Thursday, January 31, 2008

22/365 - Bobbi

Bobbi, my high school Russian and drama teacher, should not have told me about giving birth to her children at home on all fours. I could think of nothing else when I saw her.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

21/365 - Clara

A delightful, absent-minded professor with a passion for opera, married to Robbie who wanted to be Bob. Her signature: a 7 AM serenade on an out-of-tune piano. Years after splitting up with their son, they are family still.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

20/365 - Martin

Martin, the janitor, was one of three men whose admiration of Hitler I had become privy to in my life. Martin was Mexican with a mullet and mustache. The others were Jews; no mullets or mustaches.

Monday, January 28, 2008

19/365 - Raul

Dinners at Raul's house: a huge homemade spread, tall tales and jokes, kids and friends home for dinner. The kind of atmosphere I always wished for. By the time decaf was served, Raul was asleep in his chair, snoring, content.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

18/365 - Lukas

Lukas heard us speaking his language. That's how we met. He chastised us because "Fakt?"or "Really?" in Czech sounds to good American Christians like "fucked." He showed us Jesus slide shows, hoping to convert us to no avail.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

17/365 - Dumpster Dave

A strange character of few words and many dreads who knew the closing time of shops; the magic hour when trash transformed into treasures. For fun, Dumpster D and crew would "jump Dravis," the steepest Seattle street, in a packed car.

Friday, January 25, 2008

16/365 - Lilah

She was like a river at night - daunting and alive, always moving and stirring. I didn't know then, when my love poem for her made her cry, that in Hebrew her name meant night.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

15/365 - Benji

He offered me gum before our first kiss freshman year. Was it my breath or a commercial he saw? At home he saw my Barbies, met my family, taught me some Tagalog. After that, he never asked me out again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

14/365 - Gregg

He kayaked to work across the Bay, dodging ferries and cargo ships. From his history class I remember nothing, but in woodworking I made a paddle for our trip to the Islands. Twelve teens in tents and canoes... and Gregg. Unforgettable!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

13/365 - Sterling

Close high school friends, we wandered around the city: ping pong, pool, parks, Pike Place Market, hacky sack, classic rock, science, philosophy, gossip. The crisp smell of his leather jacket and his aloof ways sat funny in the pit of my stomach.

Monday, January 21, 2008

12/365 - Helenka

Helenka, the village girl, shared a room with her parents and had a mutt smart as a whip. Grandma wore a scarf and raised chickens, dad drove a garbage truck. We were: festival organizers, store owners, farmers, dj's at eight-, ten-years-old.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

11/365 - Alex

Why Alex and his father decided to come over and mow our lawn once remains a mystery. In return, I helped them paint a room for a Russian exchange student, joking: "As long as it's not pink." And pink it was.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

10/365 - Eva

Bucktoothed and long-toed, she walked with me to school every day. In the afternoons we did homework together. Lucky girl lived in a quiet, neat flat and had her own room where a fish tank hummed softly.

Friday, January 18, 2008

9/365 - Bani

He loved to watch us die for him - expire in front of the class, theater-style, always searching for the sort of genius that was his own. Larger than life, he enlightened or stung like a black widow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

8/365 - Abigail

Her hands were the culprits: the way she ate her cereal, the way she massaged shoulders. I traveled with her a hundred miles downstream along the same river, longing for more of her world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

7/365 - Karma

A girl in another world, but on stage everything clicked. She embodied Beckett. No one understood. A good friend hid from her affection: "The crazy girl's after me!" Heard she lived on the street and had a kid.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

6/365 - Ricardo ("Ricoco")

Ricoco, the photographer -- vest, scarf, and all -- would pick me, Terecua, up and take me to the squares, pyramids, and old market places, telling the horchata ladies we were married. His dream for us: a goat farm high up in the mountains.

Monday, January 14, 2008

5/365 - Joe

Boss on a throne, drinking beer all night long, watching his busy bees waiting on patrons. "Try this!" he yells in the kitchen about returned food. "Nothing wrong with it!" Under his breath, the customers are bastards.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

4/365 - Adela

At fourteen she was the boss in the family. She worshipped George Michael like a puppy who wets itself with glee. She did not like me dating a black man - the thin thread of our friendship severed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

3/365 - Arvie

Gatekeeper of the knishes, eggs, and soups. A fifty-year-old hairdo, fire engine red lipstick sliding off into the canyons on her face. She swiped our meal cards, her brown beady eyes kind yet pleading like those of a dog trapped inside of itself.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2/365 - Jeremy

An artists' son. A quiet, indifferent boy. We stayed in the woods too long till it got dark. I led us out, holding his hand, feeling for the smooth surface of the path underneath our feet. Slow steps in the pitch black darkness like walking under water.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

1/365 - Mark

I was a quaint alien doll who spoke in charming, mysterious tones. (Immigrants know). I forgive him. He was gentle and he indulged me. In his room I first heard Miles, music that cracked open a world the way shamans do.