Archive for the ‘human beings’ Category

Parachute

October 12, 2012

I live around the corner from an evangelical church. They have a sign out front where, every week or so, they post a new inspirational slogan. Maybe calling it a slogan isn’t correct, since God is involved. Spiritual maxim? Motivational chestnut?

Anyway, I used to walk by without paying much attention. But one day the sign said, “LET GO. LET GOD.” Something about that just makes me sigh with relief. It doesn’t seem a particularly Christian idea. An atheist like me could turn it into, “RELAX. YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE.”

Or as my meditation teacher put it, life is like a long airplane ride. You have some nice conversations, eat a little food, hold your lover’s hand, watch a few movies, and if you’re lucky see the Grand Canyon. But one way or the other, the airplane is going to crash in the end.

Fiction

September 8, 2012

I’ve been having a fantasy lately of spending an entire afternoon, possibly stretching into the evening, lying on the sofa, reading a book.

As fantasies go, this one is so far on the “do-able” range of the spectrum that it strikes me as a little pathetic, and yet deeply human, that I imagined it — added all that mental embroidery: the fragrant drink I will have at my side, the plate of cookies, the degree to which any thoughts but the ones contained in the book will be absent from my mind — when I could just grab a damn paperback already and flop down on the couch.

So yesterday, that’s what I did. I got a pillow and read until it was time to take a nap.

When I woke up evening was coming, and the palm fronds were casting spiky shadows onto the trunks of their trees. The shadows swayed in the wind, just like the real thing, and I was so happy I was there, really there, to notice it.

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Sawtelle

June 3, 2012

It was a really good first date. Comfortable, but not boring. The kind where you feel like somehow, you already know each other. Like you’re the same age, maybe not in years, but cosmically speaking.*

It was the kind of first date that’s followed by a second date. Within the same week.

We went to a place that specializes in LA’s latest culinary trend: “bar food for dinner.” Everything on the menu is either fried or pickled, full of fat and salt — designed to make you reach for another sip of your handcrafted cocktail. We had fun.

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the end of the evening, when we were standing by his car, in that sweet, awkward, pre-first-kiss silence.

Me:    (inside my head) Now? Is it going to happen now?

Him:  There’s something I’ve been thinking I should tell you.

Uh. Oh.

Me:    Yes. You should tell me.

Him:  I’m actually… with someone. I can’t remember if I’d mentioned…?

Me:   No. You definitely didn’t mention it.

Him:  I mean, I think it’s ending.

Me:    Uh-huh.

So, it was a date. The kind that makes you remember you don’t know anything after one or two dates.

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* And I think we can all agree that a date which leaves you musing about the cosmos is either really good… or really, really not.