Bicycle-riding during the apocalypse

The first time I heard about climate change was in the early or mid-’80s. My babysitter (the lovely Mrs. B.), her cozy back turned to me while she washed the lunch dishes, delivered this warning about the future: “In fifteen years, the climates of Nova Scotia and California are going to be switched.” I don’t…

Ears shining with a faint, silver light

He raised his head and said, “Do you want to talk to me?” “Yes, that’s what I’ve come for,” replied the other. “You know me, don’t you?” “Yes, of course,” said Hazel, hoping he would be able to remember his name in a moment. Then he saw that in the darkness of the burrow, the…

Plaint

Plaint, n. 1.a., Oxford English Dictionary: “The action or an act of plaining; audible expression of sorrow; (also) such an expression in verse or song, a lament. Chiefly poet. after 17th cent.” Here beginneth the lament of a weak and whiny ladie who cannot fucking believe that she’s been laid low these last 3 weeks,…

Love letters

About three years ago, one of my beloveds sent me this short email: I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared with you my creed, which was put into words for me by the considerate E.M. Forster. This is it: “I believe in aristocracy, though–if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it….

Your cat is probably cheating on you

If you have a cat, and that cat goes outdoors even occasionally, then you’re going to have to accept this: you’re not the only person in your kitty’s life. As the body attached to the hand that feeds, pets, and takes away the night soil, you are almost certainly the most important person in your…

Dear “Lucy”

Dear “Lucy,” I wanted to let you know that I received your comment on this old book review; you wrote: When stupid reviewers write crap reviews! Really–every comment elicits a face palm! Ever considered doing something else with your time? Having received death threats for a negative review of a Cormac McCarthy novel as well…

Hunkering down

I used to love a good winter hunker: curled up in a great armchair like Alice, but with a book rather than a ball of wool, tea and toast at hand, and in latter days, the fireplace channel roaring gaily on the TV. Hunkering was easier and could be continued almost indefinitely when I was…

The last year

Pain A year ago today, a friend texted me to let me know one of our mutual friends had killed herself. For a long time, she’d been struggling but also deflecting any attempts friends made to find out what was wrong or if they could help. I suppose I wasn’t surprised, but I remember noting…