Archive | Essays

More Lipstick for the Wolf

Lately, I spend my Saturdays reading.

I have read five books by Ruth Reichl, wonderful stories of travel and food and champagne and love. I have read all three of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon books, which, as Natasha Lyonne avers, are better if grimmer than the Anne of Green Gable series: more honest, higher stakes. Also I have reread Eve Babitz’s Sex and Rage and Black Swans. And of course all of MFK Fisher.

Especially How to Cook a Wolf.

It does not escape me that all these books are by and about women writers who found love and literary success.

For the moment, both evade me. I say “for the moment” because I am relentlessly hopeful in my own way. Though my romances have conferred as much pain as pleasure, I still look forward to the next one.

And though I have yet to sell my book–yet to finish it, even–I see its cover before I go to sleep at night. Sometimes on someone else’s night table.

In the meantime I keep my scale very, very small. Frankly, I’m too broke to go out. I have no money to spend and though an affordable New York still lurks beneath the city’s Instagram ops and best-of lists, I find myself weary and wary when faced with the prospect of restaurants and bars. Friends invariably pick up the checks and it hurts to burden them. This is not how I like to live. This is not how I like to treat my people.

In my home I can take care of business. I rise early and write as long as my brain will let me, then go for a long walk, the neighborhood quiet in the mid-afternoon. I shop the grocery sales and cook slowly as the sun ripens in the horizon. I cook because it is cheaper than eating or ordering out but also because the rhythm of stirring, chopping, stirring–knife thumping, oil sizzling, sauce thickening– feels elegant and serene. The way I felt before the Legend smiled at me and I smiled back. Continue Reading →

Christchurch: Light and Might

I know many of us are numb at this point. That we’re in year 3 of the most corrupt and dangerous administration to ever occupy the White House and I do mean White House. And that sometimes we’re afraid of saying the wrong thing–of making things worse while trying to make them better. But as a Jew, as a queer, and as a white woman, it is necessary that I do what I’ve been gently reminded all white people of conscience should do. And that is to explicitly condemn the white supremacy on the rise all around our beautiful planet, as was most recently evidenced by the terrorism that took the lives of 49 people and injured many more at the Christchurch mosques. Is saying something enough? Of course not. We must ensure this blind brutal hatred is never normalized as this administration would have it be. For make no mistake. It is not that our president does not care about Brenton Harris Tarrant’s motivation. It is that he condones it. And like all black holes (oh, the irony of that term), the bottomless, life- and light-sucking abyss that is White Supremacy will only gain momentum if we don’t condemn it every.fucking.time. Members of the Muslim community: you are seen, you are precious, you are loved. And I will fight for everyone I love with all my might and my final, dying breath. We must love everyone as we love ourselves, or else these peddlers of virulent entitlement have already won. Love is the only true light. Love is the only true might.

March, Minuet

I am hungover for the second morning in a row. Still, I wake early, right before the day’s sun.

Permakitten and I pad into the kitchen, where I fix her food and warm up yesterday’s coffee. Just a little too hungover to deal with a boiling kettle for the French press. It’s unlike me to have more than two drinks in one sitting–usually I can’t bear ceding that much control–but during this Mercury Retrograde, I’ve been unlikely across the board.

It’s warm for a March morning–already in the high 40s–and so Grace and I exchange morning smooches and perch on the fire escape to watch the day rise. First light lifts the clouds into silver and peach. Then the rest of the sky starts to lift–indigo to lilac, finally a cool periwinkle. Continue Reading →

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