Monday, February 23, 2009


I don’t hate hospitals. I’m not especially fond of them…the air is always filled with antiseptic and anxiety and prayerful anticipation and the dour energy of the sick and the dying…but I don’t hate them.

Here and now this is a good thing since my best friend is in one…unmoored from the waking world for so many days by a medically induced coma…and the responsibility for decisions about his care is mine (a responsibility freely taken so that he didn’t fall into the control of a family he’s been long estranged from.)

So I’ve spent more hours in the hospital…with its chilled, antiseptic air…its briskly professional nurses and doctors…its buzzing, wheezing, humming electronic doodads and whatnots…its nondescript artwork on cool blue walls…than I ever have before.

So I’ve spent hours waiting for my friend to return to the waking world…spent hours waiting for my intuition to let me know that my friend won’t be returning to the waking world…spent hours waiting and hoping and steeling for myself to decide what I may have to decide.

So I’ve spent hours…will spend more hours…so yeah it’s a good thing I don’t hate hospitals…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Making April Smile (a Valentine's Day remembrance)

When I was 11 I gave a Valentine to April Brown. I wrote a little note in the card but I didn’t sign it…at the time I was much too shy for that…but I imagined that she would know that it was from me. If she did she never showed it…I’m not sure she knew that I was alive (my empathy for Charlie Brown and his unrequited passion for the Little Red Haired Girl was never so powerful)…but the pleased and puzzled little smile the blossomed unbidden on her face when she looked at the little card and read its inscription was reward enough for me.

It was, in fact, an electric moment…a moment made more powerful, perhaps, by the clandestine nature of the situation…and in my shy silence I was happy that I had made her smile.

April got a fair number of valentines…she was a pretty girl with an easy smile and the novelty of still being a new student in our school…but she kept putting mine on top. I saw her glancing around the room doubtlessly trying to decide who she wanted her secret admirer to be.

At the end of the school day, she carefully put her little valentines…mine on top…into her notebook and went off happily with the clique of popular girls she had effortlessly become a part of since her arrival. I walked home humming…some wonderful old Motown song…and feeling both happy (for having made April smile) and disappointed (with myself…for not having had the courage to sign the card.)

Still…on balance… it was a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

150 Words: She Moves Me

Sometimes her melancholy wounds me…sometimes it arouses me in ways that it probably should not.

She floats through my consciousness and just outside of my grasp, her laughter and her tears coloring my perceptions.

I want to hold her…I want to tell her it’s gonna be alright. I want to comfort her…I want to feel her shuddering underneath me, whispering my name, in the passionate folds of a warm and humid night.

I want to set her to flight…I want to gather her into my arms and keep her forever safe from the cruelty of the mean streets and the unforgiving world. I want to bathe in the light from her dark eyes and luxuriate in the glory of her most guileless smile.

She fills me…she teases me…she inflames me…she doesn’t think of me that way at all.

She moves me…for all that will and will not be…she moves me.