March 24, 2012


Here we are, marching on through March, spring so fresh in the sky and in the warmth of the sun. Dammit, how Hallmark of me. But I'm in this amazing mood drifting slow like tulle into this picturesque weekend containing friends, food and fun. See above, my new tattoo! I don't know where to begin with this post because I landed at 240 E. 21st last night around 5 am and am purely exhausted, so my thoughts may run rampant - do forgive.

This is a tattoo I've longed to get for quite some time. Years ago in Brooklyn, in Sharon's kitchen while she and I sat sipping wine tinged with bitters poring over my scribbled poems in one of my notebooks, it somehow tumbled from my mouth that the number 4 is my lucky one. She informed me that the Japanese Kanji character for the number 4 is pronounced "shi" ("she") which is the same pronunciation for the word "poem" in Kanji. This happened so long ago, yet it lingered in my thoughts and I finally decided to go for it - I'm on the brink of 35, which is young, young, young and so fruitful but it's closing me in on the last half of my 30's which, frankly, doesn't scare me anymore (frankly, I'm doubtful that it ever did to begin with.) Still, numerology is not sacred to me yet does mean something, and I now have the permanence of the word "poem" inked to my skin as my 4th (and last) tattoo, pronounced "shi," or also 4. (The character is radically different visually but we're not concerning ourselves with that minutia.)

How it went down: I had texted both Dario and the Bass Player that I would like someone meaningful in my life to be with me, by me, to get this. Both obliged willingly only when I took the train to 14th Street (the 2/3 from Bergen Street Station in Brooklyn) and emerged into the glory of spring, time read somewhere around 5.30, and texts were rolling in from both commenting to times they'd be available. I'm craving sushi probably on average 6 times a week these days (don't ask, not sure) so I decided I'd go dine and wine myself and await Dario because he had to stay at work until 7. Meanwhile, the Bass Player had figured on me arriving at the tattoo parlor (Rising Dragon on 14th between 5th and 6th Aves) closer to 6. I relieved him via text of his company because he had something else happening, finished my dine and wine and headed to Rising Dragon around 6:45. Caveat to this: YES, one is not to drink alcohol prior to being inked because it thins the blood. But I sipped a little wine, absorbed the relaxation of it and that's all to say on that.

At Rising Dragon, an artist named Omar was available to ink me. Dario had not yet arrived so I settled into the chair and briefed Omar on the reasoning behind the tattoo and we proceeded, rather, he proceeded with his work, and tattoos...just aren't painful. I have yet to have been dealt one that has hurt in any way. And I just love them. I think they're beautiful skin statements for things one might hold close in their hearts yet want to have visually represented.

During the inking process I heard my phone's text alert in my purse on the table. My back was to the waiting room but I gathered it was Dario. At the completion of the tattoo, I stood to view the art in the mirror, then turned, and there in the waiting area sat Dario and I waved. These precious moments...

After tattoo payment and thanks and goodbyes, Dario (with coat in hand thrown over his shoulder in handsome fashion) and I headed back into the spring air, and walked, and laughed, and laughed. I'm convinced that there are only approximately a roomful of people who bring out the genuinely happy KB. I hesitate to list these people because unfairly and inadvertently I'd leave off some (I love you all, you who bring my self to the surface! and I thank you.) But Dario is definitely in the room. His laughter is so contagious and his accent is purely beautiful and his smile is warm. We walked and told each other stupid jokes - he told me one of "one balloon to another balloon...look out, a cactus...sssssss..." (we laughed how horrible that joke is) and we arrived at a bar and he bought me glasses of wine and it was just so nice. Of course, as always the gentleman, he walked me home and we milled about my stoop for a while.*

*Boys and my stoop would make for great stories, seriously. But not now.

And that's how it went, my 4th and final tattoo, March 22, 2012 (2+2=4. Yes.)

Yesterday I left work around 4.30 and took the 2/3 at Bergen where I transferred to the 4/5 at Nevins to Union Square where I transferred to the Brooklyn-bound L. Pangs, yes. I really just still quite neurotically can't shake what happened 2 years ago. I'm such a happier person in so many ways and I'm exploring a newly revised ever-evolving self, as I'm sure is he, but I'm confident that the residue should remain eternally and it's just mine to scrape at as I can. But, he's been on vacation the past couple of days and I'm pretty certain he didn't stay in New York for it so traveling to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he lives, only delivered the smallest of pangs. Little chance of emerging at Bedford in Brooklyn and slamming into him. And plus what, does he OWN Williamsburg? I'm just as permitted to step foot there as he, or as anyone. Obviously since I own no internal compass, my immediate reaction to emergence at Bedford Ave is, where the F am I? Having been a number of times before, but not in a really long time, I had to get my bearings about me but I felt completely convinced that in that moment, watching the Brooklyn hipsters trickle past me, stabilizing the pangs, that I'd be just fine. And I was. I headed in the direction of Metropolitan Ave and Havemeyer Street...

Ok, well. The remainder of this post just completely got lost in The Internet and I can't and won't try to recapture it. is seductive. I had an amazing night.
Maybe I can find those words somewhere again sometime to say it all but if not, not all is lost because I will obviously have more words. They're with me always.


March 10, 2012


So I started reading a book last weekend that has me madly in love with storytelling again. The thing is this: I'm in three book clubs, actively. One is with a strange group of ambitious women (when I say strange, I just mean an eclectic mix), one is with a co-ed blend of literati, and the third is a club focused on YA literature. I believe strongly in YA lit. It's the only thing that kept me sane (somewhat) through the teen years, those years where scratching your eyes out seems an awesome alternative to trudging through the high school halls bemoaning existence. But for whatever reason, this particular YA lit club perpetually assigns selections that have me wondering where did all the good YA lit go? Remember Judy Blume? Remember Francesca Lia Block, Chaim Potok? I could list and list all day but my point is this: when we met last week to discuss a book that I found to be completely pointless and poorly written, a new book assignment was announced after dinner and wine and I figured it would be more of the same: YA lit for today's youth, which frankly, I'm glad I'm not.

Another component to this is that recently at work I was given an iPad to tote the Architectural drawings (et al) around and be able to actually function as a Project Engineer in the field. Nice, right? Right. Well, Craig was joking with me about it that all I was going to do was run home and use it for personal use. I was like, GTFO. Ha. Get the fuck out. That looks nice as an acronym. Anyway, I never saw myself owning an iPad much less wanting to download Angry Birds or iBook or anything - but! Well, what did I do...? Due to the fact that I've been continuing to purchase print books for these book clubs that inevitably just collect dust on my shelves and are beginning to taint my otherwise immaculate collection of books, last weekend I was like...hmph. Instead of purchasing this next YA book from the store, I will DOWNLOAD it to the iPad! (There is a first time for everything, as they say.)

Little did I realize how very much in love I'd wind up falling with this book. So now I must go purchase it a second time (download was not free) because carrying it around with me (as I currently carry around Her by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, for sentiment's sake) in its paperback bound glory is pretty much mandatory for the time being. I don't know. Carrying around books I love makes me feel nice.

It's simple. The book is epistolary and begins in the year 1991 as the narrator is entering high school. Hey! I entered high school in 1991! Relatable item one of many. He is a depressed teenager, but it's never fully exposed as to the level of his depression (in the 90's as teenagers, a whole pool of us suffered varying degrees of angst not to be confused with real diagnosis of depression but I'm not yet sure where this narrator lies in that gray area) and his pop culture and even subversive pop references all fall within my experience embrace. The Smiths, Catcher in the Rye, The Stranger, The Fountainhead, many more, but I just keep recalling similar experiences as he narrates his life in this work. The book is called The Perks of Being a Wallflower and evidently is being made into a movie now. Paul Rudd is in it. That's about the extent of what I know of the film but I am just completely ecstatic to be loving a book this much right now.

In other news, I recently somewhat reconciled a friendship which I thought I'd lost forever. How can lost friendships happen in this day? What could be so horrible to cause a friendship meltdown? Who knows, but it happened...and I won't rehash the whole sordid mess (I did so in my journal last night over copious amounts of wine) (pen to paper! that's right) but I will say that the way things shook down in an elevator bay/elevator/basement of office/walk to the Q train played itself out somewhat like a film sequence...and an excellent composer would marry to these scenes a perfect score that would further illustrate the pure bitter sweetness of this scenario:

He left a note in my chair that morning, handwritten. It wasn't an apology but he mentioned feeling sorry for losing me and that he doubted we could ever get to be that close again, the way we were, but ball was in my court.

I didn't have time or energy or emotional levels of durability to read the entire thing that morning upon receipt, so I scanned it with the recognition that I'd need to make forward progress with him somehow but thinking, I'll need to figure this out later when I have time.

Flash forward to the evening. Our office has a long corridor with 2 glass encased conference rooms and at the end of it, a glass door leading to the elevator bay (although, I'd hardly call it a "bay" as there is but one elevator to service the 6 floors of our office building, and it's a slow buggy.) I had just packed up my things and started the trek down the corridor leading to the elevator lobby and as I neared it, I saw his profile facing the wall of sliding glass doors that faces the reception area (wall opposite the elevator.) At this point I was faced with 2 options: sink or swim. Flee or fight. Laugh or cry.

So what I did was this: I pushed through that glass door and I walked up to his back and I grabbed his two arms and hugged him from behind. And then stepped back. And turned toward the elevator. And he said, "Is that all I get?" I said, "--, I'm tired. You'll get more. An actual response. But for now, yes, that's all."

The elevator doors opened and I stepped in and he turned to look at me in that small square of a "lobby" and said, "You realize I'm riding the elevator, too, right?" and then he stepped into the car next to me. The doors closed, and he pushed the "B" call button for basement. And I turned to him, and said, "Ever since we 'broke up' I've been getting off at the 1st floor because you know how much I hate the basement." Then the elevator cab began its descent and I turned to him and punched his arm and said with much vehemence, "--, I MISS YOU!" And he said, small, "I miss you, too." And I said, "I don't like people in general but I like YOU," and he said, "I don't like people either, people are mean."

That carried us to the basement which is unfinished concrete floor, dust, chain link fenced off material storage areas, low lighting and terror (always reminds me of a scary movie) and we walked to the exit and emerged into daytime, and the parking lot leads to Carlton Avenue which heads me to the Q at 7 Av. That was always our walk. He and his wife live very near there so he and I would walk that handful of blocks and he'd "drop me off" at the Manhattan-bound Q.

Our conversation was terse. We didn't address the the elephant in the room, rather we discussed the fact that our job is difficult and life sucks and things move on and so forth.

We got to the Q, and he gestured with his hand and he said, "Well this was awkward," then bid me farewell.

Yesterday, I did some things.
I went to his cubicle and leaned on it and stared at him and he said, "Hi."

Later in the day, I had to print something so as I was waiting for the paper to come out of the printer, I tossed a spicy mustard packet from the Chinese delivery place over his cube at him. By the time I made it back to my cube (he sits across from me) he had pitched it over the high wall back at me. Before I left the office, I collected all the spicy mustard packets I had and pooled them in his chair.

Are these reconciliations?

I hope so.

Friends. Love. Hardships. Hate. Pumpkins. Babies. Bruises.

All of it somehow happens.