Woman, Beaten, on the Train

This woman rode the subway today. I did not notice her and her two small kids, wide-eyed and well-behaved, sitting across from me. Most likely, they were on the train when I got on, and it was me who moved to them when seats opened up. Neither she nor her kids stood out: Seattle’s subway […]

Tropics and the Surreal

Time flows in syrup, passing through reed walls on bug legs. Humidity grounds the air to the ocean. Greens glow with the calls of strange birds who speakĀ a sense only they know. Human things merge into the natural world, all the flowers and rocks ignorant of the tiny blip of time in which our things […]

Willy: A Goodbye Too Long

Willy came on June 27th. He was small enough and all reports were he would help. At a hundred milligrams at a time, he rattled in his bottle like Necco wafers, the unspeakably awful candy. Who eats it? It’s been made forever. It must do something for somebody. June 29th was a good day, even […]

North Cascades

A month ago, my friend’s ankle hurt too much for a hike. Time plenty for a drive to see what’s there when things are better. I have a screenplay idea where, in the seminal scene, the main character confronts the chasm at a bridge railing–like this one–and considers jumping. In the story, he looks back […]

No Worst 2

A day later everything is upside down, not forgiven but extended. Hours before this much light I am in bed, having moved there from sleeping on the floor where I dream the cat comes to sleep nestled next to me. She is across the room. It’s after 2 and I go upstairs dreading to come […]

No Worst

After steeling myself, arrival at the vet is a reverse gutpunch. Can’t bring the cat out because she’s eating. Some time later the cat comes and acts like she’s normal: purring, active, looking in the eye. She curls up in my lap and purrs for an hour. I don’t want to believe it to risk […]

The Worst Wait

I haven’t called the vet yet. The cat was sick when I got home. She had been sick for days, vomiting since Thursday. The person I had felt trustworthy and competent enough to watch my house and cat for a month proved otherwise as the amount of vomiting and distress is revealed. Can a cat […]