Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Visit me at my new blog, Alphabird, which I hope to have up and running by next week. This blog will not have quite the ambitious pace of 365.

For a few endnotes to the 365 project, click on the comments.

Thanks for reading.

—Indigo Bunting

365/365 Dorothy

One on the beach with sister and girlfriends; another boasting dressed-up sisters with violin and viola; one just married. My mantel photos show someone unknowable: the mysterious she-before-me. Who’s that living a life before she was my mother—that life that led to mine?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

364/365 Kathie

The one who would come when parents were gone, the brick-haired beauty bearing games and projects, the gal who liked to sing “Sugar Town” and was the first to assure me that flossy milkweed seeds buffeted by breeze were not in fact flying spiders.

Monday, January 29, 2007

363/365 Another Dan

Imagine his face upon realizing that not only had Susan gotten him to the Sonoran Desert for his birthday, but that it was really my birthday party, so determined was I to spend sunset with saguaros then hot-tub with friends under crazy desert stars.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

362/365 Lars

Possibly everyone was a little in love with the guy who grew up growing roses. There was nurture in his nature—or was it the other way around? We delighted in mouthing his Vikinglike name.

Our campus call and response:

Me: Zimbabwe!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

361/365 Another Dana

We took after-school French lessons together and became friends. She had a goody-goody demeanor, but surprised me by sneaking rum into Rocky Horror. Alison loved it; I was paranoid (but partook). A mere twenty-five years later I finally snuck some decent pinot into Sideways.

Friday, January 26, 2007

360/365 A Fourth Mark

Junior year, my neighbor and I were the new kids. I bummed rides in his old blue Fiat (a choke on the dash). Good-looking and pissed off, he openly scoffed at what passed for “mountains.” For awhile, I made out with his older brother.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

359/365 Nvwa

We wanted to be the joy that he was, this Nigerian preacher whose voice alone could keep us tucked between the cupped palm of his hand and his heart. He was otherworldly, othersideoftheworldly to Pennsylvania kids at a church camp. Agnostics were warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

358/365 Sheree

There’s something about Sheree. She greets people with gladness. She’s at once energized and serene. As one gets to know her, though, there will be quick and sudden glimpses of a naughty side. I suspect she harbors some deep sweet secrets behind those smiles.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

357/365 A Third Brian

In, like, sixth grade, his family went on a skiing vacation. This stunned me, as I (a) didn’t know I knew anyone who could ski and (b) hadn’t considered skiing a family activity. Inconceivable! I had so much to learn about the upper class.

Monday, January 22, 2007

356/365 April and Jan

Theirs was the first gay wedding I ever attended, at a West Virginia retreat. Kim and Linda married there too. Both couples broke up, which taught me that homo odds are about the same as hetero. April’s leaving broke my heart a little too.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

355/365 A Fourth Tim

He called me Kemo; I called him Tonto. He was my faithful co-counselor. There was flirtatious undercurrent. Later, at college, I must’ve done something to piss him off. Soon it was like we didn’t even know each other, and then, of course, we didn’t.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

354/365 Another Diana

She was my favoritest camper. In my mind’s eye, she’ll always be my gigglin’ 14-year-old tapioca-eating buddy. In the World of Now, though, she’s 39, sings with the Master Chorale of Washington, bikes centuries, teaches ESL, and globetrots. Sigh. They grow up so fast.

Friday, January 19, 2007

353/365 Allen

works hard to make the unaffordable affordable. First he gave me an interest-free loan. Then he offered payment-based discounts. Best of all, he and his brother put a new foundation under my almost-120-year-old carriage barn. Now I can park two cars in it fear-free.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

352/365 Annie

A champagne toast to Annie: A fellow lover of bubbly brut, who can be counted on to show up with a rogue bottle at book group; a woman who should be less countrystuck and more multiple-city lecture tour, talking the environment, history, current events.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

351/365 Another Jon

The registrar-turned-curator acted as my personal docent during those early days of my museum job. No one since has both known and cared so well for the collection. I began making Vermont friends by asking him and his girlfriend to go see Spalding Gray.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

350/365 Another Greg and Another Cindy

They rode a tandem across the country (a bicycle built for two)
They rode a tandem across the country (from northwest to southeast)
They rode a tandem across the country (before Meghan came along)
A tandem across the country
And they are still married.

Monday, January 15, 2007

349/365 Daniela

She’s from Brescia, not far from Sergio. She’s the beautiful Italian woman down the street. She’s the ceramicist, mosaicist, artist, mother. When I use a bowl she made, I feel a rush of happiness that this art exists in this world, in this moment.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

348/365 Another Brian

I wish you happiness, certainly, but when I open the newspaper and see you and your new wife and baby portraying the Holy Family, my heart achesalittle for your ex-wife: my friend who loved you, whether you were right for each other or not.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

347/365 Stuart

It’s like I’ve had my accountant bronzed. He’s moved past potential snowbird to full-time southern status, still spending some northerly weeks servicing his loyal Vermont clientele. Should I trust such a happy guy—sporting a new, almost-spiky haircut and deepening tan—with my money?

Friday, January 12, 2007

346/365 A Third Kim

She’s basically got me in a hammerlock. It’s tough for anyone to really get under my scapula, even oiled up, as my neck/shoulder area tends to double as petrified forest, so she uses her elbow for best results. Her hand seems small in mine.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

345/365 Greg

My neighbor and I were born the same year in the same state, which makes me feel an immediate, if illogical, affinity. We might’ve been tight in (hypothetical) high school, if, say, I’d gotten (hypothetically) extroverted enough to be cool.

One lung; still smokes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

344/365 A Fifth Chris

My favorite story about Chris is this: When Alison visited, he met her at the neighborhood subway. They’re so white, somebody asked if they were lost. “I tried to get Thelma to come along for blackup,” he tells Ali, “but she was too tired.”

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

343/365 A Fourth Susan

An infinitely resourceful woman who can rise to any occasion, her rainy-day wedding was a great celebration. I had fabulous conversations with fascinating people. And until she mentioned it herself, I had no idea that this radiant beauty was suffering a violent stomach flu.

Monday, January 08, 2007

342/365 Liban

Beautiful Mogadishu, scrawls an artist on t-shirts. NPR’s story sparks memory of Liban, yh’s Somali lover and recipient of a love of my own: my blue Schwinn, my only wheels from teens til twenty-three. That sweet ride took us places we had to be.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

341/365 Another Rich

Epiphany 2007, 9:30 a.m., Vermont. Sixty degrees. We meet on crisscross journeys to the post office. The weather’s weird, welcome, worrisome. He loves it, but locals are losing their livelihood. His bartender-self observation: “I shouldn’t be standing around on a Friday night in January.”

Saturday, January 06, 2007

340/365 A Fourth David

was my swimming-pool buddy during Nixon’s last hot, sweaty, nerve-racking months. I spent all summer wishing he (David) would kiss me already, but at its (summer’s) end, when he was saying goodbye for good, the attempt shocked me, and my shyness turned my cheek.

Friday, January 05, 2007

339/365 Randall,

Tim’s former-crush clone, works her own letterpress, champions a woman’s right to choose, once sent me to the family’s private spring creeks where, when my 2-a.m. bladder forced me out of the tent, I got sucked into the vast expanse of wild Montana stars.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

338/365 A Fourth Paul

We met repeatedly—but only—on the Dance Flurry floor. He had a mean swing, and his signature move was a full dip at swing’s end. Exhilarating. Last I swung him, he was on his way to seminary. Truly a man of some god.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

337/365 Another Anna

is a songwriter for hire. She interviews clients, then takes their joy, their pain, their hopes, dreams, inspirations, disappointments, and sorrows and carefully crafts the song that reflects all that needs singing. Serious as this often is, she sports a wicked sense of humor.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

336/365 Mary Kay

In high school, on certain topics, it is better to be silent than wrong. When she played CSNY’s “Woodstock” cover (recorded when we were 8ish) in Bible as Lit class and said Name that band, I couldn’t bring myself to volunteer the [correct] information.