Monthly Archives: January 2010

My Haunted Uterus

Dang.  Once a month, I get such pain in the Hole Formerly Known as my Right Ovary.  It feels almost like another cyst…

a phantom cyst.


1/26 – Thought of the Day

The good thing about dog companionship: she cleans the litterbox for you.
The bad thing about dog companionship: she cleans the litterbox for you, then licks your mouth when you yawn.


In the tiny wooden dirt road cabin, negative a million just beyond the frosty window, Sy and I sip hot tea smelling of cigarettes and pine, black as squid ink and delicious to few.  We share a sense of comfort in the automated, eternally unchanging voice on the weather radio, enjoy Ira Glass and Science Friday on NPR, together detest Prairie Home Companion.  “Garrison Keillor is an arrogant fucking prick”.  Amen.  We are a church of two.

My hands hug my smelly warm mug, my knees up and stocking feet against her thigh, Sy with her nursing pillow, feeding that lovely red-hair baby, Sy and I, catty corner on the couch.  We’ve been right here, just like this, for two days, but who’s counting, in this Vermont-deep winter?

Leaning back, in the twinkle of her Jewish Christmas tree, Sy delights me with stories of her home state’s legal oddities.  Public nudity is legal, an occasional draw for Jersey perverts.  Gay marriage is legal, because well of course, WTF?  George Bush is illegal, that war-crimes hater, and Vermont will arrest him.  I fucking love Vermont.

Sy interprets biblical texts, reads sci-fi and eats raw philosophy on whole grain bread.  Also has a thing for breaded chicken patties.  In the event of chicken patty toxic apocalypse, eat a Christian Scientist – no one else is FDA approved.  We’ve claimed Sy, Mom and I, Mom who should be with us on this couch, but who may skip the cigarette tea; Mom grounded in far-away Philly, the weather indifferent to her desire to meet the baby, her grandson with sky eyes.  Mom says Sy is a misplaced zygote.  Who’s counting?  With Sy and I, with Mom and Sy, love is thick as blood.

Rough around the edges, bare-plank-walled, heavy snow boot, crocheted, hand-hewn, bare-bones poor, wind-chilled white, compost socialist Sy.

And now, Mama to a strawberry boy, in sweet shades of his gentle Papa, a Vermont maple-tapped snow boy with poplar legs and sky eyes.  Sy in her lovely, lovely life, watching the winter wind dance the cold bare branches of the outside.

Large and rolling, thick brown braid, solid legs strong hands big feet Sy.  Sy has travelled the world, learned the language of chili and saffron, seen the view from the psycho side of barred windows, built dwellings for her heart.  She has dipped her fingers into fragile serenity, plunged into midnights of wrenching grief and electric-shock body-bag loss, raised herself over and over and over.

With Sy and I, together on this couch with our dank drink and our new boy, it’s like there was never a time without this moment.  It will be hard to leave.  Sy, dust to ice, Appalachia to the Green Mountains, we are family.  I claim you, sister.

The Cat Came Back

But de cat came back, he couldn’t stay no long-er,
Yes de cat came back de very next day,
De cat came back—thought she were a goner,
But de cat came back for it wouldn’t stay away…

“The Cat Came Back”, original version by Harry S. Miller, 1893

Yes we thought Bob was a goner.  Our old alley cat ran out at 1:00 a.m. into the bitter 10-degree cold and didn’t come back in. He was still gone when the sun came up.  He was missing at lunch, stayed missing despite our calling, after we went walking  all over the neighborhood calling his name, searching the shrubs and neighbors’ yards, still missing when we admitted he was probably not coming back, could not have survived that freezing night with his skinny bones and cancer tummy.  He was still missing when we began to cry, still gone when my tears turned to sobbing.  On the way to church and home again, we quietly scanned the dark streets, searching for a little gray body on the side of the road.  When we arrived home, my dull hope that he might be waiting on the porch was quickly extinguished.  Bob was a goner.

But the cat came back, was heard meowing in the darkness by our upstairs neighbor, was lured in with a can of tuna and the promise of warmth.  When she heard us come home, she ran downstairs and began knocking rapidly, urgently, Amanda the single-mom angel from upstairs with tuna for a cold old kitty.

He’s got a cough and a sneeze and a runny nose, which I will keep a very close eye on, but otherwise appears all right.  Usually the old scrapper is particular about his drink, preferring to take it straight from the tap instead of sipping from a cup like a prissy dog, but tonight he went straight to the big silver bowl and drank his weight in mutt water.  Then he curled up on his spot, accepted scratches from his humans and excited sniffing from his dogs, granted us a low rumbly purr, and sighed into a cat-deep sleep, hugging his heat vent.

New Year Weekend 2010

Go to the party, don’t go to the party. Go to the party, don’t go to the party.

Resolution: get out more.

Mom and Ry

Jeff: “Do I look like I’m on a day pass?”