Sunday, May 22, 2011


The clock on my computer is an hour fast. This irritates me. I feel that my computer should be psychic. It's connected to THE INTERNET - which is to say, god. Rationally I know this is because I have not told it that I am in a new time zone. It's still living in New York. So. This display catches my eye and for a moment my whole body freezes. The air catches in my throat as my mind screams into my ear, THATCAN'TBERIGHT.


The clock in my car is an hour slow. It catches me off guard sometimes and my mind works like molasses. Mostly in confusion and with the slightest twinge of hope, it says aside to me... t h a t c a n ' t b e r i g h t n o w... c a n i t ?

There are four (1, 2, 3, 4) clocks in my kitchen. They are all set within thirty seconds of each other. I like to imagine that they are in a tag team race. (Because in my world, all objects have personalities and talk to each other.) As of yet, there is not a single other clock in the house - save the alarm clock by my bed, of course.

Shortly after Christmas, I bought a watch. I loved wearing it in New York; it's a real pain in the ass to be pulling your phone out on the subway all the time, digging through your bag or into your pocket, elbowing standing or sitting neighbors all the while. And course you always need to know what time it is. New York City is nothing if not a study in time used vs. time lost.

Three days after I arrived in New Orleans, I took the watch off to go to Jazz Fest. It just didn't seem like a good idea. It didn't fit, didn't work. I haven't put it on since. I'm not actually completely sure where it is right now.

It's a pretty little thing, my watch. Stainless steel, with nice clean lines and a shimmery blue face with two sparkly crystals set in. It's not exactly "me," but it goes. It went in the law firm, anyway. On the subway, and in midtown. It all worked. Even on the weekend, in Queens, getting bagels from Hot Bagel on a Sunday morning. It slid right in.

Not here though, where everything is green, and time matters but just not so much. Somehow a need that's been with me since childhood is fading. Not gone, no. I'll still get there on time. I'm just not so worried about it. It's as if I've slipped into a side stream, one that runs right alongside the old space-time continuum, looks the same mostly but feels slightly, importantly, different. I'm running on Gulf Coast time now. Oh, tell me New Orleans isn't the Gulf all you want, but believe me. I've been everywhere else.

When Jonathan comes, he'll be living on east Coast Time; he'll be working in it all day and trying to pull away from it all night. I wonder: Can we force it to be merely what it is - simply numbers on a clock?

Full disclosure: I like whoa did not take that amazing photo. Click on it to be brought to the artist's site.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Orleans: A Lovesong.

I am living in the chaos of an unpacked house. My clothes are still in suitcases; my food is still in boxes. My books, while not unpacked, are of course easily accessible. Heaven forbid I should have a craving for my Hemingway short stories at 1am and not be able to find them.

It seems like a lot of this putting away should be done already. But it's just not. For this I can make many excuses, and even give some reasons, and a good part of it can be explained by sheer exhaustion. After all, I've been living like this, on one end or the other now, for over a month - it takes its toll.

But at the core of all the excuses and reasons and explanations there is something, some ephemeral thing, some object or concept that I have not yet been able to grasp. This thing called New Orleans.

Yes, New Orleans, I'm blaming you. You are in my heart and head and soul, and yet I don't fully understand you. Like a lover, I don't know that it's possible to know you completely. Just when I think I've got you figured out, you surprise me, thrill me, break my heart, and then turn around and stitch it back together again. Bordering on obsession, I never stop wanting more from you - even when you frustrate me to tears, even when I want to wring your neck. It is impossible not to forgive you, and our scrapes never last long. You are too beautiful not to love, too complex and mysterious not to investigate.

So I will breathe you in, smell you, taste you, listen closely to your every sigh and exclamation. Make you my own and become part of you again. Maybe in the process add something to your rainbow mosaic. And you, in turn, will continue to distract me from unpacking.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I can see the streetcar from my kitchen. I can see my kitchen from the streetcar.

The rabbits don't know what to think. They're just glad to be out of the car.

Everything here is lush and green and ALIVE. Rich green carpets of trees drape over streets, providing much needed shade. The live oaks shelter us all. I've missed the camellias and azaleas, but not the gardenias. And who needs dogwoods when you can have giant magnolia trees, with their dark and glossy emerald leaves?

It's hard to believe I'm home. Or rather I know I'm home, but I don't fully know that I'm not leaving again. For years it's been easy to fully embrace being present here, and leaving has been excruciating. I'm overwhelmed with everything that has yet to be accomplished, but I need to embrace a time-honored New Orleans tradition: worry about that tomorrow. After all, it'll come whether you like it or not.