YK 2012

How did I get it so wrong? I do feel a sense of relief, heading north from South Palo Alto, home of the Jewish Community Center...a sprawling expanse that will doubtless be the setting for some future existential film, all arid modernity and oddly numbered rooms. Anyway, it's over, Yom Kippur 2012. And what's with the relief? Well, it's only part of the feeling. The other part has to do with getting it...for the first time. It may be my life circumstance, or just the accumulation of age, but Read more [...]


Whatever drains from the solar plexus...well, it's hard to say, but the stuff is absolutely vital, trust me. This hits home as I rise from my wheelchair at 9 AM in the men's room at Peet's Coffee. This maneuver, tried and tested over considerable time, feels surprisingly shaky. All I have to do is stand sideways to the toilet, grab the disabled safety bar against the wall and offload. But something is amiss. The general robustness that I count on in such moments on my feet has vanished. Where Read more [...]

Be Rapunzel

I am certain there is something out there beyond this morning's sorting of keys, arranging of papers, disposing of assets. It is like this every day. A member of Team Filipina, almost always Lorna, appears to help me get on my socks...and we progress to the next pressing stage. Which always has to do with affairs of state. That is to say, of probate, which my attorney is desperately trying to avoid. Tom, landlord and benefactor, left his affairs in fairly good order, but not precisely legal order. Read more [...]

Gunning for America

The past doesn't catch up with you. It turns to dust, mixes with vapors of the day and settles to the floor, not to mention the walls, the ceilings, the interior of drawers, the wooden face of kitchen cabinets, the glass of windows, the pile of carpets and the weave of curtains. Against the backdrop of such dereliction, what is there to do but load a few guns and wait for the end? And if this sounds like some Hollywood screenwriter having a nihilistic go at life...you are not far off, just unaware Read more [...]

Letting Go

'Save the letter,' I say reflexively. It is an early September afternoon, the nondescript end-of-summer zone in which the air and the very season appear so mild as to be nonexistent. Soon the California weather will tilt one way or another, but for now there is this, a blandness in which the 60-year-old letter my neighbor has found seems washed out. But not quite. Even in this most benign sunlight, there is no missing the darkness. 'My Dear Wife,' the note begins. What follows? A surprising, even Read more [...]