For the last few years, I’ve been convinced I do my best writing in this chair. It’s the perfect height, the perfect angle, the perfect location—right in front of Oslo Coffee, where I can swill strong americanos and people-watch and puppy-flirt whenever I need a break. When the first iteration of this chair fell apart, Oslo owner JD reordered it from Amazon “so I’d have one less thing to worry about” after I lost my job. When its replacement was stolen last week, I am sorry to report I broke down in tears. (This may have something to do with my overall blocks regarding writing my first book.) Today, a second replacement magically appeared. “JD reordered it again,” reported a barista blithely. “Someone really needed it.” The small kindnesses loom the largest.
Both of them felt it: that day was an island….On the mainland, people went about their business, eating the Times, glancing through coffee and oatmeal, as they walked the gangway into an original dream of attentiveness, as if a day’s pleasure could concentrate them as much as suffering. —Sun, Donald Hall
Let me tell you: I’m trying to seize the fourth dimension of this instant-now so fleeting that it’s already gone because it’s already become a new instant-now that’s also already gone. Every thing has an instant in which it is. The want to grab hold of the is of the thing. These instants passing through the air I breathe: in fireworks they explode silently in space. I want to possess the atoms of time. And to capture the present, forbidden by its very nature.
—Agua Viva, Clarice Inspector
When the sun grew so bright, when it was not nearly but merely blinding, she could do nothing but succumb to her senses and wait. And this is how it will be, with a sense of humor.
—Newton North High School 1989 yearbook inscription, Lisa Rosman
You know your friend really loves you when, upon hearing you’re at serious loose ends, she takes a ring off her finger and slips it on yours. “It protected me when I needed it,” she says. “Now it’ll be your shield.” “Let’s keep giving it back to each other when we need it,” I say, and we smile. Eve Babitz says there is always a moment when a man develops enough confidence and ease in a relationship to bore you to death. What I treasure most about the women in my life is we never stop courting each other–never stop seeing each other, never stop remembering each other’s stories, never stop beaming that Mother Mary blue.