Staff Benda Bilili

The day dawns bright and fresh, ever so slightly autumnal. Bouncing my wheelchair the wrong way, facing the few oncoming cars on the wide expanse of Live Oak Avenue, I feel it. The sun at a different incline, things shifting. The subtle way of changing seasons in this part of California. Rain has made all the difference. A bluing of the skies, rinsing of the streets. The pavement has turned pleasantly black. A good thing, rain. Perhaps there will be more this year. Something to look forward to, definitely Read more [...]

Yellow Cloud

Steve waves to me across the empty queuing spaces just outside Security, and I'm thinking, gosh, it's a small world. It's a small plane too, making Steve's appearance particularly welcome. I see him regularly, know him slightly, thus Peet's Coffee, Menlo Park. Steve is a regular there. Irregular seeing him here, though. Turns out he has attended a conference in Phoenix. I have attended to my sister and family matters. And now we are heading home. When United Airlines makes the general call for cripples, Read more [...]

Arizona Blues

Why have I come to Tempe, the university quarter of Phoenix, Arizona? The question resounds, particularly on my first night, dealing and coping. What other words for undressing and getting into bed on my own these days? It has come to this. Things are getting harder. It has come to this. I am getting older. It has come to this. I resent it all, and yet the very process of dealing with a foreign environment...well, it keeps me going. Keeps me resilient. Keeps me believing that I can handle Read more [...]

Guns and Almonds

Well, it's the little things, isn't it? And you can't get much littler than one of the almond cakes at Peet's, can you? A situation that is making me feel rather little myself, Jane having returned from the coffee counter in a state of pastry-minus. There being a deplorable lack of almond cakes on this particular day. But a commendable presence of Jane. Houseguests. She is entertaining two and doing things like making French toast for the assemblage. A noble endeavor, I want to reassure her, Read more [...]


The mornings hang grey and chill...then dissipate with the emergence of the sun. It is called autumn, this thing. And it is not as though the phenomenon is protected by patent. Yet it seems to be happening as though for the first time. I don't believe it, that is the thing. The capacity for meteorological change. Consider the tomatoes. Their foliage, at least. Mildew is overwhelming the leaves. Whitish, powdery, it creeps in with the fog. As though the tradition of tomatoes basking in the summer Read more [...]