Dispatch from the home front: hurricane watch

Sandy’s coming to town. Hey girl.

Red Hook is mostly deserted, the blocky homes and project buildings and warehouses quiet but for the steady sibilance of the wind. Even though we’re in an evacuation zone, we see the occasional straggler, and I’m certain that the walls here shield plenty of stubborn souls. The streets are littered with yellow leaves and fragments of trees. Road signs quiver, wobble in the wind. Power lines undulate. Our jeans speckle at first before clinging to our knees, shiny. My vision is mottled by the droplets on my glasses; I squint but it doesn’t help much. Everything is grey grey grey.
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Dispatch from the home front: Labor Day morning

It’s beautiful and grey out today. The breeze swirls the flag outside my apartment and sends gusts of wind through my living room window.

Last night, I woke up at around 3 in the morning to rain and a faint sound of knocking. I realized that Adam, a friend staying for the weekend, must have gotten locked out.

After I let him in, I had a hard time falling back asleep. The channels of my brain throbbed from the whiskeys I drank earlier in the evening. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles played in an endless loop through my mind at an obnoxious volume.
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We’re inside now, and I am drunk, drunker than I can remember being. 12 drinks will do that. But I don’t feel drunk, I feel euphoric, and the dark bar is glowing and spinning like some broke-down merry-go around.

The music is blasting, and the people are dancing, the group of guys in the corner are yelling at the top of their lungs to Madonna, and the beautiful bartender with tattoos covering her body like spreading, wayward ivy is shuffling her feet behind the bar, and I pretend she’s looking me and desiring me with her eyes, but of course she’s not, she doesn’t even notice me.
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Karl: A Portrait

Karl is a thin man in a faded black t-shirt. He wears thick glasses that stretches his face past the skin above and below the frame. He wears wrinkles and a jack-o’-lantern smile.

We think he wants a cigarette, but he wants money for a drink. We ask for a joke in return, but he doesn’t have any good ones. Sorry, he says, I got a bit of a st-stutter. We shrug and give him loose singles because hey, we respect the need for beer money.
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