last ditch effort

Once upon a life, poetry was it for me. I lived a semi-poetic existence and none or my friends understood it. I loved Yeats, they loved beer. I’ve always lived at the corner of Pop and Nerd, never really living on either street. My doors open to both sides. A friend once told me that he was mad at the world that I could not live my life as a poet and survive. He told me to quit my job and write. I quit writing instead. Last night I took down a book from my bookshelf and read a poem to a friend. I’ve never done that before. I felt like I stepped a bit into the world of Sylvia Plath where poetry dined at her dinner table.

April is poetry month and in a last ditch effort I will say goodbye to this month with some of my favorites and even one of my own (gasp). Be kind.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

~Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop is a classic and this poem is one of the most amazing ever. It’s a villanelle, a very difficult form and here you barely notice it because she weaves it in so well with her context. And, we’ve all lost something.

Breeze in Translation

Me I like to putz in the kitchen and regard
fat garlic and hum about nothing. Make it up. Word
for blues. Like dragging down the street
in a hundred-and-four heat--you know
when air temp tops body temp, how buzzed and weird

you get? Word for trance. So this character
taps me: remember me, mon amie? Name’s
Breeze. Then she dictates most fabulous. I’m
blessed. She’s benign. Word for pixilated.

She’s a scholarship girl at the School of Beauz-Arts
so she drags me down the line to an out-of-town
show. Rattle express. Word for

kismet. This lady with the face of an old walnut
sits by us making lace with an eye-fine
hook and when the train dives into the tunnels
she keeps on working in the dark. Word’s

exquisite. Breeze sings
scat all the way to the opening:
sculpture of heating ducts, stovepipes and stones.
Breeze is prole to the bone. The tablecloth’s

spattered with blood of the lamb,
wine on the lace. The critic pronounces optimism
vulgar, and asks: Why have there been so few
great women artists?
We ask ourselves. The word is

jerkoff. Breeze, who is terrifyingly fluent,

challenges him to sew a bride’s dress. From
acratch. Femmes aux barricades! The critic can’t weave
a cat’s cradle. Breeze spits: By hand. French lace.

~Belle Waring

This poem drew me in to poetry. It was the first poem I ever emulated and the one that got my poems flowing. I love the rhythm and the juxtaposition of languages even though the French is lost on me.

Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding

You ask me for a poem about love
in lieu of a wedding present, trying to save me
money. For three nights I’ve lain under
glow-in-the-dark stars I’ve stuck to the ceiling
over my bed. I’ve listened to the songs
of the galaxy. Well, Carmen, I would rather
give you your third set of steak knives
than tell you what I know. Le me find you
some other store-bought present. Don’t
make me warn you of stars, how they see us
from that distance as miniature and breakable,
from the bride who tops the wedding cake
to the Mary on Pinto dashboards
holding her ripe red heart in her hands.

~ Beth Ann Fennelly

I’ve always felt akin to this poem. I could have/ should have written it.

Peach Trees

Because I can’t write a poem
I’ll pray to some Catholic saint
to bring me metaphors
and set them at my door
along with similes and alliterations.
I’ll pray for images of emerald fields
with grass so tall and strong
that when the blades sway in the breeze
the waves they create birth sailboats,
their sails full blown
and the hulls cutting the green grass,
crisscrossing each other, using the wind,
the way peach trees use rain to keep going,
keep growing, to put fruit on the branch.
And they do it every season, every year.
Perfect, sweet fruit.
To pick it, cup the sphere in my hands
feel the warm fuzz of a newborn baby,
pale pink and crying,
with just a hint of the full head of hair
he will surely have some day.

~Anna (me)



never say never to land

Sometimes I think that I should be a lawyer. I’m good at thinking logically and assessing the whole picture before I throw my verdict down. (In that example I think I’d really be a jury, but play along.). I like to listen to all opinions, whether I agree or not, and try my best to convince people that I am, in fact, correct. I’ll even pull out evidence. I did this today at work. I researched and found the evidence and squashed the nay saying naysayers in their tracks. They were humbled, a little bit at least, and I felt victorious. This was after a small group Kindergarten math lesson sitting on the floor when a child pointed to a roach that was crawling by us and then a spider that was as big as a nickel and “was HEADING straight FOR ME.” I screamed and squealed and jumped up just as the assistant principal walked into the room. Good thing that she loves me and just looked at me funny. I told the children that they should never react the way that I just did. And, with both the roach and the spider, the classroom teacher had to come over and kill them. I was shaken up. Then, I jabbed myself with a child’s pencils when helping them. Then, I almost pulled a printer off a table. And when I woke up this morning my left eye was crusty and bloodshot and blurry throughout my drive to school. A Kindergarten teacher was convinced I had pink eye. I refused to believe her and I think I was right, at least I have purposely not rubbed my left eye all day. So, after the spider and the roach and the pulling of the printer and the jabbing of the pencil, I went to happy hour and got HAPPY! And then J. called, whom I haven’t talked to in forever and now it’s time to watch Finding Neverland in a “girl’s night in” fashion and eat brownies. Come on over, Kristin




I admit that I a get sucked in by the titles of books. The pictures help too, but it’s usually the titles that really grab me. It must take authors weeks or months to find the perfect 3-4 words that will embody the essence of their book. Or maybe the title is where they begin. For me, it is the first words of worlds I have yet to know.

I’m been succumbed and sucker punched by titles like Good In Bed. I will even admit that carrying that book through airports across the country made me a bit squirmish at times and at other times I felt like holding the book upright at the precise angle that passerby’s could read and stare.

Last week I added another eye-catching title to the bookcase. Real Sex. Now before you go thinking that I’m sex crazed, realize that the subtitle is The Naked Truth About Chastity. There, sucker punched.

Kristin seems to be my new cultural advisor. We were standing in a smoke filled concert when she told me she was going to see an author speak in Charlottesville who wrote a memoir called Girl Meets God. I freaked. I began screaming and saying that Lauren Winner was one of my favorite authors and OH MY GOD. I then invited myself along. Upon meeting this author and her signing my book, Real Sex, I told her that the book was for me. A pregnant pause later, she asked me what my name was. Duh.

Tonight went a little different. I had planned to go to bed early when Kristin phoned to nag and beg (kindly and with no pressure) to go to a reading in town by an author who wrote about the Sudan. After an afternoon catnap, I lazily let her pick me up and we went. The talk was eye opening and heart grabbing. The author talked about his involvement with Sudanese refugees in Atlanta and his work in journalism which led to this book, The Lost Boys of Sudan. It was another title to suck me in.

Then a “lost boy” got up to speak and the thing that grabbed me, that resonated in his story, aside from his escape at 5 years old through a jungle with no parents or family, was that he did not know his birthday. It is something we Americans hold dear, even if we do not realize it. It is the one thing that tells us that our lives are real. It gives us something tangible, a date. When I realized that this lost boy did know his own true age, I wanted to cry. Of course we’ve heard about Sudan, but for some reason, America has not latched onto it as a cause.

My cultural advisor friend then had the brilliant idea of asking the author and the “lost boy” to dinner. They declined the dinner but accepted desert. So, at desert with this author and this Sudanese boy I felt like a little girl who was not smart enough to talk at the grown-up table. I felt both awed and ashamed, of all that I have, of all that I take for granted, and of all that I’ve ever wanted because for the lost boy who sat across from me, the greatest thing he could ever wish for is what I was handed with no requests; freedom, an education, the pursuit of happiness.

And when I got out of Kristin’s car, the last thing I said was “I know we’re both blogging this.” So, go see what she says about it.



music in my ears

When I bought my iPod Shuffle, it was an extravagant gift to myself. I’ve wanted an iPod since Apple launched them, but I restrained myself from unnecessary debt, all the while secretly wishing and hoping that Apple would release a $100 version. Enter iPod Shuffle. I caved. I couldn’t live a life without an iPod anymore; the jealousy was getting to me.

I told a friend the day the I bought it that I was only allowing myself to listen to it when I worked out. That night, I got real with myself and called “Bullsh*t.” I use it whenever and wherever I want to and it has not yet been introduced to the gym or my bike or even my walking shoes. Shame, shame, on me.

What my iPod has done is reintroduce me to constant music. I used to use music as an escape, from my parents, from my college roommates, from life. When you live alone, there isn’t much to escape, expect yourself.

My black Sanyo stereo that I bought my senior year in high school filled my room with Counting Crows and Sarah McLachan and David Wilcox. I would climb the stairs in my parent’s house, barefooted. Turn left at the top. Press play and dance. It was freedom. It was peace.

In college, BMG became my new best friend and every CD I ever wanted was purchase though the ones that I remember playing the most never came through the mail. They were Shannon Worrell, Dave Matthews Band and River. It was hip. It was cool. It was self-discovery.

My iPod Shuffle has been filling my ears with The Postal Service, Damien Rice, David Gray, Sondre Lerche, The Shins, and Dave Mathews (as himself). The thing is tiny, but it can hold a plethora of tunes. Apple is amazing.

So, now, on any given day you can find me with white earphones in my ears connected to a strange, small, white device held by a white cord around my neck. I’ll be cleaning my house, dancing, writing posts, running errands, sitting in coffee shops, not hearing the phone ring, and loving every minute of the constant introduction to new music on random, baby!




There is a disclaimer on the side that states that there will be mistakes and typos on this blog. It's an easy out, but it's really an explanation of who I am. I struggle with grammar. I'm human. I'm not going to be pompous and pretend that my writing is in any way perfect. It's not. It's fraught with mistakes and I'm OK with that. Sure, I wish I knew and understood the nuisances of writing, but I don't.

I am a simple friend. I want my friends to be exactly who they are around me. I don’t like pretenders and fakers or wannabes. And that is how I view my writing. It isn’t a pretender or a faker or a wannabe. It is what it is and that, sadly, is fraught with mistakes. Just like I am. Just like you are.

I’d just like to highlight “he,” the commenter on the 11.4.04 post in which he says “bare children? Seeing that it is still winter, that is cruel and unusual. Bundle them up, rather.” He wrote this comment on 3.26.05 so it took someone else to tell me it was hidden way back in the archive.

I love comments. I relish them. I don’t like smartasses. “He” turned out to be correct. I had used the wrong word. But, come on. Email me the mistake. Don’t make fun of it. However, since he left no email I’ll correct him. When I wrote that post it was not Winter. It was early November. We call that Fall. When he wrote the comment it was late March. We call that Spring. So, I guess we both stand corrected.




I think I’ve decided that I’m done with being single. The thing is is that I don’t want a relationship. Hmmm, what to do with that one? That, sir, is the question. It’s not “to be or not to be,” it’s “to commit to not commit?”

First, let’s address the problem of boys. Since college, I’ve developed a phobia. Well, I’ve always had the phobia, but somehow in the heady days of college, between tests, frozen yogurt, and streaking, I managed to have boys around. There was never commitment, but with one, I think there was love, unrequited, but love the same. I don’t know what happened.

Let’s examine the workplace, a place where we meet people who introduce us to other people. Well, I’m a teacher. If the girls are my age then by now they are married or on their way or dated every single man they’ve ever known and thereby have no single friends to introduce me to or if they do then those boys are toothless with mangy dogs for pets. Married teachers are no fun (this is really not true, but let’s just pretend). Single ones are, but some are very busy, enter Kristin .

Let’s look around at friends from other parts of life. College friends- ALL MARRIED or will be this summer or well hell, they’re like me and helpless. High School friends- fallen by the wayside or MARRIED with children. I’ve decided that married friends have squandered their lives on boring nights in or dinners out with other couples. The third or fifth wheel is not a role I like to play, although it happens, a lot.

In the Freudian scheme of things, I’ve created my own hell. I’ve chosen a profession that secludes me from men. I’ve surrounded myself with married girlfriends and their “safe” husbands. The solution, I fear, is to go out on a limb and dive into the waters. I know I can swim, hell, I used to be a lifeguard, but in the back of my mind I know that there are riptides and currents even the strongest swimmers can’t beat. And this is what paralyzes me from testing the waters at all. I’m chosen this and it’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s controllable. I know the psychology behind it all, but in this case, knowing is not half the battle. Getting over that knowledge and soldiering on, that is the whole battle. We’ll see, but I think I might be waging a war.



how to have an argument with yourself and win, i think

You: Hey look at that.
The 4 Year Old: Hey look at that.
You: Why are you copycatting me?
The 4 Year Old: Why are you copycatting me?
You: Cause I’m crazy.
The 4 Year Old: Cause I’m crazy.
You: I know you are.
The 4 Year Old: I know you are.
You: No, you are.
The 4 Year Old: No, you are.
You: No, YOU are!
The 4 Year Old: No, YOU are!
You: NO, YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!

And tickles ensue and thus victory even though all the while you’ve been calling yourself crazy.



applegirl, the new super hero

“Don’t go Apple girl,” said the married man in a room full of women. This was shortly after he asked two girls who sat next to each other if they were going to get it on. Sometimes, men need help and they need to stop thinking that two women who are in close proximity to each other are in fact going to start macking in their presence. It’s not happening. It’s not.

I was deemed Apple girl (as I always am) after he saw the Apple sticker on my car. When someone mentions Apple, my heart flutters. No lie. He says he’s thinking about an iMac and he loves his iPod. I told him that if he liked his iPod, just imagine a whole computer that works that way. Enough said.

I left the party early. No real reason, everyone was lovely, conversations were good and funny. But, sometimes, when you’re single, you just want to go home and be alone and curl up on the couch and wait for Saturday Night Live to come on. For no real reason. It’s just your single self wanting to lap up your singleness. And it’s not a sad thing or an antisocial thing. It’s just the way it is sometimes. And that sometimes is now.



i’m the sister

I’m old. I realize this. The days of drinking all-night and paying for it the next day (or sometimes 2) are not happening. I don’t care how you try and persuade me. I did my partying in college. I’m done with that. I prefer a night out with good friends, good wine, and good hours long conversations.

Last night I had to take a disco nap. My night started with me leaving at 10:10pm and coming home about 3 hours later. In college, I would baby-sit ‘til 10 then take that money to the bars for a night out. Now, I take naps so I can handle the late nights.

Being the sister for a bass player is fairly cool. It used to be cooler when saying “he’s my brother” impressed people with open mouths and “shut ups” and got me kisses from famous musicians. I could care less now and I told a friend yesterday that I was glad she loved me long before she knew about my connections. I don’t make friends through impressing them, never have, and don’t want to. If you know me and we are close then I’ll hook you up. And I expect nothing in return, but good conversations.

Kristen journeyed out with me last night. It was her attempt to color outside the lines a bit, a promise she made to herself a few months back. I’m glad she went. I’m glad she’s my friend and we met in such a happenstance way. She says she believes that things happen they way they should.

In the semi-crowded, smoke filled club I realized how much I miss the days of traveling to see my brother play his bass. Standing there stoically strumming, on big stages or small ones, there is just something amazing about seeing someone who shares the same genes up there playing for all the people that surround you. I miss his music too. And I didn’t know I did.

When my brother’s turn came to sing a song, a huge smile spread across my face and I realized how proud I am of him and how much I wish the band had “made it” when they had the chance. But boy bands were the rage then. Sometimes, I wish we could reverse time or fast forward it or something, and somehow we could see where the puzzle pieces fit and we wouldn’t lay them down a moment too soon. Or maybe, like Kristen says, things happen the way they should.



2 things are certain

Either way you have to pay the man. I hate this day.



a flying flip

Today is one of those days where I just don’t care and I want to put it off until tomorrow. Today is a Scarlet O’Hara day. And I’m working on my taxes. Last minute, it’s my way of sticking it to the man even though he’s really sticking it to me.

This week has kicked my butt and I just want a nap or a good long time with my Shuffle and a book. I want Innisfree and lake water lapping. I want escape and I want to procrastinate. And if you ask me, my real answer is that I don’t give a flying flip. Not today anyway.



no, what’s up with you?

I bought an iPod shuffle last week. I meant to post about it, but then it slipped my mind and life got in the way. The shuffle was my life and permanent ear fixture all weekend. I got a lot done around my apartment and finished a book I’ve been trying to read for weeks thanks to the constant randomness of songs. You know I love Apple and now, I love them even more. If that is even possible.

You need a Shuffle. You need to make life random sometimes, we all do. I need to mix it up more. My cousin B. called today and we played the “What’s up?” “Nothing. What’s up with you?” “Nothing. We are boring.” “Yeah, we are.” Then I called and invited a married friend and her man to see my brother’s band this Friday night. My connections working the “plus 2” this time. She said she’d ask her husband and they’d think about it since it was Friday night and they were usually tired. I told her that she was married and boring. Then I called a single friend. Demoted to “plus 1.” What happened to my wild friends? They got married. That’s what happened. And now they worry about making babies rather than nursing hangovers. Well, at least some sort of nursing will be going on.



my favorite

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

~William Butler Yeats

I never had a teacher who made me memorize a poem full on. And I’ve never had the dedication to do it myself. But, this poem above, I find myself repeating it every now and then. The cadence is soothing and I’m sure there are reasons why this poem pops up in my mind. There is something to the idea of just getting up and going, leaving the world behind to retreat to the lapping lake waters of Innisfree. Escaping, sometimes we all need it and Innisfree sounds good to me.




Spring is a fickle season. It has memory loss. The mornings are tipped with cold air after an almost wintry night. Some days are warm and the buds on the trees begin to show. Some days are cool, almost cold. These are the days that spring forgets it’s job and slinks slightly back to winter. These are the fickle days.

I’ve had the windows full open in every room for three days. I’ve had to wear long sleeves, sweatpants, and sleep under my heaviest down comforter but I refuse to shut the windows until Spring decides it wants to be hot, to show it’s true Virginia colors.

Every year, this time, I think that spring is glorious, that it is my favorite season. It’s not. It’s the change I’m craving, loving. I want the coldness to leave, but I want the coolness to stay. I hate summer and spring signals that sweltering heat is around the corner, that sweating is inevitable. So the beginning of spring takes me outside to dinners under the sky and wind blowing through my home. And when it warms up, I’ll hold my breath ‘til fall comes and cools Virginia down, bringing the leaves with it.



out of office reply

I should get an automatic post for times when my mind is not in the blogging state. I hate leaving old posts up. I’m aware that it sucks. I hate it when people don’t update daily and I am so guilty of that.

It’s the first week back to work from spring break. The Monday is always the worst and it was. Then I got into a schedule then I got out of it. My mind left the office and it didn’t want to go back.

Last week I did a lot of writing and reading. I pre-made a few posts because I knew this week would be lackluster. I ran out. I underestimated my lacklusterness. I promised myself that I would go to B&N a few nights a week to read and write. To keep up what I was working on during break. That didn’t happen. And so, when my sleeping schedule goes haywire so does my blogging.

I tried my own version of the “out of office” reply and it didn’t work. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, the email that immediately bounces back to tell you that the other person has a busy schedule. Great, I say and thanks for clogging up my inbox with useless information. I have to say that now, with a wacky napping/sleeping schedule and nothing prewritten, I wish I had an “out of blogging” reply post ready made for you. I don’t. And, I’m sorry.



truffle me once, shame on me, truffle me twice, you’re twice as nice

Today I almost ate Lindt chocolate truffles for dinner. At the mall, wishingly browsing through stores after I had gotten a watch battery replaced, I popped into the Lindt store where the Easter, egg-shaped, truffles were 75% off. I was in heaven, my favorite chocolates and at such a bargain. I picked up a bag or two. Then a cute young salesman whips in from the back and says that buying 90 bulk truffles is cheaper than buying a pre-made bag. Basically for $1.50 more I would be getting 60 more truffles. This was unbelievable. While he was bagging them I kept saying “90” out loud and shaking my head. The cute boy calmed me explaining that they would last until October. I didn’t want to tell him that that was a generous estimate in my house given that 20 or 30 might be gone by tomorrow.

I restrained myself in the mall from opening the bag and shoving a huge chocolate egg in my mouth and sucking the living day lights out of it. I was weary that chocolate juice might dribble down my chin and I would look like a ravenous dog looking for pray with crazed eyes and shopping bags. I thought strangers might get scared so I quickly walked through department stores to the car. I threw the bags on the passenger seat and grappled for a blue egg, the dark chocolate ones. I struggled with a ripped open the blue foil and then heaven hit my tongue and I could care less that I was sitting in a parking lot loving the life out of my chocolate treats when I really should be pulling out of my space. I was that girl, the one who fiddles with things in her car before she turns the key, puts the car in gear, and goes. What do those people do sitting there? What are you fiddling with? Just freaking go already. I know now. I know that they must be quelling their urge for chocolate, for truffles, for Lindt baby.




I have a $35 gift card to Barnes and Noble. It’s leftover from Christmas. I’ve gone to B&N several times looking for something to use the loot on. I always come out with nothing. Pre-gift card and financial realism, I would wander into B&N, use my $25 a year Members card and buy $50 worth of books. I have bookshelves full of haven’t read and half read ones mocking me in my dwelling. They are in almost every room of my home. I’m addicted to new books like I’m addicted to shoes. I think that really, I just like to buy things. I like the newness of things that aren’t disposable. I like to be there for its first use, its birth into the world.

When you don’t have a gift card, you always want one. The grass is always greener. Now I have a gift card and while I don’t want to give it up, I can’t commit to using it. What if, something better comes out next week? What if the best chick lit of our time or a Pulitzer Prize winning book hits the shelves in a month and I just have to have it? What if there is a band who’s CD I need to fondle and rifle through rather than iTunes it?

It’s too much pressure. For now, I just go to B&N to type and watch and maybe be inspired, compelled by a book that I have to have. Rachael Ray’s COOKING AROUND THE CLOCK looks good today. I think she understands that I need recipes for all hours of the day, or night. There was another book that paused me for a good 10 minutes of reading through the first few chapters. I was standing beside a woman holding her newborn to her chest. The dark haired baby was gurgling and cooing and eyeing me. He’d smile when I smiled at him. His mother eyed me too, her protective instinct on the prowl. The baby interrupted my scans of SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME. The author, wife an SNL set designer, describes her mass collection of books and how she has separated them into “Must Read, Might Read, and Might Someday Read.” This information at the beginning her book about books led to be believe that I may need to pick this one up. And the fact that her first sentence states that it’s 3 a.m. and she is awake and walking around her apartment, we might just be kindred spirits.



B&N observation

I need to practice my writing skills. Forget grammar, I know that will probably not get better in my lifetime, but details I think I can hone. I need to become more observant. I need to sharpen my surveying skills. I need to get better with description and characteristics. I’ll do it for you. You get the benefits or annoyance (as you will) of this practice. Let’s start now.

I’m in Barnes and Noble café. I walked in and grabbed a table meant for four. Selfish, but it’s in a corner. I have a view of the entire café, the magazine rack, the front door and the up escalator. I’m a little fly on the wall. Now, lets see if the fly can pick things up.

A boy, probably in his mid 20s, sits at a table for two alone. He scoped the scene before he sat down, went to the magazine rack and picked up a U.S. Weekly, came back and sat down. He slouches like a man, his butt scooted to the front of the chair, his back against the back. This leaves a gap between the lower back of the chair and the small of his back. His shoulders are hunched in this position. The first thing he did when he sat was place his cell phone on the table. It’s silver; it’s not a flip phone. He began reading his magazine with occasional glances around. It’s like he’s uneasy being here. It’s almost as if he’s waiting for someone. After about 5 minutes he gets up, leaves the magazine, takes his cell phone and buys a bottle of water and returns to read. It’s 8:13 on a Friday night. He wears black Nike flip-flops, Khaki cargo shorts, a blue gingham button down and a thick silver watch on his left hand. He’s cute, a semi-ex-frat boy. He’s a little stocky, but not fat and not a beefcake. He’s svelte, I guess. His head is round which is accentuated by his haircut which seems to hug and lay against the curve and shape of his head. His hair is a very light brown. It’s parted on the left side. It’s straight and clean. It is obviously cut often. I can’t see his eyes because his back is to me, but I would guess they are blue. They would have to be to finish off his Adonis-like look. I would bet that he is a Golden Boy. It’s 8:42. He is halfway finished with his magazine. He is still alone. He glances around from time to time. When he sits with both feet on the ground he shakes one leg, his right one, the ball of his foot on the floor, his leg bouncing up and down. I do this too. He shifts from time to time, usually when he is looking around. He never seems quite comfortable. He never seems engrossed in his magazine. It’s 8:47 and another frat boy in long khakis and long-sleeve navy blue knit shirt comes in. He has dark brown hair cut short. The first thing he says is “sorry” as he reaches out his hand and they give each other a slap handshake. He says again “Sorry about that.” The Adonis gets up and they leave. I never see his eyes and he doesn’t know he’s been my subject.

I realize now that my difficulty with painting or drawing was probably not in the skill and talent itself, but in the details. I could never translate the nuances of an object, especially a face with all its important dimensions. I could never get the calculations right. It was the understanding of proportions, the shape of things, that I have trouble relating. It’s why I like poetry so much. I could pack a punch in a few words, but give me a whole page to describe something and I am at a loss. That’s what practice is for. That’s what you’re for. And thanks.

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