Wednesday, July 27, 2005


My son is a genius, a sage and a fighting little lion. H's done more than anyone his age -- he's only twenty-nine, still a baby, yes, but old enough to make fools listen -- and his looks, although he's kind of homey and common, get him in good with folks. Not a threat, you know?

He comes home twice a week from two towns over to work on his sculptures, in the garage, by himself, where I let him do his sort of thing. Well, out there, you know, he can concentrate. He won't let his friends or I see them because they're part of a big collection, and he's gonna reveal them all in one big opening, maybe at the civic center, but who knows. I keep telling him the Guggenheim, but he, hehehe, he always, you know. I think they got a theme, too, those statues he's making. Anyways, I park outside in front of the garage door, because all his art is in these crates and boxes in there, and it won't be for much longer.

It's been five years. I went in there one night, and looking into the room, saw the crates under a big green tarp. Sure, you want to take a peek, but it's gonna be a great day, when they roll out. I think he takes his tools with him, cause mine won't be any good for what he's doing--he got this art bug from his mother anyways. I think he takes naps out there sometimes. I found a sleeping bag, some beer. Helps him relax. Some blood. Cut his hand chiseling, what do I know?

Did I ever notice anything weird about him? I know what you're poking at, officer, but no, not really. He's a rare one, my son, kooky, but a really great kid. He wears glasses, you know, to see things right. Blind without them, but aren't we all.

He's building a bike, too, officer, a motorcycle that he built from scratch. That's under the tarp, out there, too, and from the looks of it, it'll be pretty like the sculptures...strong boy, he is.

I resent that tone, sir. My son is a sage and a prophet and a traveling miracle, and this bike he's building is going to be great, and his mother, God bless her winsome soul, will pull the clouds aside and look down upon he and I and know that we are doing okay, ain't nothing different or weird here. You cannot take him from me, no matter what you think he did.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Say it With Emoticons

No thanks, Tubby. I'll keep my seat, you can stand. she said with gritted teeth, one hand clutching the pole next to her, the other gripping my arm, digging her nails through my cotton sleeve, crescents etched into my skin.

Twas angry once again, this vitriolic bitch, my old lady, my ball and pain. I arrived into Des Moines on a business trip and fell in love with her during a hangover, half-drunk pillow talk that escalated into a day at the races. I called in and quit (I'm a travel agent, not a hedge fund manager) and was soon hopskotching around the country with her, this so-called DJ, this so-called artist. This so-called spinner of head trips and promise.

Her nails never drew blood, so they never chased me away. They gave me something to trace with my fingertips when I was lost in daydreams of a Seattle costume shop.

I began to realize my dreams were not about achievement but about cities.
Photo by Thomas Wheatley/Amtrak from D.C. to Philadelphia/June 2005