Summer Snow

12 Aug

When I woke up, I looked out the window. A tiny snowflake floated through the sky like a feather in slow motion. Then another and another and a few more. Soon the sky looked like a freshly shaken snow globe. Was it cottonwood flowers? Was it tree dandruff? Is that even a thing?

I felt a chill in my body, the snow air seeping its coolness through the thin glass of the window. No one said anything. No one was there but me and the window and the snow. Still, I heard a voice say, yes it’s snowing.

It was August. I started to cry.

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Squirrels Gone Wild

29 Jun

There were two of them. Squirrels who were not, in fact, squirrels, but tiny spider-men in fuzzy costumes. I caught them scaling the garden wall with deep expertise, upside-down, sideways, all ways. They ripped out my hanging strawberries and unapologetically dug through the potted ferns.

“No!” I yelled through a closed window. I grabbed the predator urine spray bottle and threw open the glass door in a full speed run, sending my face into the screen door. Everyone saw. No one laughed. I knew they were laughing on the inside. But I wasted no time on my ego.

They saw me approach and scampered back up the wall and down the other side. I yelled again, something incomprehensible, and proceeded to spray the wall, the plants, and the ground in a fury. A breeze picked up and turned the urine back at my face. It tasted like peanuts, not good ones. I sprayed again. And again. Until the bottle was empty.

But I knew they would be back. Like those NYC roaches, the “squirrels” have no kryptonite. Yes, they would be back, and they would outlive us all.

Still, I regretted nothing.

 

 

 

The Slutty Bunny

29 Jun

When I stepped out into the garden, I came upon a bunny sitting in the arugula.

I wagged my finger like a mother to a child and said, “just because you’re cute does not make this okay, you slut.”

The bunny looked at me sideways with watery eyes, then hopped away behind the compost pile.

I immediately regretted my choice of words.

Catbat

5 Jan

There were just a few animals at the pound that day. I noticed only one, the batcat. Or catbat, a kitten sized bat with the face of a cat. But not any cat. My cat. My cat who had recently left her tiny body to pursue other worlds, her ninth life having expired. I saw her everywhere, around every corner. Her meow woke me in the night as it rang in the center of my ear, like it was coming from inside of me. When it woke me, she wasn’t there. She was nowhere. But every time I walked into the house, the garden, the driveway, I expected her, I felt her. Every time every day, the disappointment of her body not where it should have been, filled my heart with sinking dread. When I found the catbat at the pound, I knew I had to adopt her. They handed her to me in a ziplock bag with an inch of the ziplock open for air. I brought her to the counter and took her out of the bag. This bag will not do, I said. They offered me a blanket to wrap her little body in. Her eyes were closed and I rubbed my finger up the bridge of her nose, like I used to do with my cat, the same little gray face. When I took my hand away from her face, just for a moment, the catbat woke. She leapt up off the counter and onto the floor. Someone was walking in and the front door was open. She ran out into the night. Catch her, I said. But I said it half-heartedly. I knew she had to leave. You can’t have a bat as a pet. Even a catbat. My heart sank, the way it sank everyday since my cat died. I let her go. I let them both go.

Cell Extensions

9 Jun

My hair was getting tangled. There is so much about hair. I started pulling the knots apart strand by strand, knowing if I went too fast I would rip my hair out. A test of patience. One. Strand. Of thick. Black. Hair. At. A time. This girl, this redhead I met at the coffee shop with tight curls, the kind I always longed for – either that or super straight hair, but I ended up with a frizzy Jewfro mess – she was there and her hair started to tangle too. Maybe the humidity was getting to us. (Humidity is both a friend and foe to the thick-ed hair). Her hair started to knot up too but she didn’t panic. She just let the air take control. I wasn’t having it. I slowly moved my fingers through the mess and then reached for a plastic tined brush. I started to brush from the bottom to the top, like they tell you to do on the No More Tangles bottle, and as I pulled the brush through my frizz, my hair grew slick and long. Remember those dolls in the 80’s whose hair you’d brush and it grew longer? Wait, was that a real thing? Well, it was like that. The more I brushed, with each stroke I pulled the brush through my hair, the longer my hair got. I started moving the brush from the scalp down once the knots didn’t need finagling. I pulled the brush down through each section of my hair and soon I had Cher in the 70’s hair. Not long thereafter, Crystal Gayle. I’ll remind you, Crystal Gayle was a singer whose main attribute, though she did have a lovely voice, was straight hair down to her ankles. Literally, a dream come true. My hair was shiny and so long, so fucking long and pulling that brush through it made it shinier, made my scalp tingle with pleasure, and my heart pound with excitement. A mirror appeared before me. I was looking at myself but really just at my insanely amazing hair.

Listen, it’s not about the hair. I have shaved my entire head multiple times, I’ve shaved pieces here and there, cut it into a mullet, a reverse mullet, a chelsea, and a lopsided bob. But really, and you know this, you do, there is just so much about the hair.

New Neighbors

19 Feb

Emma finally sold her house. All these years I wondered what it looked like inside, but she never invited me in. She smiled, she talked to my parents, I envied her colorful flower garden, but that was the edge of our knowing her. When she left, the house sat empty for years. My dad said she priced it too high. But it was huge, and I imagined full of secret passage ways, like the mansion in the Clue game.

My dad said the new neighbors were a nice couple, just moved to the city from down south. An older couple, retired. Maybe they would have us over and I’d get to see what my child mind could only imagine.

I went for a visit over the long Labor Day weekend. Emily was outside picking the last of the bulbs Emma had planted all those years ago. Hello I’m Emily, she said when she saw me watching her. That’s funny, the old owner’s name was Emma, I told her. She smiled and showed me the bouquet. Emma loved her flowers, I said. Yes we are so lucky to have them, Emily said. Then she invited me in for tea. Jackpot.

I walked in through the back door, the one that led to the garden and butted up against our driveway. I was excited, full of expectations, which were quickly deflated. The house was dark. Everywhere. Everything. Where would Emily even put the flowers? All the windows were heavily curtained and there was stuff everywhere, like a cluttered old antique shop full of junk, old metal tins, broken wooden boxes, turned-off lamps covered in dust, and beds. Every room had a bed. The kitchen was tiny, just a bar really, with two queen beds side by side pressed up against the far wall. This is where we sleep, Emily said. She got into one of the beds to demonstrate. We each have our own bed, it’s quite cozy, she said. I pushed out a half-smile and said nothing. Please follow me I’ll show you the upstairs. We walked up a narrow stairwell, a box of junk on each step making the stairs even more narrow. Upstairs she led me to a room with a rocking chair in front of the only uncovered window. An old man with unnatural blue eyes and too-shiny white hair sat in the rocker. He looked straight at me. I felt like throwing up. I turned to Emily but she was gone. When I turned back the man was standing just inches from my face. He grabbed my upper arms and pulled my body close into his. I screamed but my voice sounded calmer than I felt, much calmer than I wanted it to. I pushed him away and started running through the maze of the upstairs. He followed me close behind. I grabbed a metal box and smacked him in the head. He fell to one side but got right back up. He was close and I was still screaming, waving the box behind me trying to smack him away. I ran into another bedroom and saw another uncovered window that opened onto the roof. I pushed open the screen and stepped out. The man was in the room, just about to reach out to me. I screamed again then noticed a half-sized window a few inches below me. I pushed that screen open with my foot and squeezed my body through, monkey-barring along the rafters. That half-window led me into a half-floor, an in-between place. I was hanging, holding onto smooth orange bars that criss-crossed the ceiling. My body felt long, space opening up between the vertebrae of my spine. I looked to the half-window and the man was gone. I let my body hang there, for longer than I needed to, but maybe for just the right amount of time.

Dining On A Plane

6 Aug

Anthony Bourdain was drunk on a plane to Italy. I was on a solo, week long trip and there he was, sitting across from me at a long buffet style table on the airplane. The wine was flowing and he was shooting off his mouth about food and travel, of course. I decided that, when we landed, I would follow him and go where ever he was going. Because, duh. To my left, my mom’s friend started talking to me in Hebrew and I answered her back a little louder than I needed to, in hopes Anthony would hear me and think I was interesting. Maybe then he would take me with him around Italy. I had no plans.

Why do I travel like this, plan-less?

But Mr. Bourdain was too busy waving his wine glass around, slurring about the best places to eat in Southeast Asia. I looked at him, hoping he would catch my eyes. I sent him psychic messages: look at me look at me look at me. I coughed loudly and yelled in Hebrew across the table to another of my mother’s friends. Nothing worked. Anthony Bourdain would never notice me. I realized he probably had security and I would not be able to follow him without getting arrested. I devised a new plan. I would go where ever the Italian wind would take me.