Archive | City Matters

Welcome to the Fun House

I woke Friday with the words suspended above my head like a cartoon bubble, like a neon sign:

Yesterday was fun.

Which may not sound like the sort of weighty dispatch I typically unpack here but if you’d had a year like I’ve had–and chances are, you have—then such words are a bolt from on high. Life-changing.

Because this Year of 12 Novembers was simply not fun. But it being December—the season of goofy Sagittarius, no less– I’m finally better. Not perfect, mind you, but by middle-age only fools strive for perfection. Fun on the other hand–

Fun is precious indeed. Continue Reading →

No Room to Let (Dowager Chic)

2002 me

This is a blunt story–which of mine are not?– and it probably deserves to live somewhere besides a blog post. But as is so often the case, I will begin writing it to the audience that exists in my head when I write here–namely, sensitive, smart, and roughly my generation, at least psychospiritually.

Four years ago I began a battle to establish my apartment’s rent stabilization. I’d moved into the building in 2002, a few months after September 11 had dashed my dreams of being a wife and a mother (a separate post; a separate book, really). There was a markedly different group of tenants  because back then third stop on the L Train did not mean hipster. It meant working-class families of mostly Italian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. I was the only woman on the block living alone–definitely the only blond wannabe writer from Boston. Mostly I got along with everyone–oh, there was the time I got in a fight with a mafia princess over a parking space and her father came after me with a baseball bat screaming YOU FKING WHORE-but having grown up in Newton’s The Lake I knew how to hold my ground. Sort of. Continue Reading →

The Blue, Blue Bridge of Twelve Novembers

blue tears, white hat

I carry so much loneliness that sometimes I forget this is not how everyone moves through this thing called life.

I carry so much loneliness that sometimes I forget it’s there at all.

Then something comes along to amplify that loneliness–to sharpen it so acutely that it stops my breath and squeezes my heart–and I simply can’t bear it by myself.

That’s how this last month has felt. First because I was in so much immobilizing pain that it prevented me from doing many things myself.

And so I reached out to people I assumed were cross with me only to discover I’d read their momentary frustration as something far more damming. I reached out to people with whom I’d been out of touch for years only to discover a great sympatico between us still. I reached out to people I hadn’t known well until my need, primal and pure, deepened our connection. And I reached out to people whose hearts I steadily hold but had kept afar while I malingered on this bridge called my book.

Thus warmth flowed and it helped.

And then I opened a channel with a woman I’d admired online for months—a woman beautiful and butch and kind-hearted and quick-witted. And, lucky me, warmth flowed from her too and we found ourselves moving from friendship to something far more molten and engulfing.

And that helped a lot. Continue Reading →

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