if she was crossing the correct threshold for the task she had determined to accomplish. Sending a birthday card to her brother. Making an appointment for an oil change. Answering the phone. Picking up the dry cleaning. Defrosting the chicken. Opening a bottle of wine.