Saturday, September 30, 2006

242/365 Dagmar

“There’s a check waiting for you in your office,” Dagmar told me. That summer my head was full of Kundera, and the Brethren Service Center (my employer) was housing several Eastern European refugees. Can you see how I might have asked her, “Which one?”

Friday, September 29, 2006

241/365 Sarah

kept copyediting the journal when she moved to Pennsylvania, and I inherited her when I became editor. She and her husband had taken jobs at my alma mater. Then they bought the house I used to live in. The one Tim and I first . . .

Thursday, September 28, 2006

240/365 Another Wendy

was not only Asian and beautiful and petite, but when she brought hard-boiled eggs for lunch, she would throw out the yolks because she didn’t like them. My shaky self-esteem and I barely knew what a vending-machine-free day looked like. Still, chick could pun.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

239/365 Holly

She lets Maggie jump from adult-high ledges, play with stones that frame the Zen garden. When she tells her daughter no, she tells her why. She balances Maggie’s patience with friendtalk, and no one is frustrated very long, if at all. She pays attention.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

238/365 Another Jamie

Coming home from that concert, Sue, who was driving, looked back just once, during that first kiss. She thought we were making out, didn’t look again, but it was a fluke—OK, foreshadowing—because it was a couplamore confused months before we really were.

Monday, September 25, 2006

237/365 A Third Paul

says swimming season’s not over—he’ll be in the water this week. He lives for it. Ledge-perched, I’ve watched him slip effortlessly along river bottom, uncamouflaged, a testament to his place near the top of the food chain. Trout would never flash so bright.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

236/365 Len

If I could, I’d get into the (nasty) habit of meeting him weekly for martinis, gossiping and getting happy at places with names like the White Heart, Una—smooth, angular places like a cocktail glass, where customers like things dirty or with a twist.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

235/365 Maggie

When she sees the camera, the two-way love affair is on. Is it complete awareness or unawareness of self that leads to such lack of inhibition? She dances and laughs freely, having not yet learned not to. Will she spin like this turning six?

Friday, September 22, 2006

234/365 Rik

He’s the unapologetic nude Adonis at the swimming hole. Of course, not stripping down would be out of character for him, unnatural in every sense. I envy his lean, muscular dry-stone-waller look, which I seem unable to achieve with a desk job and a NordicTrack.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

233/365 Katie

She’s on the cusp of everything: college, sex, leaving. Her restlessness is palpable. With the mirror and din of family at a distance, she’ll wrap herself in quiet, see and hear what she needs. She’ll begin to understand that she can rely on herself.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

232/365 Lynda

asks for what she needs, raids my kitchen in baking emergencies, loves good wine, surprises me with a photo she found of my house at a local history event, tells me Nolan’s now politic enough to use “Mommy, you look pretty today” for distraction.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

231/365 Dewey

The night we met, I begged for a ride on his Harley. When we left DC, Dewey gave Tim a fid he’d used on a Greenpeace ship; me, a carved stick I’d long admired: dragon head on one end, penis head on the other.

Monday, September 18, 2006

230/365 Tracey

knows I’ll eventually order a Beck’s, and if I don’t, it’s just to prove I don’t always have to (where’s the Magic Hat #9?). Banter with the local bartender’s a pleasure worth savoring, as is the surprise of how many do know my name.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

229/365 A Third Stephen

gives me good hugs and bird books he finds when he purchases box lots. He is the Rug Crazy guy. The craziest I bought is an Afghan war rug, with camels (thus the purchase), soldiers, tanks, AK-47s. At yoga, I hear his footsteps upstairs.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

228/365 Andy

In a small universe, he was a bit of a rock star. As a teen, I was thrilled to hitch an 8-hour ride with him and his wife to Virginia. He taught me to identify distant oncoming trucks by their grills: Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack.

Friday, September 15, 2006

227/365 Alan

Helluva guitar picker. Married a gal he’d known all his life. Adopted four kids. Song of his goes:

Bury me in my compost heap
It’s where I want to be
Let my flesh and bones return to the soil
And feed my whole family.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

226/365 Another Beth

When she was studying energy healing, Beth asked me (an editor) to review her paper about sex. One section asked, What image do you conjure up during sex that will make you come immediately? I didn’t have an answer, but it got me thinking.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

225/365 Rachel

Massage is just one thing this renaissance woman does. She’s a musician, songwriter, and painter. An exhibit of her wall-sized wave mandalas left me wishing there would always be a room like that to go to. Her dog Bella is joyous eagerness made mammal.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

224/365 Jessica

She was young and had the touch of a lover. Clients would sigh her name when discussing her massage prowess. We weren’t close, but when she left suddenly, I teared up at the goodbye. Being repeatedly anointed can apparently bring about quiet, subtle attachments.

Monday, September 11, 2006

223/365 Denise

When my body finally convinced me that massage was necessity, not luxury, I got regular appointments with her. I was brokenhearted when she left. My first time with a new therapist felt like I was cheating on her. Still, it was different and wonderful.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

222/365 Ricey

I got my first professional massage from my upstairs neighbor (before those other ones moved in). From Ricey, I learned to identify one of the most bittersweet feelings in life: the pang that occurs the moment you know a massage is about to end.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

221/365 Another Valerie and Lori

They were my friends and nemeses, my first-chair foes. For three years we battled for one, two, and three, staying after band practice for challenges, playing whatever Mr. Christy would throw at us and triplets, always triplets: the elusive yet perfect three against two.

Friday, September 08, 2006

220/365 Yoga Girl

The light’s beginning to fade as we head south on Second Avenue toward Donguri bliss (the perfect grilled squid, ohitashi, sashimi, shrimp). She’s heading north, walking fast, visibly agitated. She’s screaming into her cell phone: I WAS AT YOGA! Just picture this. Now laugh.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

219/365 Marilyn and Ernie

I run into them at the bar the night they’re celebrating their first wedding anniversary. You mean these seventy-somethings decided to stop living in sin? I’m very nearly disappointed. Marilyn tells us giddily, when the shade’s drawn on the front door, don’t bother knockin’.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

218/365 Sharon

After Sam was born, it became too hard for them to vacation in such a quiet place. I surprised her at her Serious Pink book party. It was thrilling to hear her read and to sight Northbrook friends in New York City’s vast wilds.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oregon Bound

I’ll be taking a blogger break for a couple of weeks as Tim and I celebrate our twentieth anniversary with a big trip to a place we’ve never been. I’ve decided to not post ahead this time and instead play the desperate game of catchup when I get back. I’ll be home for Equinox!

I leave you with the Nudists.

217/365 The Nudists

When a friend mentions her parents are nudists, the camp kind, it reminds me how it’s impossible to think you know anyone, really, when only a sliver a life is presented in the moment, and how interesting that is, and how, usually, it’s OK.

Monday, September 04, 2006

216/365 A Third Barry

is a grappa-sharing Zen psychoanalyst. What did he think of hypnosis to treat tendency toward sickness in travel? Forget hypnosis. Accept the sickness. In a way, I already had, having caught myself thinking, I may be throwing up, but I’m throwing up in Venice.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

215/365 A Fourth Bill

After thirty-two years teaching shop and science in the public schools, he’s freshly retired from that daily grind. Now onto his passion: slot-car racing. He’ll be doing a lot more of it, is even going into business with a buddy, manufacturing and selling parts.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

214/365 Valerie

She collects, buys, and sells Adirondack stuff. She’s an expert seamstress. I bought a must-have kitschy shoulder bag she’d made, so unPC it had to be had: scantily or tightly clad women fishing, camping, stepping into a canoe, hanging out on a bearskin rug.

Friday, September 01, 2006

213/365 Another Dona

Historian, canoeist. She lives in beauty but worries about her commute’s ecological footprint. When Stephen apologizes for his wine snobbery the night before, we insist we wannabes have been wallowing in it. Dona begs us not to discourage behavior that suggests a developing conscience.