February 12, 2017 § 6 Comments
My alone-self is relaxed, and as comfortable as a pair of well-worn jeans, entertained by quiet thinking, making a little music, leaving a trail of words across a page.
Who am I in company? That depends on the company.
It’s not that I am a mirror, vacant until you step up, but I respond to you.
Together, we create a dance that is not the freewheeling dance of all-alone. We cue each other. We synchronize.
Depending on you, the shift from the inner me to the public me can be slight or profound, but it always happens.
You do it too. You change for me as we turn toward each other.
No one is unyielding, unresponsive. No one is, under all circumstances, a single, monolithic self. That would be as impractical as wearing one outfit for all occasions.
Now, think of the people you are closest to: parents, children, spouse, best friend, colleague. But don’t think of them with you. Think of you with them.
Who do you become in their company?
Unlike a brief encounter with a stranger, that one-off in which we hold a door or honk because that idiot hasn’t noticed the green light, our encounters with those we know well come with a history, an unspoken set of rules. Over the years a shared vocabulary has been established.
January 29, 2017 § 9 Comments
You and I go way back.
Way, way back.
I know you through a trail of moments that shine like a comet’s tail all the way to the horizon.
Vanished moments, vanished days? None are really gone. They’re all right here in my catalog of you.
Versions you have outgrown or discarded? Got ’em, right here. Preserved as if in amber. The you of right-now is the hardest for me to see because I view you through the lens of all the yous I have known over the years.
I carry with me at all times, the scrapbook of you–I can open to any page.
Old? You’re not old. I’ve known you young and that’s who you are. What wrinkles?
If you are my best and oldest friend I still see you with chapped knees, waiting with me at the school bus stop up north. Remember up north? We’re still from there although it’s been years.
We don’t see each other all that often. Family and work obligations. You know… We are arrested at some point in the past, back when we had time, back when we were close.
That’s who you are to me, and who I am to you, still a couple of kids at the bus stop, or college roommates, or student teachers at the same elementary school. We could pick up that thread easy, if and when we get together.
October 28, 2016 § 6 Comments
It always rains on Halloween.
It turns the midget witches mean.
Hulk howls and drips an acid green,
and everyone gets wet between
plastic costume and plastic hat.
Princess hair goes limp and flat.
Water logs the vampire bat.
All stand and drip on front door mat.
October 23, 2016 § 5 Comments
It’s like that old game, hot potato.
When luck comes your way you got to pass it on. Pass it on quick as you can.
Like touching a butterfly, some of the glimmer on luck’s wings is bound to rub off.
Not everyone knows it, but it’s true. You got to give it away.
Clutch luck with both hands and it goes limp, turns itself into lifeless objects: hollow houses, gems with a cold sparkle, cars that drive real fast to nowhere—things that look like happiness when you don’t have ’em, but leave the mouth dry, hunger unappeased.