foxy, ny #14

Sunday, April 8, 2018
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

“Do you think the barista is a furry?”
“No doubt in my mind. Dresses up like Sonic, but pink.”
“With extra anime-ish eyes.”
“A cyber pink furry.”

“Her avatar.”

“Oh my god, it looks kind of like her. But, like, how she sees herself which is helpful and tech savvy, when in reality she is neither of those things.”

“Meticulous planning year round goes into her Comic Con costume, but it still ends up looking shitty.”

“Total D list Comic-Con’er.”

“Wears bikinis and body paint. Leaves her mouse ears on the F train.”


the queen is upset, tc #8

The same weird ass shit hangs from the ceiling of the general store.
It tiptoes precariously at the border between the artistically eccentric and ‘it puts the lotion in the basket.’
I was bummed. On this particular day the bulbous and curmudgeonly proprietor wasn’t there.
He scolds people who complain when their sandwiches take too long.
If you believe Yelp reviews, he says things like, “Oh, the Queen is upset she hasn’t been served yet?”
(Which makes me like him even more.)
But really….
What’s so wrong with wanting to spend a few extra minutes in paradise?


There’s fog out in the bay, even though it’s sunny.
We’re at the tip of the peninsula; one of my favorite places.
There are a few people wandering around; still early for the season.
A woman stops me to take a picture with her guy in front of the lighthouse. It’s the same spot we asked someone to take our picture the year before, the day after our spontaneous engagement
We snap a few pictures of our own and slap away the sand bees from our ankles.
It looks like my plan for a romantic and lazy late afternoon, sprawled out on a beach blanket, has been foiled.
They don’t produce honey. 🐝


We cursed all the way back to the car, stopping frequently to bend down and itch our legs.
“I need a beer,” I said.
“Yes,” J agreed.
(He’s not a beer drinker.)
“I know a place close by—let’s skedaddle.”


We turned off M-37 toward our destination.
A flower farm. We stopped to take pictures. Irises, I think.
A bit further to West Bay and we pulled into the Jolly Pumpkin.
The driveway loops around a grove of pine trees.
In that grove: rows of white chairs, an aisle down the middle.


bleecker street station, ny #4

The neon lights on the ceiling of the Bleecker Street station seem worn and faded to me. I remember when they installed them in 2012. Dazzling and convenient. A beacon to the 6 train. It seems like that was only a year ago but it’s been six and that trips me up, makes me feel uncomfortable.

I walk past Tom and Jerry’s bar. I used to love the place, considered it my regular haunt even though it didn’t make sense. I lived much further uptown. They make their own watermelon juice there, at this bar, which is confusing because it does not seem like the type of place that would make their own watermelon juice. It’s where I met my DUMBO roommate, and once I took an Israeli guy there on a date. We crammed together at a small table, he was nervous. That seems like ages ago, and it feels right that it should. 

A man shakes a change jar on the corner of Mulberry and Houston. Eyes like saucers. There’s something familiar about him.
“Anybody want to go to heaven?” he asks.
Shake, shake, shake.

coffee drinkers, tc #7

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Traverse City, Michigan

I brew two pots of coffee in the Gevalia, going back each time to a warm but empty carafe. There is no doubt of my genetic relation to this gaggle of coffee-addicted vultures.

I brew a third pot and stand over it, guarding that which gives me life. I pour myself a cup. There’s no sugar so I throw in a marshmallow—a hangover from the s’mores—and head out to the dock with my book: The Goat Fish and the Lover’s Knot. It’s a collection of slightly chauvinistic short stories set in Northern Michigan. I shouldn’t really like them but I do, except the one about baseball.

The lake isn’t still but it’s calm. The sky is a bit dark in the distance. There’s a woodpecker off somewhere chipping away. The dark clouds get closer. The wind gusts. It blows my hair around. The pragmatic side of me should have probably prepared for rain, but somewhere deep down inside me is this intuition which understands nature and keeps me out on the dock. Ron and Zack’s conversation drifts out to me. They’re talking about fishing: the time they came up a few years ago and were reeling in bass, one after the other.


“You can try this bitch kayak this time,” I said to J, kicking the green vessel his way, the one I had chosen last time we went out on the lake. It was flatter—one of those you sat on top of rather than inside. I despise anything that makes me feel off balance and reminds me that I have a ‘core.’ 

I pushed out in the blue one and knew immediately that my time in the city hadn’t rendered me unable to manage a kayak. I dipped the paddle in the water and turned around to watch my fiance struggle with his vessel, recognizing the shimmy that was necessary in order to maintain your balance. He’s cute, I thought, allowing myself to gush. We were getting married out here in one year, after all.

We paddled over to the north side of the lake, occasionally going our separate ways to explore fallen trees and schools of fish, but always circling back to each other.

“My love,” he said, with a startling sense of urgency, like maybe his kayak sprung a leak. I turned around. “What is it?” I asked. He said nothing but kept looking toward the shore. I paddled toward him.
“An owl,” he said, pointing to the nearby raft.
“Is it?” I asked, squinting. It was small, and it seemed weird to see one in the early afternoon.
“The head’s moving!” J said. And it was. We paddled a little closer.

“It’s fake!” I shouted, splashing it with my paddle.  “A bobblehead owl.”

And so it sat, regally upon the raft, moving ever so slightly and judging us.
Refusing to fly.


overheard, wscj

Conversations overheard at various Water Street Coffee Joint locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, listed in no particular order:

“There’s no reason Aaron should be making $75,000 a year.
“She’s very smart… and very Catholic.”
“It reminds me of the time I went to Thailand and thought I was going to die. They don’t label their spicy food. How do they not all get ulcers?”
“Music, masturbation, and timing. I try to weave in all those themes in this book I’m writing that is about myself. And I don’t want my family to read it. The poor side is probably fine, but the rich, Christian, Republican side…”
“I think you have to be deliberate to remember peoples’ names. I’m not a people person so I don’t bother. Some people are, though — they’re so peopleish.”
“Instead of buying expensive Christmas presents, how about we go for a walk in the woods and watch the birds or somethin’?”
“My pride and joy is my songbook.”

shobby-town, tc #6

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Leelanau County, Michigan

We passed a green sign announcing our arrival in Peshawbestown, Michigan.

“How do you think you say that?” I asked my Brazilian fiancé, motioning toward the sign. I raised an eyebrow at him and took a sip of my coffee. Black. Like my cruel soul.

“This is a town?” he asked. And he had a point. The only sign of civilization was a utility pole. He then gave the pronunciation a solid attempt. I would’ve said the same thing myself.
“How then?”



We thought we had driven past it, but we didn’t. This is the progress I’ve needed to feel better about wedding planning, I thought, as we pulled into the driveway. I’m Type Z, but still conscious enough to acknowledge that we’ve been engaged for over one year and have done nothing. This is part of the reason we came up here, but it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the serenity out at the lake. I will never understand people who throw themselves into wedding planning.

We were greeted by Holly, an extraverted black lab, followed by the owner of the farm. She showed us around. The farm was over 120 years old and stunning. She took us through the kitchen and introduced us to her business partner who was also the chef. “He won’t tell you himself, but I’ll brag on him,” she said. “He was just on Man Fire Food for his fire pit. It’s just out here, I’ll show you.”

She showed us the barn and the grotto, where the bar would be placed, and walked us through the garden where they source some of their food. Her parents were tending the garden. It was all very charming and easy to envision a nice little wedding there.  The owner handed us a packet of vendors and we were on our way. “We’re headed toward Northport,” I said. “Any recommendations for breakfast?”

“Try the Tribune,” she said, waving us off.


It was a quick, five minute drive up to Northport. The town was still unbuttoning for the day, despite being nearly ten o’clock in the morning. My kind of people, I thought, but I had a hungry and crabby fiance who didn’t want to hang out at the marina while we waited for places to open. We got back in the car and drove down M-22 toward Leland. The morning had been sunny, but it was starting to get cloudy by the time we got to town.

We walked down to Fishtown, which is a surviving commercial fishing village. Our first stop was the Village Cheese Shanty, because I had to feed the beast. A South Shore (a pretzel bun, ham, dill havarti, tomato, onion, pesto mayo) and a bag of cheese curds, just mildly squeaky (the other side of Lake Michigan is better for these).

After lunch we poked around the docks, stepping around fishing nets, tossing pebbles into a school of minnows in the notoriously clear water. The clouds got darker, though, and drove us back toward the car. We’d parked in front of the bookstore and I noticed, in the window, a poster we had in the cottage growing up. Water Wonderland, it said. A picture of a sun blowing air on Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties. I’d thought about it a few times since my grandparents sold the cottage in 2007. One of those relics that’s present in the background of memories and old family photos. It started to rain. “I’ll wait in the car,” J said. I darted in the bookstore. The downpour began just moments after I closed the door.

I fished it it out of the bin and took it over to the register.

“I told her I should have fetched that marquee,” said the bookseller, looking out the front window. “I can’t get it now, I’ll look like a drowned rat.” She continued ringing me up.
“I don’t have a bag that’ll fit this,” she said.
“Yes you do,” chirped the other worker. “Wrap it in a garbage bag.”
I smiled at their banter and thanked them before dashing out into the rain.

The car was just in front of the store but I was soaked by the time I got in. J was on the phone. I started the car. The windshield wipers wicked away the rain. I turned on the headlights and we drove off down M22.