Frozen breath

The cold is in my nose. I can no longer use it to breathe. I open my mouth and the cold pours in. It hits the back of my throat, it penetrates my trachea, and explodes into my brain. I stop, frozen, mid-stride, mid-sidewalk. At first, people flow around me, only cursing the blockage. Soon,…

Years that start on Mondays

On the last day of the year, I dreamed of heat. The melting asphalt was soft under my shoes, like walking on an air mattress or a balloon. Something poppable. The thought pricked my brain and I sank, slowly, inch by inch into the black sticky sludge. Too slow. Fear turned to boredom while every…

Childhood

It's a state of mind. It's a series of milestones. It's mostly about endings, about starting and finishing. On my seventh birthday, I told my mom I didn’t want any more. Somehow I knew life couldn’t get any better - that aging meant less of everything my life was then made of: sunlight and fresh air, running without…

Charity

The homeless man holds a cardboard sign towards my car while I idle at a red light. I am struck by the artistry of the sign, the layout and penmanship. I want to open the window, I want to tell him how much I admire his work, but I have no cash, and I am…

Chaos

What’s the difference between the herd of cows in the slaughter shoot and the herd of frequent flyers boarding a plane? There is none. (This is not a joke.) The chaos of the kindergarten classroom after recess is less stressful than the whiny business-casual crowd elbowing and shoving, me first, I have status! No chivalry…

Brilliance

We speak now of the brilliance of the child. The adults charged with his care and instruction are in turn overwhelmed, frustrated, baffled and amused. Is it better to dim the blinding light – shutter – control – contain, or should one let it shine? Release the lambent humor, the distinctive speech, and the radiant…