Archive for June, 2008


The business of show

Great. Just as the temperature soars and the forest fires rage, my air conditioning gives out. I’m writing this from the coffee shop down the street – a cute independent place, not one of those bloated chains that serve brown milk and call it a latte.

I’m practically exiled from my own home. I go back to shower and to sleep, but it’s been two days already. The engineer said he’d be here yesterday. No show.

Now, I’m constantly checking my cell and watching the front of my apartment building through the coffee shop window in case he arrives and thinks I’m not there… So now I’m in exile and trapped too. This is not a satisfactory working environment – though the biscotti are excellent.


Strange fruit

I had to head back home this week because my mama was ill. I say home – I haven’t lived there for years and it’s 120 miles away, but it’s where I grew up and there’s still something about the way the place smells that makes me feel like a little boy again.

She’s tough but she’s broken her hip, so she isn’t fully mobile anymore. I was supposed to be looking after her, picking up her groceries and making sure she got her mail. But when I brought back what she asked for from the store, she yelled at me because I got the wrong brand of this and the wrong type of that and the peppers were too green and the fruit was too ripe… and she was right. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m a grown man and I don’t know how to pick a zucchini.  I’ve lived in the city for so long, so far from the soil, that I have no idea what nature is supposed to look like anymore. Where I live, everything is polished and shrink-wrapped and packaged up to be sold. I felt ashamed of myself. My mama, one generation back, picked fruit off the tree. How long would I last on a farm? How long would the farm last with me on it?

Sorry. I get like this when I see family.