Weakness Leaving the Body

[At Zendik, Cayta (not her real name) often played the hanging judge to my cowering victim; we all had our roles. But she could also be kind, and when I think of her now it’s with admiration, and love.]

In fall 2002, Cayta and I sold the Big Spring jam together, in Huntsville, Alabama. Late one morning, biding our time till we could sell under crowd-cover, we roamed over to the booth manned by Marines recruiters. Its main attraction was a pull-up bar on which you could test your strength for prizes. Men had to do twenty pull-ups in a row to win the highest prize; women had to hang from the bar – arms curled under it, chin thrust above it – for sixty seconds. Hoping the challenge would prime me for a power selling day, I stepped up to the bar. Continue reading

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More Than Ninety Days

[I wrote this on July 21, 2006, when it was hot and muggy in Brooklyn and I had not yet met my husband.]

Today we waited for rain. Now it’s come, and that last crash of thunder sent my heart hurtling towards my throat. There used to be a tree at my window; it fell in a storm. So nothing shields me from the sun these days, no leafy green. My room is messy also, momentarily. My royal blue folder on the floor, the unkempt remnants of comedy scattered beneath it. The goldenrod tax proposal still languishes atop the bookcase to my right—what can I say? I don’t get it. It doesn’t breathe. Continue reading