this is fun, maybe the angry street machines want to play too

sketch of greyhound dog running in snow on basketball court

I think he wants me to run, but I’ve never seen him so far away from me, especially not here, and there are so many more interesting things to use my senses and muscles for. Besides, we’ve been over here, I’ve been back and forth, we’ve walked that way and then back this way. This area is soft but it is also familiar. I need newness.

I believe I’ve earned something. I’ve done everything you asked, or at least everything I can remember you asking. Was there something else you wanted me to do? Within reason. Can we go over there? I’m going to go over there. I see you here, I don’t know what you’re doing, I’ve never seen you do that before, but here has grown tiresome. I’m going there. There is so much promise there. I know my way, I’ve been over there before, never without you, but you’re coming too. No? That’s ok, I’m going, you’ll catch up.

Everything ahead is so rich, it’s going to be so great and fulfilling. I am sure that if I turn left where we usually turn right, I will find what I have always been looking for. I’ve been waiting for you to take me left but we almost never go left. We go left so rarely, I can’t remember if it was everything I hoped it would be.

It’s weird that there are these big sinky piles everywhere covering up all the good stuff. There’s still some good stuff not covered, and maybe I can get through some parts of the piles, but I’d rather not bother. I don’t trust the piles. There are so many piles and I have no idea where they came from. I wish the piles weren’t here, and I don’t at all like whatever that big noise is. I’m not sure why all of a sudden I feel threatened, but I do.

I’ll wait right by the gate, but only if you don’t run at me. Please don’t run at me. I won’t know what to do, and it might make me run too. It’s honestly so weird to be this far away from you.

a flowing land

Up on tippy toes to keep her feet from being covered in cold, she is my holiday. This is not a sunbathing kind of beach trip, this is a gift timely and rare. An exemption for the sake of my family, an excuse to hole up in this new tent. She and I biked away from a room full of love, temporarily traded coasts, and made space for a few days of being something new together. We hiked and drove on the edges of cliffs, our eyes lifted to see forgotten stars or sharp streams of light slicing through thick treetops or deer. And whales.

We stayed briefly in varying degrees of luxury, all exceedingly grand, none holding a monopoly on beauty. Our longest rest kept us in a city that eccentrically insists on its hyphenated name and more than lives up to its 4.5 star average Yelp review. We were surrounded by qualities, well fed, and otherwise too in awe to be more than mostly unfazed by things like celebrity sightings and housekeeping employees who’ve forgotten to knock.

We bookended the week with another heaping pile of open hearts, the ones we want to have surrounding us on the borders, tucking us in at the edges, seeping in to our own, showing us what it all means, feeling everything together, conceding new ground to let us return the gesture. Celebration begets celebration, and thankfully has very little to do with us aside from how blessed we feel to take part in it.

 

A couple months later, we’ve yet to see the sweetness wane.

is it worth it? let me work it

Believe it or not, before this rain was snow, and two Mile High City boys managed to get a Zip Car stuck in the slippery ditch of full of it on a dark country road. As the driver, I take full responsibility for having missed the highway entrance and then proceeding to push my 3 point turn to the limit. I also admit fault in being escorted off the Syracuse fair grounds for not having secured proper press credentials before taking snapshots of farming equipment.

Fortunately, we were already on our way out, hoping to make the five hour drive in order to return the rental back in time. We managed to visit booths and mount machinery presented by proud farmers and manufacturers’ representatives who were more than happy to tell us about their jobs and the greater context of the industry.

We had seen all the tractors, steel and plastic, that we cared to see, and honestly had no idea that we had entered a so-called restricted area in our effort to find our way back to the parking lot. Whoever she was, the woman who booted us took her job very seriously and had very little sympathy for my pleas of ignorance and claims that the expo’s website had lead me to believe I would be welcome without a press pass.

The show was over anyway, and we truly were lost, so Matt and I did not argue when we were loaded into a parking-lot-bound gator. We were glad to be on our way back home, but not so rushed that we didn’t have time to stop for a bite. It was after that bite that we wound up in the ditch, but within minutes a friendly gentlemen stopped to help. He turned out to be a railroad worker with a reflective vest, and he began to direct traffic around the protruding rear end of our borrowed vehicle.  The guy on whose land we were stuck had the tow strap, while a man on his way home from work offered to tether it to his truck. A few people helped push while someone with more recent practice driving in the snow pulsed the accelerator to free the wheel.

If you’d like to hear more about the actual event around which these silly things occurred, you’re gonna have to head over to Kickstarter and pledge a few bucks to support Day Job Magazine! There are going to be a ton of articles and photos that I cannot wait to see myself, and among which I am honored to be included.

Please do check it out! You’ve only got 2 more days to get on board!

on a new grind

I’ve begun a new job as a photographer, but I’ve taken more pictures on my way to and from work than I have while on the clock. Rising before the sun has its charms and chills. The forklift operators in my warehouse neighborhood are already tooling across sidewalks with their stereos turned all the way up. My walk to the train is full of funny smells: hints of fruit salad, broccoli farts, White Castle. Dunkin Donuts isn’t even open yet.

My trip takes a little under an hour and a half. I’ve been writing on the way there in an effort to be diligent, creative, and productive, and also to avoid falling asleep, missing my stop, and being late to work. I send an email to a couple different people every morning so they know I’m alive and on my way. If they don’t hear from me and can’t get in touch, I’ve been assured that they will send someone looking. They call it “accountability.”

It feels romantic to imagine the FBI finding me in this fog at sunrise. It feels embarrassing to think of them finding me overslept in bed. I’ve been setting three to four alarms on several devices in different locations in my room. I wake up every hour of the short night in a panic, thinking I’ve somehow slept through them all.


 
The Long Island towns I pass by are not without allure. I read about them on wikipedia as they pass by: median household incomes, breakdowns in ethnic diversity, famous people who have lived there: Tony Danza, Lil Mama, Steve Buscemi, Nicki Minaj, Isaac Asimov, the Fat Boys, Metallica, Bernie Madoff, Hettie Jones, various Mafioso. I imagine them all sitting down to dinner together in defiance of time and chronology, before their fame, with varying degrees of hometown pride and flightful hopes. They talk about local politics and weather. They argue about which is the worst brand of cheap beer. Their drawer count was off at work and their managers are angry. They need to fix the roof on the garage. They might go to Far Rockaway Beach next weekend. They tried the new restaurant in town and weren’t impressed. They forget whose turn it is to wash dishes. They’ve got to go put the laundry in the dryer. Maybe they’ll see each other around.

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