Archive | Past Matters

While You Were Snooping

Once when I had been dating a man for a few months and it was going really, really well– flowers at my door and long kisses at subway entrances and those unmistakable rosy cheeks–he read my journal when I wasn’t home.

I actually understood the impulse. When I’d been younger, I’d been the type to ransack everyone’s drawers. I never took anything; I just liked to know the whole playing field. Being intuitive meant I could fill in most gaps myself, but I preferred access to all information. Then one day I read a letter to a boyfriend’s roommate. It was from a guy with whom I’d enjoyed a heavy, unconsummated flirtation during college. He was a Marlboro Man sort from Montana with long legs and a craggy uneven smile that was just rare enough that you felt it in your toes when he bestowed it. This was back in the early 90s, when people still hand-lettered long missives to each other. (I still do; it’s so private and sexy.) This cowboy had written to my boyfriend’s roommate about a woman he had just begun dating. She’s tall, she’s blonde, she’s funny, he’d written. She’s just like Lisa Rosman except she’s not a crazy bitch. Continue Reading →

Clap Hands, Here Comes Ella

Photo: William Gottlieb

When I think of Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 101 today, I always flash on this image of her singing at The Downbeat in a fabulous coconut cake hat, Dizzy Gillespie visibly swooning by her side. Really, we’re all Dizzy when it comes to Ella. Hard-working and ever-radiant, she was a true Taurus goddess who channeled Venus at her most luscious and life-bearing. As a young person, I never understood this sign but now I relish its ambassadors, Ella especially, like sun-warmed soil between my toes. Continue Reading →

If I Was Your Girlfriend

When I was in college, I wrote Prince a letter once a week. I didn’t do it in a stalker capacity, though it still seemed pretty stalkery. I just was going through an incredibly hard time and deeply felt he was the only straight man alive who understood the pain and pleasure and vulnerability and courage and full-frontal honesty required for matters of the heart. I never heard back from him, but even two years after his death there’s a part of me that thinks he’s still alive–still learning, still shining, still putting it all together in a way that will move everything and everybody. Basically, there’s a part of me waiting for his neon call. Rest assured, I’ll come running.

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