in praise of g.w. carver

I walk the entire perimeter of the cafeteria. 

I almost eat a salad (!).

But eventually I reach for a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. 

Why? Because by lunchtime, I have succeeded in working myself into a sappy sack over sad old memories and things I can’t fix and stuff I’ve lost. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that PB&J can make so many sad things better. 

note to world #3423

here i am, internet surfing for garb for my upcoming ‘life-force yoga’ retreat. and i guess i’m learning that it’s a ‘thing’ that all yoga tops must be shaped like loose spider webs that hang off your breasts.  and i suppose no regular shapely and firm yoga-doing person cares much that i hate spider webs and that the last thing that hung off my boobs was a nursing baby who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for her contribution to the study of the acceleration of mass toward gravity.   and i wish i had paused – for even just one moment – before saying yes to something i had honestly thought was a “star wars” trilogy movie marathon weekend for ladies.

sunday evening harangue

somehow, every single couch in the house was claimed by some other being /not her

she had even spent an afternoon rearranging the living room /feng shui be damned

so that the couch no longer gave the dog a good view out the front window /triumph

and now that couch contained a smallish girl with long bony legs /back to square one

and in the TV room the sofa had already become an oversized dog bed /who’s in charge

Note to world #5645

I am on the road with my older daughter, hoping that all the time in the car together might bring some reparation to our tense and strained relationship. Instead, we bicker over where to eat and quickly gather heady momentum toward more hurtful territory.  Then, with tremendous hostility, my daughter pops in ear buds and keeps her eyes focused on her phone.  And poof – I am alone in the car on a trip for someone else.

I am alternately grateful to have a quiet moment during which to process my many layers of mother guilt and saddened that there is no one to whom I can point out roadside absurdities or wonders I spot along the highway.  After a while, though, I’ve been stewing in my own juices too long and some of the most homely roadside destination start to look pretty alluring – places where I imagine myself abandoning my motherly duties and hiding out as a crusty hermit – at least until my old dead body is discovered several months after my demise.  After we pass a few broken rusty shacks, the idea sours and instead I begin fantasizing that it would be better to hide in plain sight – in a thriving bustling metropolis – where I admit that I could still possibly die without being noticed for at least a few weeks.  But that could be a less smelly option with the potential for some good jazz concerts in between.

As though I might care about my hygiene when I’m dead.

Note to world #2435

She stood in the very long line to the bathroom and pondered whether she could sneak into the “handicap” stall. 

After all, some days she did consider her gender to be a handicap …. of sorts.  

But no, she waited instead behind the transgender woman for her turn at the “female” stalls.  


I read the obituary – which I found online
“She was devoted, loving and wise beyond her years”
a wonderful stranger had died – not the woman I was –
separated from me by a letter and a few years,
typos of the hastily written in mourning.
I wanted the truth, shortcomings and flaws,
plainly spoken, not tinged with guilt or regret
but even in death, I would remain a caricature.

Note to world #1054

She devoted 

one entire hour of her insomnia 

debating which time of day was best for exercising. Only to conclude in 

her second hour of insomnia 

that she really had no time for exercising. Which led her back to 

her original sleep problem: 

pants – and a budget – that were too tight.  

Hence, exercise. She would need to be well rested of course – so she would wait 

after the insomnia faded

And what – just suck in her gut until then? 

The thought made her toss and turn.  

Note to world #2003

you know how ‘all the world’s a stage’?

yes, well – she was not one of the players

no, she was more like a stagehand, 

making the whole production run smoothly for everyone else – 

namely, her children and the dog 

and by proxy, therefore, also the babysitter

against whom she invariably developed harsh feelings