stories

for the information age

 

 

These bite-sized stories chronicle my efforts, both pitiful and successful,

to navigate the rapidly-changing world.

 

My hope is that they help you do the same.

christmas motive - cross section of red

Updated: Feb 25, 2021


It is winter. Even in California, the air is icy and the rainstorm we have waited for all year clatters down. This morning, a respite and the sun emerges between downpours. As I pull the bedroom shade up to let the light in, a hawk the size of a well-fed racoon is busying about in a gully. Doing what, I am not certain, but likely, at this early hour, something to do with breakfast.


I hitch the window shade cord to its cleat, watching the creature all the while. It is a funny feathered thing, hopping around on the ground. But then, behold— it snaps open magnificent striated wings, spreads formidable talons wide and lifts in slow, authoritative thrusts to air— now, an illogically lithe, commanding beast that vanishes up into the trees.


This transmutation. Aren’t we all capable of it? Oh, lord, let it be.


At dusk, when I step outside to get the mail, a half-moon hangs overhead. This is January in California and the year is 2021. The Santa Ana winds are coursing and the air moves in warm, off-kilter gusts. Tangles of unkempt iceberg roses flank the old brick walk to the street. Normally, I do not like these roses; I find them gnarled and messy this time of year, but tonight, in the waning light, they nod petaled heads in the breeze. Tonight, they float, white-winged and luminous, otherworldly creatures that dip and rise in the darkening air.


It is star rise and sunset, and for one warm breath, the day’s horrors recede.


The rusted letterbox door creaks when I open it. Inside: advertisements, the water bill.


PEOPLE WHO DO NOT CHECK THEIR PHONES:


Bert & Ernie

Elton John, or so he says

Virginia Woolf

Newborn babies

People who do not have phones, like my friend, Drew

Founding fathers

The dog


PEOPLE WHO CHECK THEIR PHONES, BUT IN A HEALTHY MANNER:


The Dalai Lama

The cabinet maker. He checks his phone sometimes, but other times, he is making cabinets, and phone checking is not a good idea while using power tools.

Aunt Barbara

That’s it


PEOPLE WHO CHECK THEIR PHONES INCESSANTLY:


Everyone else

Me