Wednesday, May 31, 2006

120/365 Karen

Karen spelled her complicated last name to everyone when leaving messages. The cadence of that spelling became so familiar to me that when she married, I missed its sound desperately. The marriage didn’t last, but I don’t know if she reclaimed the unusual name.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

119/365 Another Katy

She worked as a secretary in the next department. I learned that she’d written some great short stories. She had two children born four years apart to the day. She told me once, quite contentedly, “A woman has children when a dream has died.”

Monday, May 29, 2006

118/365 Another Cheryl

She is a Pluto girl, not Goofy. Do not confuse the two. Do not go to Disney World and get her Goofy, who is a lot easier to find. It will just piss her off. And don’t even get her started on George Bush.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

117/365 Martha

Jekyll/Hyde? The newsletter editor seemed sweet and professional. But her writers shared my office space, and she wore out three or four during my five-year tenure. Professional, competent women were reduced to tears before my eyes. Never saw anything like it before or since.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

116/365 A Third Mary

My new boss stops at my apartment to change clothes for the department Christmas party, where she’s meeting the rugby player she’s starting to date. She disappears all skinny and officey, but emerges hotly transformed for the mating ritual. They have four children now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

115/365 Pterry

She’s kind of my hero. More than anyone I know, Terry decides where she wants to go, and she goes there. Plans the trip, with or without a companion. Finds the funds. Makes it a priority. Doesn’t sit around and let it not happen.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

114/365 A Third Tom

Tom—after a brief Hank (Huck?)—became the new Tom. Becky must have nailed it this time, because they’re into their second decade. Tom’s an accomplished painter. He’s got a great sense of humor and apparently the proper emotional distance to do the job.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

113/365 Hank

The role of production manager—Becky’s right-hand man—seemed always to be cast gay. This was OK with me; my inner hag was in full blossom. I adored Hank, but he and Becky weren’t right for each other. One morning, his office was empty.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

112/365 Katy

The PC Ivy-League ex-Telluride blond, now my friendly officemate, finally decided to ask if I was related to anyone named Alison. Apparently they had been archenemies in eighth grade before my sister got kicked out of boarding school. Katy played by the rules.

Monday, May 22, 2006

111/365 Becky

In the black-and-white photo, she’s standing on the bare hill, looking out to the faraway, her robust husband sitting nearby. It is dramatic; they are beautiful. She’s strong and supported. (Coworkers are quick to caution me that she’s always looking out for number one.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

110/365 Another Mary

I was the newbie editor at my first staff meeting, trying to identify this cast of characters and look less clueless than I actually was. The graphic designer, whose personality could fill a room, turned to me and announced, “I’m not fat. I’m pregnant.”

Saturday, May 20, 2006

109/365 Trudy

I loved her Swiss accent, Swiss chocolates, that she was all kiss-and-giggle with her husband. After he died, her love was still so big, it was tough to get the alone time with her daughter that I needed. Share, I would will. Please share.

Friday, May 19, 2006

108/365 Leyla

Our mothers were pregnant together, so we’re each other’s oldest friend. Her parents had a movie of us race-crawling, Leyla quickly moving out ahead as I stared dumbstruck at the camera. I never imagined we’d see each other so infrequently later, casualties of adulthood.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

107/365 David

With Quakers, there’s no such thing as a friendly volleyball game.

I’m sorry that when I moved his car out of the driveway to get mine, he got booted. But I had to get to my wedding, and he never mentioned his unpaid tickets.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

106/365 A Third Ron

He’s everyone’s golden go-to boy: construction, floors, painting. He’s got a fab Boston accent and my Sex and the City tapes. Already an addict, he wanted to see it chronologically. He wishes he could turn to someone and tell her how sexist it is.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

105/365 Rich

I was afraid the randy neighbors upstairs would awaken my houseguests, so I warned them what might be in store. The next morning, Rich gets up and at breakfast informs us: “You could never start your own business here.” Why? “Too much fuckin’ overhead.”

Monday, May 15, 2006

104/365 The Upstairs Neighbors

They were having sex multiple times per day. I didn’t begrudge them that. But did they have to regularly wake me at 2 AM? Luckily, speed-dial technology preceded caller ID. When I’d hear him stop and lumber groggily toward the phone, I’d hang up.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

103/365 Another Michelle

was among the visible in high school. I wasn’t.

When our paths actually cross at the reunion, we bond over being childfree. She brags about the vasectomy she’d gotten for Christmas; I counter with this holiday season’s Promised One.

I’m so glad she’s there.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

102/365 Young Sons of My Friends and Neighbors

Nolan, Matthew, Adrian, Sam, Luke, Corey, Robert, William, Joe, David, Jack, Cameron, Austin, Duncan, Conor, Jonah, Aaron, Paul, Levi, Tate, Owen, Liam, Peter, Brennan, Evan, Dennis, Ry, Silas, Witter, Emery, Wesley, Luka, Christopher, Malcolm, Damani, Harold, Ben, Nick, Nate, Cosmo, Wally, Zak, Isaac, Ladd.

Friday, May 12, 2006

101/365 Sara

The office drug dealer. Supplier of chocolate confections and serial videos. I did seven seasons of Buffy in eight months. Now I’m on workout-only watchings of Angel. The others need her for Lost and Alias. None of us can afford to piss her off.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

100/365 Another Kim

She was my idol in poetry workshop. The prof thought we were lovers. I did love her red specs and raw talent. She dropped out of that ornery MFA program to raise a family. On my selfish days, I feel the world’s been cheated.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

99/365 Michelle

Introverts will relate: I can't initiate conversation with anyone I barely knew years ago. When Michael gets a sex change, I treat her like I would anyone else: by waiting to be spoken to first. Does she think I'm shy or a judgmental bitch?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

98/365 Jody

When my neck cracks and releases, I tell him I love that. He tells me women do; men are more likely to be uncomfortable. I've never heard a chiropractor make this sex distinction before. I'm thinking that women are just louder where pleasure's concerned.

Monday, May 08, 2006

97/365 Nolan

My next-door neighbor’s usually got his hard hat on, working backyard construction. Our waving ritual: one time each before I back the car up, pull out, pull away. The training wheels just came off his bike, but he won’t be four til next month.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

96/365 Dona

She’s a beautiful, curvy woman, but as she leads yoga class I can picture a young, skinny child, eyes big and trusting, long limbs climbing trees like the ones she paints, trees that hold so much mystery. I wonder if she was like that.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

95/365 Diana

To get to the G-Spot, you went to the corner on Saturday night and down the concrete stairs. Inside, Diana (in her leather-clad buffness) would tickle yours with espresso and sweets while dimly lit artists and the ex-urbanchic smoked and scribbled on slate tabletops.

Friday, May 05, 2006

94/365 Another John

“It took 600 years to domesticate pigs, but it only takes 6 weeks til they’re wild.” John’s a hunter, even of wild pigs. He’s a fisherman. He is a 6-foot-3-plus skilled boatman, and chances are you won’t comment on the pink Cosmopolitans he’s downing.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

93/365 Loren

He gently wakes me. We are sleeping on the soft needles of a pine forest. It is nearly dawn. He points directly upward. There, on the lowest branch, is a small owl. Screech, I thought. In retrospect, maybe saw-whet. We wake Jon, Kirsten, Susan.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

92/365 Another Ron

He was a self-proclaimed born-again Christian who loved the band Journey because there were no Satanic messages when the records were played backward. Susan and I often poked fun at him the Bloom County way: “Devil bunnies! I snort the nose, Lucifer! Banana! Banana!”

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

91/365 A Third Susan

At volunteer orientation, we were two intellectual agnostics afloat in a sea of Christians. While building houses in Kentucky, we made a run downtown and were told “Girls, this here’s a dry county.” Then, somewhere in Japan or China, Susan managed to get saved.

Monday, May 01, 2006

90/365 Jon

About twenty men were indicted for publicly resisting draft registration in the 1980s, and Jon was one of them. We met in volunteer service, both products of a church upbringing that taught us that killing is wrong and this type of refusal is justified.