Sunday, February 21, 2010


You allowed yourself to be shackled, and now you have set yourself free.


They do not hold you any longer.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Breaking Up

That exquisite moment of pain as you sit next to each other, holding hands for the last time. Aching at the thought of a separate future even as you hang onto each other and relish the routines of touch that have become so hauntingly familiar.

Whether to prolong the moment and so hold on still to his long fingers, his denim-clad knee, his muscular torso, or to leave quickly and bring the scorching pain of that moment of separation behind you so the healing can begin.

Rip it off, like a bandaid.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New York Moments


I am browsing in Shakespeare & Co Booksellers on Broadway when a woman walks in, unkempt, dishevelled, in what appears to be slippers and a quilted bathrobe, accompanied by a fat cat. A fat black and white cat that walks at her side like a dog, no leash required. A cat so confident of its own superiority that it walks as though it, not she, were leading. I kneel and call to it and it comes to me, and as I stroke its mangy fur, the woman announces to the man behind the counter that she has ordered a script. He nods in recognition and she strides by me towards the back of the store, towards a hole in the wall where another man stands like a dispenser of drugs, the King of Special Orders. The cat turns its back on me with a lazy flick of its tail and ambles after her.


I am walking in the Village when a large metal skip dislodges itself from its stationary position on the sidewalk and rolls loudly into the street where it crashes onto its side with a thud that vibrates through the soles of my feet. In the space where the skip once was lies a homeless man, swaddled in plastic bags and cast-off knits. He struggles to draw himself up to a half-seated position, leaning back on his elbows and swivelling his head towards me as I move past.

“Hey!” He yells in my general direction, with a large toothy grin. “Smile, you’re in New York City! You gotta dream, everyone here dreams big!”


In Times Square I am walking with my face turned up towards the sky, overawed by the sheer height and size of the neon steeples surrounding me.

“Hey! You dropped your bag!”

In a flurry of confusion I am aware all at once of a man pointing behind me and the crowd pushing and tugging around me, and I stop dead in my tracks and turn rapidly but there is nothing, and when I turn back the man is laughing and handing me a pamphlet and asking me if I like stand-up comedy.

I can’t help it, I laugh, and he knows he’s got me.

“Where are you from?” he asks, and we’re off.


I sit in Starbucks off Union Square drinking percolator coffee out of a giant cardboard cup. I am deeply engrossed in my book until I hear a voice from behind me.

“I’m sorry, excuse me. Excuse me!”

I turn and he’s beautiful, moccha like my coffee with dark eyes and strong arms.

I smile. “Yes?”

“Can I ask you a question?”


“Do you sing?”

I laugh. “No. Well, that is to say, I can sing, but not well.”

He nods, and I smile again before returning to my book. But not much time passes before he is back.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry, but can I ask you another question?”

I turn, arching my brow.

“Have you ever tried singing?”


“I’m a songwriter. I’m looking for someone to sing my songs.”

A parallel life flashes before my eyes, dark smoky jazz clubs and me, reclining on a baby grand in a red silk dress while this beautiful man plays my song.