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The Very Thin Man

It’s sorta like if a tree falls in the forest and your name comes thundering out of the ground, shaking the birds and the worms and the little critters in the soil, was it there a minute before? Prob’ly not. When did it get there—when the tree fell or in my case, when she felt a little winsome.

Five Very Short Stories

Before My Piano Lesson Cat Woman, pale and severe, was systematic: first the older daughter; then the little one. She spit in her hankie and rubbed their faces. The girls were compliant. Walking up the stairs for my lesson, I’d pray that Cat Woman would just read her magazine this week. I’d take out my [...]

I am my Mother and Father

We will not cast people out for their choices in lip color, hosiery, language, religion, or the lack thereof. We will try to be “with it,” but not too with it—if you know what I mean.

What does she want?

Parties of the first and second part:
Whereof two bile ducts agree to be stingy;
two hearts to pour generous;
ears pledge to listen more than two tongues wag;
tell tales and re-remember.

Father

If he had lived longer, would I have gotten to know him better? Would I sit still for the repetitive stories, ask the probing questions, complete the pictures I stopped gathering over 20 years ago? Or would I be annoyed at his slowness and frailty, at the obstinacy and routines of old men. Would I have continued to be too rushed by the crush between generations to note the gifts of either one?

RECALIBRATION

…waiting for her at breakfast, all that old anxiety fills my eyes and chest and breath; she feels like a limb again.

Remember and rediscover

Today I mostly take care of my memories of Dad and Mom. I find the bit of understanding—the fond memory and the noble act—and I embrace it in the tale told. It can be a quiet, private thing. Sometimes I’ve made it a public thing, splashing it across my website and my stages. Is this what the commandment means? Remember, rediscover and perpetuate?

Shoes

Yes, I’m a woman of sensible, terribly sensible shoes. I still own lots of them. After a ten-pair purge I’m down to just over thirty…pair. I buy shoes prophylactically, restoratively, because they are there and occasionally even because I need them. But No, I never had Go-Go boots. Did you?

Culture

Orders and legions of never-written mandates governed what dress to wear, who to greet and how—as we were poked and prodded by grudges, shoves and insinuations.

Manhattan Christmas

“Tomorrow you can see Diana’s new piece. I’m dancing in it.” Diana lives next door to my hostess on the getting-better upper West side. She’s a Liturgical Choreographer, whatever that means. Delightful—a free dance performance in Manhattan. On Sunday morning I trudge off on foot through Central Park to the Church where the performance will [...]