I brushed my teeth
I fed my fish
I put tons of yummy food
In my cute dog’s dish

My bags are packed
They’re by the door
But my home keeps whispering
“Just one more!”

One more toss of a slobbery ball
One more check of the mulberry tree
One more dip in my soothing hot tub
One more sip from my favorite mug

All these things and people and places
Will soon be replaced with different faces
But I’ll go happily into the unknown
Knowing that they’re all still waiting for me at home.


Transition time again

I am in the middle of my personal transition time.  It comes every year, although some years are more impactful than others.  But every year, between the days of January 6th and January 9th, something, somewhere, happens that affects or will affect me.  For instance:

  • January 6th, 1990 – I get on a train in Boston with all my worldly possessions.
  • January 9th, 1990 – I arrive in Portland, Oregon for the first time.
  • January 6-9th, 1995 – My cat Jack was most likely born sometime around this date.
  • January 6th, 2001 – I met my recent ex.
  • January 9th, 2001 – We have our first date.
  • January 6th, 2006 – My dog Jessie was born.
  • January 6th, 2007 – I begin to recover from a crippling, soul numbing bout of depression.

I know there’s more, and it started with that train trip.  The pattern didn’t emerge until later, although for the first 5-6 years I would always remember on those days, that fateful train trip.  Something happened to me on that trip – I knew that within a few months – and it changed me.  I felt a shift in my psyche during that trip, I felt more grounded, more in touch, more thoughtful, more …aware.  And apparently the ripples of that experience are still…well, rippling.  Ever since I stopped consciously commemorating those few days, those days things happen to me.  Not every year, not that I can tell, but they’re usually good.

So the short version is….I’m feeling better.  Maybe it’s because I started working out a few days a week.  Maybe it’s because I’ve had good friends call me and say hey I want to hang out with you, just because, and we stole a wicked cool ash tray from a place called Chopsticks III .

Or maybe…it’s the power of those four days. 
I think it’s both.

Transition – Part Two

Read Part One First If You Haven’t Yet Or This Probably Won’t Make Much Sense

Transition – Part Two

As she stepped into the dim living room, another memory passed before her eyes. She and her mother sat in front of the TV, watching a movie. It was about a family that had a rough life. One of the kids left home, and after years of struggling, she became successful. She returned home victorious, and brought her family from the brink of ruin. She felt safe then, sitting on her mother’s lap and letting her gently brush her hair as they watched the show. She remembered the feel of it, as if she could feel all the love of a mother for her child coming through those bristles. “You see? That’ll be you, my little Kip. You’ll make it out of here someday, and we’ll be so happy, just you and me.” She smiled up at her mom then, knowing that if her mom thought she could do it, then that’s what would happen. Later her mother had drunk herself to sleep. She was five then.

She felt something wet against her cheek and touched it in wonder. One tear coursed down her face. She nodded to herself. That is as it should be, she thought. Just one. She pulled the ear of corn that she had brought back with her from inside her leather jacket. With a purposeful stride, she walked towards the kitchen, stepped over the wet broken glass, and looked down at her mother. She was pale, and the glazed eyes stared up at the nicotine-stained ceiling. She had been pretty once. She placed the corn on her mother’s breast. It was complete now, like a full circle come round. Now for the last of it, she thought once more. Quickly she packed some clothes and necessities, her mother’s small savings, and anything of value she could easily carry. With a last quick glance at her mother’s body, she left the only home she’d ever known. She drove away, stopping only at a pay phone near the entrance of the mobile park. Nine. One. One. “Hello? Yes, my mother has had a heart attack. Please hurry! I think she’s already dead….I’ve…no, I’ve…I was gone. She was like that when I came home. Hurry, ok?” She gave the address, then slowly hung up. As she drove away, she could see the red lights grow brighter behind her as she headed for the highway.

Transition – Part One



The wind whispered through the cornfield. As the sun set beyond the furthest row, each leaf glistened dark green from the afternoon rain. The only sound was the soft murmuring of the stalks, slowdancing with the breeze. It smelled of late summer – of soft rain, sunshine, clean earth, and life..
She knelt down and dug her fingers into the dirt. It was cool and sent a tiny chill through her. Safe. She breathed in deep the warm summer smells and closed her eyes. This is a good thing, she thought. She opened her eyes and stared at the setting sun. This is the only good thing. She pushed her fingers deeper into the dirt, rocking back and forth to match the corn. Silently she prayed to the corn to let her stay there, let her fingers push down, root in and listen to the earth; let it feed her, love her, keep her safe.
She stayed there until the last ray disappeared behind the cornfield. Time was nothing there; just listening, praying, listening, rocking. Listening. Safe. That night chill that told her autumn was near brought her back from her reverie. She sighed heavily, a sigh that holds back the pain, and slowly caressed the earth, making small circles on either side. She stood up, turned and started back to her old yellow Pinto. She drove home. Her foot rested as lightly on the accelerator as she could make it, keeping the car at a crawl. Funny thing about cars, though, is that they almost always take you to where you’re going faster if you don’t want to go. Before she knew it, she saw the familiar “Starlite, Starbrite Mobile Park” sign she had seen so many times. She passed the homes colored in faded pinks, blues and dirty beige that have been the backdrop of her life for twenty-four years. She pulled up next to the house she was born in and shut off the car. This is it, she thought, this is the last time. Stepping out of the Pinto, she took a deep breath and steadied herself against the hood. She looked at the mobile home, and a brief memory flashed through her mind. Her mother sitting in a white plastic lawn chair, smoking a cigarette and sipping her usual gin and tonic. “That’s a great job, Kippy.” Sip. “It’s right about the best birthday present I’ve ever had.” Drag. Exhale. Sip. “Come here and let me give you a kiss, baby.” Sip. She had surprised her mom for her birthday by saving up her allowance for paint and brushes to paint the house. She was fourteen then. Ten years ago. Her mom had picked out a deep shade of green, the green of deep forests. She had liked the color. Now, in the grisly sodium light, the chips and cracks of the paint were all too visible. No longer the green of safe, cool trees, it was now faded, pale and sickly. She walked up the steps slowly, not even flinching at the creak of the screen door that had always sounded like nails on a chalkboard to her.
To be continued…

Transition – Prologue

I wrote a short story for a writing class I took at a local college a couple years ago. It was during one of those times where my life was kind of in a holding pattern; I was in an ok place but it was a tenuous situation, and I was waiting for the next big piano to drop. Anyway, I once again toyed with the idea of finally getting my bachelor’s degree, and I took the required math and writing course as a start. That’s also where it ended, but that’s not the point…the point is the story. I have this weird illness that forces me to do things the hard way when they really matter to me. So, instead of testing out of these classes, I decided that I needed the refresher on basic writing and algebra. I was later asked by both instructors why I was in the class, why I hadn’t tested out, and I informed them of my illness-to which they shrugged and said “ok, whatever…here’s your A.”

So the story. I don’t even remember the assignment…something about invoking emotion I think, but I could be totally wrong. But I thought, as did the several people who read it, that it was good.

So I’m gonna post it here, in two parts. Stay tuned…