Monday, July 15, 2019


I recently fired my shrink.
She's a nice person and I think means well, but I didn't feel like she was listening to me, towards the end.
I was paying her to listen. Why else sit on a faux velvet couch week after week, staring at the potted plants, wondering who else's ass crack has worn the same groove, and then forking over cash at the end of 55 minutes?
Sometimes she made me take a depression inventory, which--if you haven't ever taken one--is pretty depressing on its own. During our second to last visit, I was feeling pretty down--it's been a year of loss and travel and stress--and scored higher than I had in awhile. (Higher is not good.) She counted up the numbers, and then said, almost gaily, "Well your numbers are higher but you're here and you look fine, so let's move on!"
One of the questions on the inventory asks if I feel like I've failed more than the average person, and I nearly always put yes. I feel like I have failed a lot. I know I have failed a lot.
I'm writing, yes, and publishing again, but no one cares, not really.
My job is uber-stressful and frustrating. I dread each day. For weeks I had an eye twitch (until I took time off).
I see family and that's fine but it's not fine, there have been outbursts and yelling and mean things said, and it all just gets papered over and forgotten. My nieces have grown up and moved on and that feels lonely. Two of them won't even message me back, not without a double tap or some badgering, and wow does that feel not-good.
I want to make changes--major ones--and I'm trying, as hard as I can.
I hope I can survive the deluge.
Also, watching Pose puts my suffering into perspective and gives me hope.

Saturday, June 29, 2019


It's Pride weekend in the 206 and some friends and I went to the Trans Pride parade Friday night.
This was the biggest Trans Pride parade in Seattle history.
There were rumors that right wing groups would continue their harassment and hate. As my friend said, Hate is bullshit.
As she and I waited at light rail for the others to catch up, we witnessed a stream of marchers exiting Cal Anderson, on their way to line up for the march. It was a giddy assortment of folks, some with signs, some in costume or festive garb, others simply showing up in street clothes, as themselves.
Across the street at the construction site, the workers in their reflective vests and helmets had apparently just gotten off work and stood behind the chain link fence, watching in quiet fascination (I hope).
Worlds peacefully collided for a moment.
Later, as I stood on the curb cheering and chanting as the marchers went by, I saw many expressions reflected on the passing faces: pride, happiness, surprise, defiance, and maybe caution.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and march.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

i want a president

This. Wow. If this piece by Zoe Leonard hurts your soul or puzzles you or provokes in you some contentious feelings, then thank a teacher somewhere that you can read, and remember the role of writers in this world, to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

tiredly happy happily tired

Just returning from a couple of days' staycation.
A restorative 48 hours.
Friends and beach time and bar-hopping in a couple of old-school neighborhoods.
Now, back at it.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

the consequences of truth

It's been weeks of emotional heavy lifting since losing Marguerite, realizing what she had left all of us, and then, two weeks ago, finding among her things a stack of handwritten note cards written by her mother, my great-grandmother. The cards seem to be preparation for writing a memoir--Nan noted she'd need 100,000 words--and are written in a fine, sometimes quite tiny, cursive, as though not quite giving herself permission to express what she was putting down on paper.
Because. There is death and despair, a murder, a suicide, and many tales of abuse and alcoholism. And also wonderfully frank observations of neighbors and lovely observations of nature--a pond, wildflowers, wagon rides.
It changes you, thinking about your relatives in this way. Staring at the black and white photographs from a hundred plus years ago, realizing that they are actual people and not quite the sainted relics we've imagined them to be. They loved and fought and hated and struggled and triumphed. My grandmother and great-grandmother are two of the strongest people I've ever known, and now, I'm realizing what all the hard times exerted and wrought on them, diamond-like.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

StC 51

Pleased to announce that I have a story out this month in Spank the Carp, a lively and interesting literary journal. This story--"The Accidental Contestant"--is one I wrote wondering What happens if?
Always a good jumping-off point for a writer.

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