Reflecting

Reflecting. Reminiscing. Remembering. Navel-gazing. Call it what you will. I'm not sure why I'm writing this now. Oddly enough, “Always Something There To Remind Me,” by Naked Eyes, just popped up on my iTunes. Not that I'm thinking about any one past gal pal, but the title is enough.

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Dear UNKNOWN, BB

I knew we would meet exactly three minutes before we in fact did. I got a call on a special phone at work late last night telling me you were an estimated age of 3 and you had been shot in your chest and were not breathing. That was all I knew, but that was enough to get my attention—all of it. The truth is I had been preparing to meet you for many years, readying myself in every way I could to take the very best possible care of you in the seconds that mattered most if we should ever meet under these circumstances—even though I never EVER wished we would. ...more

Hug Her

“Lift her up, Lord! Take that fluid from her body. I’m going to keep on praying to you day and night... Almighty God, make her well. Which will be a great testimony to you for all patients and doctors and nurses to see.” These were prayers of the sister of a 47-year-old black Baptist woman who was critically ill with cancer. ...more

Hot Cut And Color

No one has asked me out in nine months. I met the last guy on Amtrak on my way home to Philadelphia after getting a haircut and splash of color in New York. The man was attractive and smart, but married. I turned him down flat. I didn’t look back when we parted at the 30th Street Station. No one has approached me since. And at the age of 64 and a widow, I am not looking. ...more

Like Any Other Night, Except...

It wasn’t always pleasant when my husband Bill and I discussed politics. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t pleasant so why would discussions about them necessarily be? We usually ended up agreeing to disagree before a full-scale war would break out at the kitchen table. That can happen when a closet Republican marries a Democrat. On matters of religion, Bill’s predictable response was a discussion stopper: “You mean you haven’t figured that one out yet?” ...more

The Blind Convention

In high school, I briefly dated a girl who liked me a lot but couldn’t stand that I was always late to meet her. Whether it was going out to dinner or a movie, I would always show up late and she would always get mad. One time we were supposed to meet at South Ferry to go the Statue of Liberty. I was late. She took the rest of the afternoon to plot her revenge. On some pretense she managed to get me to give her all my money, then she escaped on the subway leaving me at the very southern tip of Manhattan. I walked for a long time then snuck onto the subway at 34th Street. ...more

One Christmas Day

One Christmas day the whole family came together, as was the custom: my father, stepmother, younger and older sisters, older brother, possibly two grandmothers, maybe an aunt and uncle, and, I recall, various step-relations.

I was 15 or 16 years old. We exchanged gifts and consumed a great big midday meal, desserts and everything. The pressure of the festivities had me ready to explode. So my brother and I decided to leave the family gathering, as was our custom, for some adventure of our own. ...more

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

The return of Johnny the buck last fall gave me four pregnant does this spring. The expectant mamas: Baraka, Mocha Swirl (Baraka’s kid of last season), Yasmina, and Joey. They were all due around the second week of April; I was headed to Haiti for a six-day film shoot,* planning to return in time for their births. ...more

Friendship

I enjoyed calling my friend “Mr. Bill,” because I truly respected him that much. I was a person who never respected anyone.

We were both abused in the home. I was born into a family of alcoholics. No pretty words can describe my parents: they were drunks. My dad was a mean drunk. ...more

Further Adventures with Toby, the Natural Therapy Pet: Business Is Picking Up, the Sequel

Toby and Freckles

I had this dream that I was dreaming. This dream-within-a-dream goes like this: ...more