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Love for Sale (Craigslist Haikus)

Ever since I became Home-Rehab Harriet, I’ve been obsessed with Craigslist. Not the personals—that glimpse into modern mating rituals is beyond me—but the “for sale” category, which already has coughed up an armoire and French dresser that I’ve made lovely for a song. Every morning I read the listings, and  they never fail to fascinate me. The guy in Howard Beach selling a white polar bear rug for $35,000. The Upper East Side denizen charging $1,100 for her broken lamp. The Bay Ridge lady selling used soap, deodorant, and razors. Such an opportunity to practice compassion for humanity in all its spiky forms, this Craigslist.

The engagement rings in particular break my heart. I’d love to follow up on each ad but, having burned through at least eight lives, content myself with merely imagining the stories behind them. In haiku form, no less.

Enjoy this diamond/ My predilection for cads/ Is your happy gain Continue Reading →

No New Tricks Here

In the house where I grew up, the sports radio was always blaring, the TV too, and everyone talked over each other and through everything else at the top of their lungs. I learned to read and do my homework in that racket but promised myself I’d be a silence worshipper if I managed to grow up. And in fact these days I do insist on living alone and uphold quiet as more glamorous than champagne sipped upon a velvet divan. But the truth of the truth is that whenever I want to get any big writing done I have to work in the noisiest environment I can find: a house full of screaming kids, a bustling coffee shop, my noisy stoop. If I ever want to finish my book I probably will have to set up a desk in the middle of Times Square. Old habits don’t die hard; they don’t die at all. We just find a rhinestone-studded collar with which we may tame them.

On This Cold Brooklyn Morn

Got up with the roosters, pulled on myriad layers of wool and fur, and bustled down to the coffee shop to swig Americanos with my Muppet critics, who sorted out all my problems, bada bing, bada boom. So bolstered, I ventured to Red Hook while it was early enough to fetch my Fairway Thanksgluttony with less fuss than blunderbuss. Indeed, the bagels were still hot, the aisles still relatively unfettered, and I breezed through so quickly there was even time to flirt with the cute families already underfoot, not to mention Lady Liberty, who waved like a proud mama from across the waterway. Driving home I followed the East River as the sun danced upon its big-wind crests, and I thought: Sweet Brooklyn, you really are my heart.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy