News Briefs of the Personal
My Insufferable Optimism
They shot down a plane full of vacationers listening to headphones and watching in-flight movies. I went on The Today Show to chat about a phone. A man on the sidewalk proposed marriage as I bragged loudly to my mom back home, then followed me three blocks. If I find one more 4-leaf clover I’ll have three. But 948 more people are dead in Gaza. I’ve counted their lives with my toes, tapping, since 2006, when I first heard the radio explain what Palestine was supposed to be. I remember forgetting to hit the gas when the traffic cleared to turn, imagining the space between Gaza and the West Bank. How can that separation stay? I didn’t have an answer before the Taco Bell speaker needed my order. A decade of reluctant bean tacos later, I’m still not sure, but I try at night to imagine a path between an ancient city that would connect two parts without dividing the center. Seems like a problem for a futuristic architect; someone should build a glass walkway in the sky, a greenhouse full of vegetables and carnations blooming in the sun, where Palestinians could ride on moving walkways above the old town of Jerusalem. Someone should build an air highway, instead of bombing hospitals, though it is easier to tear something down than build a scaffolding to hold it. It’s faster, too. They didn’t ask me about that on ABC News today. Kim Kardashian has her name on an iPhone game that requires our attention, and I’m available for comment. Afterward, I walk, full make-upped, through Central Park, thinking of the study saying 1 in 25 roller-bladers in my way is a millionaire. When it is too much, I sit in grass I hope has never known a dog and there, between my legs, a clover with 4 leaves.
Babies and baby steps and murder
My country shot a boy. In the back. Another black boy shot in the back. I held a candle in front of a Boston police station then ate arroncini in a bar once the flame was out. Protestors took buses to St. Louis. I took Amtrak to NYC to talk about naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence on NBC Nightly News. Kim Kardashian’s baby took its first steps. My brother turned 23. our mother turned 66. She has her first job in 30 years and calls me to complain about her boss. I’ve never been more proud of her. I stopped eating lamb, then pigs, then all animals, except I’ll finish the Jimmy Dean in the freezer. Waste not. Everyone forgot about Israel. My husband finished his novel before I did. A year ago he drank a hurricane and wrote a chapter in the sand. We’ve known each other eleven years and he still surprises me. We rowed a kayak into a crowd of seals who didn’t seem to care. Even seals are lazy. I wanted to steal lobsters from the lobster pots because what does it matter. I hauled the slimy rope up into my boat until its gray, blue eyes googled at me. But I suppose I haven’t given up on rules yet. I let it drop into the sea.
We landed a machine on a comet then its battery died. I forgot about Ebola. At Logan International airport, I put my finger in the crevice of my eyes watching TSA force a 77-year-old woman out of her wheelchair and through a scanner. A nurse was quarantined for feeling hot and an army of my brethren chased her on a bike until the whole charade was so absurd the country didn’t care anymore. I turned 31. This aging situation had gotten dire. Bill Cosby is a serial rapist, and the statute of limitations means he’ll never go to jail. Kim Kardashian’s butt made the cover of a magazine, and my first boyfriend, as the Editorial Director, put it there. I remember in a purple bedroom in LA in 1999 when we tried to interact with each others genitals, then quickly realized something was amiss. His fingers knew he was gay before we did. My 66-year old father cried on set of his new TV show because 88-year-old Mike Nichols died. One death out of a thousand washes up on shore demanding we pick it up and examine its grooves, flecked with fools gold and memories of our pathetic deadlines. The president finally did what we’ve been asking him for 6 years, but too little executive action too late hardly registers. I bought a stair-stepper and stair-stepped 5 times. Democrats forgot to vote. At the Dreyfus Affair book club I tried not to dominate, but the book was about the family my father lies is ours. Top Chef shot its Thanksgiving episode in the summer. We’re a nation of fools. Paris wants to build a skyscraper to blot out of the sun. A hacker charged with 440 years was let off with none. It’s crazy that Alfred Dreyfus went back into the army once they cleared his name. Obama secretly went back to war with Afghanistan. Only Carson Daily seemed to remember Veteran’s Day. America made a third sequel to Dumb and Dumber. My 23-year-old brother lives with the director’s daughter so my horror was awkward for the whole family.
Two thousand people were killed but there wasn’t a tech angle so I didn’t finish a single article about it. The satellite images of the destruction took my breath away, but I found it again once I realized: is this our hook? I’ve lost 8 pounds I think, but I’m scared to verify. 12 people were gunned down at work for drawing cartoons. It happened in Paris and to fellow journalists, so despite the no-tech angle, we covered it. I cooked dinner every weekday night and felt proud. Kim Kardashian’s iPhone game didn’t make the billions they predicted. The sun weakly lifted up the day each freezing morning that I walked a stranger’s dog around the block. I buttoned up my coat over nightgown and goosebumps and picked up her poop as though it was the most important task on earth. It was. I made 1,000 bucks, but I’d give it back if I could keep her. Picking long white hairs off my clothes and out my mouth, the radio says the economy is on the rise. I tried to buy a house on a hill in a city I hate but live in. The offer was declined. A thin skin of snow evaporates each afternoon leaving grass wet, near dead, confused. I stand upon it, empty leash and e-cigarette in hand, ignoring texts and trying to remember spring until the sun sets at 4:15.