Poor Housekeeping

She heard him coming up the stairs, fast, as she climbed, her heart beating in her throat.  He stumbled, cursed, and reached up for her ankle.  He was only a hair’s breadth from touching her.  She made it up the final two steps and swung around through the doorway to their room.  In only 3 more steps, he would reach that same door.  She threw the door shut, her hand already grappling for the bolt that would buy her a little time to get out of the window onto the porch roof.  From there she could scream and be heard by her neighbor and the police would arrive quickly from the station down the street. Continue reading

Billy Collins and I in Paris

He leans over Ponte Tournelle searching the Seine
for inspiration.  His balding head reflects the sun
as it begins to set behind some gold-leaf dome or other.
And I am a tourist, too, but enthralled now,
not by Notre Dame on my right, but by this miracle of gender:
a man who loves women the way they want to be loved,
a man whose poetry comes right from my heart,
who tickles my mind with his words, who has rescued the phrase
“English major” from infamy. Continue reading

I Told You the Secret of Life

I told you the secret of life.
I said, “Here is the secret of life.
The following is the secret of life.
What I am about to say at the end of this sentence is the secret of life.”
And then I told you.
And you weren’t paying attention?
You were talking amongst yourselves?
You got up to go to the bathroom and missed it?
You dozed off for a minute? Continue reading

My Funeral

I want a closed casket.  I probably won’t look very good dead, my jowls stuffed with too much cotton to keep them from sagging, my skin too perfectly made up, my eyebrows drawn on in a way that would have embarrassed me.  Not to mention my body in that black dress.  I normally look good in black, but really… gravity is not my friend when I am lying down.
Continue reading

What I Will Do on My Summer Vacation

This year I believe I am finally ready.  I plan to climb the 7 Peaks!    And when I say peaks, I mean mountains.  I plan to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents.  Yes!  I am so excited and optimistic this time.

I know last year I thought I was ready and I got distracted somewhere at Kenwood Mall looking for clamp-ons and ended up signing up for a cooking class instead.  And I know that if I had ever gone to the actual classes, I would now be an excellent recipe-maker, so I don’t regret my choice at all.  Because cooking lasts a lifetime and the thrill of mountain climbing is only temporary.
Continue reading

What I Wore to the Oscars

Unless I have a movie coming out soon, I like to go for a quiet, understated look.  Really, I watch the Academy Awards because I am interested in seeing others, not because I want to be seen.

Sometimes I watch the Oscars from my bed, and any voyeur can see me in the final moments before I turn off the lights and slip under the covers in my t-shirt, granny pants and socks.  I hate to close the blinds because I like to look out at the stars at night, so anyone in the right place at the right time can get an eyeful.  If there is temptation there, so be it.
Continue reading

No Free Netflix

Do not try to get more than one free trial from Netflix.   I tried, and here’s what happened.

I am in the witness protection program (long story for another time), and I kept receiving free offers in the mail from Netflix.   Now, true, I once had taken advantage of said free offer a few years ago when I was working for Vito Giar—wait—(erase erase erase) a certain employer.  At that time I was doing something like a security guard job and I
would spend a lot of my time sitting in a wooden chair out in a hallway in a luxurious high-rise apartment building.  (They have since gone condo, but that isn’t relevant here.  I am just trying to give you all the truth as I know it.) Continue reading

The Cherry Stem

I am in a softly lighted room.  I am aware of how quiet it seems.  I am holding the stem of a cherry I had taken from its container.  No.  Wait.  I had taken a cherry which had a stem from the container, and then I had eaten the cherry by sucking it into my mouth.  I held onto the cherry with my lips and pulled the stem off because I knew not to eat the stem.  I love the cherries, though, and I ask for them when I am allowed a special treat.  Like today.  Or tonight. I cannot figure out what time it is.  I believe I have eaten two meals.
Continue reading