Wednesday, January 20, 2010

small chai.

You steal a long breath from the bag of espresso beans and fill the grinder. The rain is pouring, and the grey scene beyond the glass is almost like San Francisco. There is a tornado warning in Los Angeles. The buzz surrounding this is almost as funny to you as the change in color status on the Homeland Security signs in the airport. You wonder, for a moment, if laughing at this sort of thing is like tempting fate and remember your 'new found Atheism': Nothing means anything, life is beautiful and full of contradictions, coincidences and confusions.

My thoughts are my own, my thoughts are my own, no one and no thing can punish me for my thoughts! Hmph.

In your head, a friend laughs at your attempted rebellion. You laugh at yourself and move on to the more stimulating events of the work day, conversation and eavesdropping.

Two young girls approach the counter. Both with shoulders hunched, peering up at you like stylish, little giraffes, one begins to speak, "um", she sweetly whispers, "could I get a small chai?" You want to say, "don't worry honey, I don't bite!" but instead look at her and wonder why anyone would choose to speak in such a soft and frightened voice. Is that supposed to be attractive or just the result of an inferiority complex? You hand her the hot drink and work on her friend's order as they chat about Haiti. "I really wish I could just go there and help, you know?" says 'friend'. You stare at the slowly browning pastry in the oven, the heat warming your cheeks. You wonder, what would it be like to just stop life, pick up and go to a part of the world that needs some help? What is it that is stopping you from doing just that? Greed, fear, selfishness, disconnection? What can you do about this?

What will you do?


You hand 'friend' her croissant. The door opens and a gust of wind and rain blows in as the cars rush by on Hyperion.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The skunk scurried across the street at dusk.
The car in front of me slowed down and seemed to swerve but the skunk swerved too.

There it was in the middle of the road.

Fully intact except for the puncture that popped it like a water balloon.
No blood but a fountain of whitish liquid squirting straight into the air.

The smell overwhelmed me as I passed trying not to hold up traffic.

Nothing could be done.
What can I do? What do I do?
My chest was pounding and I heard myself say 'fuck' over and over with my left hand on my heart.

I felt sad and confused that a life had ended before my eyes.
No one to mourn with and no one to get angry at,
I just sat with the feeling of this little skunk and let myself smell its defense weapon as I made my way home.

Life can be short.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Rostopovich digs into Bach vigorously with his bow, releasing a warm wave of sound. The cello-suites fill the coffee shop with a fullness that transports and the world is both new and ancient. Fingers stained with espresso are decorated with swirling lines that...

Blaaaaaa blablabla bla!
Scratch that. Redo.

Rosss TOPOVich
to poe veeeech.

Have you ever noticed how the sound of a word makes you feel? How the 'ha' 'i' 'mmmm' in the word "him" makes you move? The quick 'ha' like a punch in the gut, the intake of the 'i' and the resonance of the 'mmm'. Himmm. Him.

Working on some Shakespeare lately with an acting teacher and rediscovering the power in every word I delight in driving alone, listening to the wind rush by and speaking words.

"Think not I love him though I ask for him. 'Tis but a peevish boy."
Peeeeevishhh b oyee.
Explosive 'p's' and 'b's'.
The roundness of "well" and juiciness of "ripe".
Sharp and cutting "but", "betwixt" and "not".

Actor or not, try it sometime alone. Speaking out loud and savoring, and playing with each word like a candy in your mouth or a river pouring out or a gong or a burst of air.

In what wondrous and wild ways we work!