About last night

To say it was a house fire is too strong, but what else 

do you call a fire in your house? A curtain and magazine-subscription fire 

does not ring the same.  A narrowly-missed disaster. A blessing. 

Regardless, it’s not about the fire. 

The vase of Valentines roses was, if not a life-saver, then 

at least helped save face. No one, but us, knew of the fire;

not the resting children, not the weary grandparents. 

The additional, half-full glass of water helped kill the flames. 

You rushed in, tall, pragmatic, and sturdy, and finished the job: cut the curtains 

down, pulled the dresser out, to catch any embers we hadn’t seen. 

We grabbed towels and drenched knick-knacks and dried and blotted the evidence away. 

“Go take a shower,” you told me, when I couldn’t 

find the newspaper or stop mumbling. 

I wasn’t sure, but the look on your face said I should be. 


After I rubbed on lotion, set my body and mind together, after I tickled your back, 

after I reluctantly pulled on clothes, after you turned to kiss me, after your breathe rushed 

in my ear, after I pulled the covers over your head, I again called your name.  

Another interruption. 

I’d been burning for days, days of child rearing, days of tense negotiations,

against a warped, rushing time pushing us into logistical 

bondage I’ve never wanted more I’ve never wanted more easily to accept the 

process of building and putting out fires than with you.

You know exactly how to love a woman when the world is on fire. 

After I said I was disassociating, flying 

away, you told me to come back down, called me a kite, said “I got you.” 

Saying how I felt was confessional, before, mysteriously I was met with staring,

chuckling. Now, if I say, “honey, I feel bad I set the curtains on fire,” 

you retrieve a bottle of lavender-scented fabric-spray from your car, 

tell me to take a shower, and hold me.  


Found List: Why I love my dumb, sweet cafe job

I wrote this list, which I found folded up in a catch-all box, on the back of a menu in June, 2013.  It’s banal and, today, it quiets the informed heat generated by reading painful news articles.  It quieted the parched landscape of parenting partner-less and heartbroken, back then, too.  I was just beginning to work outside the home.  Mme. Lu was 6 months old.

  • Unlimited free coffee
  • Witness to the regulars’ routines & particularities (intimate!)
  • The smell of freshly done & perfumed women
  • Reminds me that I’m not where I once was & am where I choose
  • Human emotion microcosm
  • Toni*
  • The books they read (Mary Oliver, Dog Songs; “Walking towards Heaven”)
  • Book clubs
  • Abuelas locas
  • Marty, who listens to his son-in-law on headphones while eating French rolls
  • Feeling 100% competent 95% of the time
  • Being required to smile for 8 hours
  • Heavy whipped cream

*Toni was a short lived, very dramatic, pathological liar who nearly got two of our kitchen staff fired by accusing them of sexual harassment.  She requested to be to be put on the list.  On Toni’s first day she showed up 45 minutes late and told us all a tale about witnessing a mugging and having a seizure.  On Toni’s last day she shouted “F*** you, you fat dyke!” at our manager before flipping off the dining room on her way out.


Nearing Those Notorious Twos

Ah, the post therapy, sugar digestion, artsy introspective Wednesday night high.  Welcome, people.  Please, grab a low cushion and fashion yourself comfortably.  Can I get you a cup of Egyptian Licorice Organic Mint Tea? Lemon cake? No? That’s ok, we actually ran out of that yesterday.

Silly silly silliness, Salamander, his papa and I have entered into it – quite deftly, I think.  Seventeen months is a funny, silly, ridiculously wonderful age to be privy to.

I once chatted with a woman in a coffee shop.  She told me that every age both her kids had ever been was just the coolest.  She said, at 15 and 17 they were simply the coolest people she knew.  I believe it. Only a parent can appreciate how amazing it is that his or her offspring just spent twenty minutes publicly screaming like someone was pulling his fingernails slowly off with rusty pliers only to forget it within a minute because the desired Hot-Wheels was deposited in his aforementioned chubby little hands.  That was hilarious. I swear, I was having a difficult time containing my laughter as the cashier tried not to wearily stare at him and his trembling uvula.  I especially liked when a passing lady asked me “Who’s winning?”  I proudly announced that I had won.  I paid for the cars before I removed them from the packaging.  Booyah!

It’s a strange thing, being a rebellious parent.  On one hand, I’m aware that it will benefit my son if he can function politely in society.  If you’re driving down the road doing something illegal in your car, it’s better to be in a plain station wagon, let’s say, than it is to be in a car with a bumper sticker that says “F**k Authority.”  You know?  I’m just saying it’s good to have the option to be incognito, should one so choose.

If Salamander has been taught all the basic and decent social mores and he chooses to smite them on some kind of hellion mount, then, so be it.  However, if I do not teach him that it is considered appropriate to pay for objects before using them, or to refrain from standing on one’s chair and wildly throwing uneaten chicken salad all around him, then he won’t know what kind of world he is expected to live in and he will probably have a harder time getting to where he wants to go.  I know all of that, and yet, I also sometimes eat the candy bar now and pay for it later.  I am a definite rule breaker.  It’s a good thing his papa has more of a penchant for following the rules.

No naughty bumper stickers, kid.

I Locked My Kid and My Keys In the Car

Salamander seems to have decided he doesn’t need us to rock him to sleep any more! I thought I’d have that pleasure until he was at least eighteen months, but he’s shown me.  Only fourteen months old and ready for going to sleep on his own.  Sniff.  Tear.  And ok, here’s a story about the little tyke and me that happened nearly a month and a week ago.  Or is it a week and a month ago? I forget…

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