When asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we hid the truth and listed the people we wanted to sleep with when we grew up. "A policeman or a fireman or one of those guys who works with high tension wires."
A week after putting her to sleep, I received Neil's ashes in a forest green can. She'd never expressed any great interest in the ourdoors, so I scattered her remains on the carpet and then vacuumed her back up. The cat's death struck me as the end of an era. It was, of course, the end of her era, but with the death of a pet there's always that urge to string black crepe over an entire ten- or twenty-year period. The end of my safe college life, the last of my thirty-inch waist, my faltering relationship with my first real boyfriend: I cried for it all and wondered why so few songs were written about cats.
My mother sent a consoling letter along with a check to cover the cost of the cremation. In the left-hand carner, on the line marked MEMO, she'd written, "Pet Burning."
on love (and mothers)
How often is one asked what he loves in this world? More to the point, how often is one asked and then publicly ridiculed for his answer? I recalled my mother, flushed with wine, pounding the table top late one night saying, "Love? I love a good steak cooked rare. I love my cat, and I love..." My sisters and I leaned forward, waiting to hear our names. "Tums," our mother said. "I love Tums."
on new york city
If you happen to live there, it's always refreshing to view Manhattan from afar. Up close the city constitutes an oppressive series of staircases, but from a distance it inspires fantasies of wealth and power so profound that even our communists are temporarily rendered speechless.
on american tourists abroad
Comfort has its place, but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you've come to mow its lawns.
on carnival rides
I don't know what happens to people when this ride is working, but when it isn't, the passengers hang in the air at odd angles, harnessed into legless metal love seats.
on humoring significant others
A few days later, with no trace of irony, he suggested that the history of the chocolate chip might make for an exciting musical. "If, of course, you found the right choreographer." "Yes," I'd said. "Of course."