Life

The old man was delivering seedlings to a nursery in a beat-up truck — its platform fenced in by scrap-wood panels.

It was the start of a new day: The man wore a yellow shirt — loud as unmitigated sunshine.

A shovel jutted up from the center of his flatbed— its handle to the sky, as if the spade were staked into deep earth.

No one likes to memorize math

A large sculpture in the library lobby purposely leaned at a slant on a pedestal to give it the effect of falling. It made me think of nodding off.

People sat at tables — some read, some spoke, but it was hard to make out what anyone was saying.

Their indecipherable voices carried up high to the lofty ceiling and dissipated like smoke — maybe from burning incense?

The sounds in the lobby reminded me of churches, with their drafty, cavernous interiors. There, too, voices murmured, only they were prayers. Continue reading

pep talk

i say to her, look, just because you’re using a razor does not mean you are shaving. you are simply moving it around your cheek and elsewhere to eliminate any extra hairs. it’s a process of elimination.

and know that the razor is pink, i say, making eye contact in the mirror. it’s one you can leave out on the ledge of a sink when guests are around because they know that, like any other woman, you have to do upkeep on your legs, which you do, albeit more often than you would like. Continue reading

date with a stranger

when a guy approaches you from out of nowhere, and the two of you hit it off conversation-wise (talking art), and then he says they used to call him Lucifer back in LA, you start to wonder why and what the metaphysical purpose of his visit might be.

and now knowing what you know about his old nickname, you can draw only vague albeit somewhat disconcerting conclusions, and therefore your thoughts have taken a detour, and his side of the conversation is no longer registering in your logical brain. That’s when you start taking note of his physical features and character traits, trying to figure out what they might indicate: his cocked fedora; his slow, confident gait; his diagonal eyebrows, so elegant in the way that they slant; his shrewd stare.

handing you his business card (photography specializing in portraits of women), he goes on to say he had a complimentary studio in LA — a sprawling loft — because he dealt drugs for some local mogul, and during business lulls he collaged the walls using clippings of vintage smut. He claimed to have staved off a bust once because the officer was enthralled by his artwork.

This guile was what set your thoughts aflame the most, and so unquestioningly, you used the whole Lucifer thing as a departure point.

The Ending

I.
this story is all about the ending so why don’t we just cut to the chase. The ending is that the protagonist is an avid photographer. The ending is that she is staring out of her bedroom window on moving day. The ending is that it is a beautiful spring morning. The ending is that she is looking at the gazebo near her apartment building. The ending is that there is a bitter-sweet beauty about the gazebo. But the ending is that there are also painful memories attached to it, linked to her former relationship.

II.
still, the ending is that while she is looking at the gazebo, she realizes that it seems to be extra beautiful on this particular morning. The ending is that there are birds fluttering around it because it is mating season, and that there are trees near it, making it all very scenic and idyllic. The ending is that it looks like an animated fairy tale. The ending is that she has always particularly loved photographing nature, too. But the ending is that she does not take a photo.

III.
the ending is that the movie camera shows the audience a close-up shot of her digital camera, sitting on a chair, its strap wound neatly atop the seat, and suitcases and boxes around the room. The ending is that the room has hardwood floors, and the woman has always loved hardwood floors. But the ending is that the woman is leaving.