The things that go bump in the night used to include me. Me and my partner, marital or otherwise. Until bumping became more of an afternoon thing. Then a less frequent afternoon thing. And so on. I mention this because life's course is hardly straight, wavering here, forking there. Utterly unpredictable in direction, but entirely reliable in general activity level, let us say. Let us say that again. Things keep happening. That is the point. They happen because what is really bumping in the old-age Read more [...]


Mornings are connected to all other mornings. They run in a straight line, a stratum as consistent as geological time. Which is their problem. Or my problem with them. It is a rare morning that bursts like a bit of finely aged Parmesan upon the tongue. Finely aged myself, I take this for granted. Perhaps I shouldn't. Not that this matters, for mornings, all of them, reveal their character early and completely. Most mornings commence with worry, and of the fundamental sort. Can I get out of bed? Read more [...]

There’s No Place

'If Bixby starts running about,' said Jane, as she rushed out the door, 'well, call Lorna.' A quick Goodbye Love, and she was gone. I eyed Bixby in the kitchen bent over his doggie bowl, lapping up water. I considered Lorna and her dawn-to-dusk work habits, how her chances of being at a client's house this evening are extremely high. Me and the doggies, Jane and her church choir, everyone happily assigned to their chosen groups, awaiting whatever fate. A strange day. I awakened at 2 AM to the Read more [...]


Melanie Reid, the London Times columnist paralyzed in an accident two years ago, provides the best living account of adjustment to disability – and can easily make me relive my own experience. Considering our extraordinarily different backgrounds, the similarities can astonish me. It is party season in Britain too, Christmas rolling towards New Year's, with a nod to Hanukkah here and there. And Reid quite accurately portrays the disabled person's fears. The horror of being invited to Christmas Read more [...]


It began, if it began anywhere, at Tosca. Do I love it? Yes, I suppose. Problem is I know it, more or less by heart, which became apparent as the San Francisco Opera unfolded its version Friday night. Once you know the plot, there are no dramatic surprises. Once you know the score, the same. Lovely, altogether. But stultifyingly familiar, the strong message being time for something else. The other message, one that is oddly mine, having to do with something along the lines of disloyalty, should I Read more [...]


How can I have attained 65 years upon this earthly coil, logged thousands of hours at live performances, and still have not witnessed Wagner? That this question was even on my mind says it all. The evening was going to be a chore. Unless I was pleasantly surprised. The good news being that at this age I still give things the college try. And what a try, a rather trying try, it was. Truly on a Wagnerian scale, when one considers that this involved a hotel room. After all, even with a 7 PM curtain, Read more [...]