Friday, June 30, 2006

150/365 yh

Before I left DC, we had a chix weekend on Assateague, biking and beaching one brisk May weekend. We were at a bar when the Kentucky Derby came on. She was eating clams casino. I was drinking a microbrew. Everything goes by so fast.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

149/365 Roger

He’s the only guy in the 60-plus crowd with whom I’ve bonded over the genius of South Park. His 365 is complete: Every day for a year, he produced a drawing of someone in whom he (that very day) glimpsed the face of Christ.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

148/365 Dawn

We met at camp. When I finally got to visit, I learned two things: First, hematomas are scary-looking. Second, those starchy vegetables may look like potatoes, and this initial impression may result in the taking of a large helping, but turnips taste totally different.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

147/365 Leroy

Wealthy women adore this painter and flock to his doorstep. His perfected barnyard persona is its own walking art form. One of his portraits, which I call Lord W. Pecker Whimsey, dominates my dining room, honors my animal ancestry. A chicken icon receives devotions.

Monday, June 26, 2006

146/365 Barbie

Twice that visit, we meet on the stoop. She’s smoking; we’re both getting away from family talk that’s turned to stocks and insurance. She says the healer Pastor Belita visited her daughter in the hospital yesterday. Today, Karen’s suddenly well enough to be discharged.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

145/365 Jonathan

At the top of his field, he is paid to be himself. He’s got overachieving kids and a Prius. Anne got him first-run tickets to The Producers; today he’s at Nicole’s wedding. I’m his friend too, but I haven’t a name he can drop.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

144/365 Alyssa

She got us to Vermont. When we’d given up having her and Dave send the classifieds, when I took that new job and chose to postpone thoughts of moving, she called one morning to say, “I’ve found the perfect job for Tim.” She had.

Friday, June 23, 2006

143/365 The Two Guys Who Stopped and Helped Me Change a Tire on I-87

They are impressed with my full-size spare; I am impressed with their tools. I can jack a car up, but my brute strength is nothing against those bolts. Their power wrench releases them in seconds. They even have air on the truck. My angels.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

142/365 Margot

Granddaughter of a famous fly fisher, she bequeathed me her journal editorship, thereby filling my life with retired men: real writers and wannabes angling for a broader audience. She caught a roosterfish with her bare hands, back when her long blonde locks ran wild.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

141/365 Rebecca

Yesterday I took her to get fitted for waders and boots. Last night she caught an 11-inch brook trout in the Poultney River. Let me repeat that. An 11-inch brook trout. In the Poultney River. That’s a pretty much perfect birthday and solstice eve.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

140/365 Ann

Mark’s holiday party on the fifteenth anniversary of Lennon’s death meant tight security at the Dakota. After, Ali and I split a cab to the East Side with Ann: friendly, funny, ferociously skinny. Who knew what a conservative pundit she’d turn out to be?

Monday, June 19, 2006

139/365 Carole

My boss Paul’s wife Rosemary knew this guy Curtis who was seeing Rosalind who needed a housemate (me). Rosalind’s friend Carole then hired my fiancé, thus deeply influencing our future. Carole was in her lesbian phase but ended up marrying a guy named Dick.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

138/365 Another Bill

In retirement, he’s become the kind of Christian who acts: representing his church in Mexico, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, helping seniors file tax returns. For himself, he bakes bread, but even that’s something he shares after the joy of watching it rise.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

137/365 Evan

Long ago, when Evan was a baby, his mother thought she’d found blood in his urine. This was eventually traced to the half-smokes we’d picnicked on in a shaded garden off the National Mall. We ate them, she breastfed him, he peed red. Ew.

Friday, June 16, 2006

136/365 Michael

said I’d learn to contradance by partnering with people who already could, not by dancing with beginners. He was right. His short-lived band, the Rhythm Rhinos, played one night to mixed reviews, but contra-ing to a klezmery “Sing Sing Sing” was a dance apogee.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

135/365 Pat

played saxophone and smoked dope like any jazz musician. Our respective friendships with the band director brought about our unlikely pairing. I was at her house when her father had a heart attack and died. That I one time corrected his grammar haunts me.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

134/365 A Fourth Tom

He, Eddie, and I bailed on a French quiz and drove to Princeton: the town where I was born, the school where Tom was headed. I’d hoped that such impulsivity would cement a friendship, but it was 25 years before we shared a beer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

133/365 Al

Not til I was older did I realize that what Al (who was maybe all of 7) said that day was likely “Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits” and that it was a quote. He’d said it for shock value. It worked.

Monday, June 12, 2006

132/365 Erik

One day he confesses he’s a bastard. Really. He and sis were the offspring of his mother’s affair with a rich guy, whom they’d occasionally visit. Erik turned me onto the Waifs and Chris Smither, slipped me bootleg CDs. Nicest bastard I’ve ever met.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

131/365 Alexandra

loves the flashing rings I pass out at Christmas, their squeezy on-and-offness. Hers is pink, but she needs a yellow one for her friend. She promises to keep it in its wrapper, but on the ride to church, it somehow escapes that crinkly prison.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

130/365 A Third Jeff

“H, A, double-R, I, S, O, N spells Harrison,” his wife crooned when introducing him. What I’ll always keep from knowing Jeff is the three things he learned from his mother: Don’t get your feet wet. Don’t get overheated. Put that in a bowl.

Friday, June 09, 2006

129/365 Gary

It wasn’t so much what my favorite camp counselor and I wrote to each other, it was what we wrote it on: toilet paper, hot pink paper rolled in a tube, a jigsaw puzzle, a balloon that had to be inflated, a barf bag.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

128/365 Kathy

She swore the chemistry teacher wouldn’t really read those term papers, so in the middle of hers she dropped in this sentence: “Of course, everyone knows that the moon is really made of green cheese.” She got an A; the sentence was left unmarked.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

127/365 Claire

She turns fifteen today. This day, she was probably three: We were in the driveway doing the long goodbye with her parents, not wanting to start the hours-drive back to our real lives, when she finally looked up at us and said, “Just go.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

126/365 Mark

He would gush excessively about Alison’s beauty, but call her high maintenance (the pot calling the kettle black). He lived in the Dakota. Eventually got married, had a kid, moved into a multiple-storied house nearby, got tired of stairs, moved back to the Dakota.

Monday, June 05, 2006

125/365 Pinky

As I paced her living room floor during Blue Velvet’s climax, my mother-in-law glanced from her knitting to the screen and calmly stated, “I’ve seen this before.” Once we went looking for a video together. I asked her what she liked. “Sex and violence.”

Sunday, June 04, 2006

124/365 A Third John

This man, who has sixty bottles of single malt scotch at home on the shelf, assures me that the guy I’m hiring for foundation work is great, and cheap. The price I’m about to pay, though, is more than I make in a year.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

123/365 Esther

How many children should you have? According to Esther, North Americans believe in a correct answer to this question: two or three. Zero means you’re selfish. One, you’re practically a child abuser. Two, three, good. Four or more, what the hell are you thinking?

Friday, June 02, 2006

122/365 Tatum

She has my old job. When she calls to hire me freelance, I sometimes get the latest department news. We talk about the committee process. We talk about the Becky process. We talk about how as things change, they don’t. I really like Tatum.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

121/365 Yvonne

She and her husband could have been fashion models. Instead, she had the longest commute to the DC office of any of us, often catching some new-parent sleep on the train. She’s the essence of kindness, a Jehovah’s Witness who never proselytized at work.