Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Guillotine

September 11, 2013

I woke up suddenly this morning at 3:37. Partly because I was hungry, but mainly because I just realized I’ve met a lovely man who is going to cause me pain.

I don’t know how much — it could be anything from band-aid level to losing a limb — and I don’t know when, but it’s coming.

Then I got to thinking how that’s all love is. Loving someone is like putting part of you under the guillotine and letting them be in charge of the rope. If you are tremendously lucky, you get a few decades before you realize this. Then your dog dies, or your father, or your lover, and the curtain lifts.

Then I started wondering whether love and God are the exact same thing.

Because watching all of us, and I mean all of us, trying to take care of each other, wiping each other’s noses and sharing our last sandwiches — even when we suck at it, even in actual war zones — watching all these hearts doing their stupid blossoming, again and again, under the dead certainty of pain, I’m telling you, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

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January 3, 2013

Eric and I are not getting married.

Everything in my last post was true: How happy I was. How right it felt.

But in November something happened. It wasn’t his fault, it wasn’t my fault, it just happened, like catching a cold or getting hit by a bus. It was strange, and very sad, and no one could have predicted it or prevented it.

So that’s the story. I know I haven’t put in a single detail, but the thing is, it’s not just my story. It’s Eric’s too. And it’s still in the middle.

So for now, that’s all I’m going to say.

Nazarene

October 12, 2012

I’ve been taking pictures of the sign.

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Sometimes they’re really direct.

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Sometimes they sound like something Oprah would say.

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Although if you ask me, this comes awfully close to a complaint.

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And this one practically invites grousing.

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Some make it sound like you won the soul lottery.

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Some are a lot more, well, realistic.

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Sometimes they inspire me.

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Sometimes they kinda creep me out.

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But my favorites are the really loopy ones. Straight rain?

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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.

Labor

September 27, 2012

When I was 23, I had a job as an office assistant. One of my duties was faxing.

The fax machine flummoxed me. I didn’t understand that it had an automatic function, whereby you could feed the pages in a quick scan and let it do the slow work of transmitting while you sat at your desk, eating Wheat Thins.

Instead, I stood next to it, feeding it one sheet at a time, waiting for the ludicrous beep, watching the paper get sucked in centimeter by centimeter, getting the confirmation page, dialing again. It was a process whose pace was best described as pre-Industrial-Revolution-ish. I faxed for three hours.

I got home grumpy, vented to my roommates about my terrible day: How maddening the fax machine was, how awful, how sometimes I entered a wrong number and had to start over. They nodded sympathetically, but somewhere between “paper cut” and “error message,” I realized I was telling the most boring story in history.

That was the day I decided to get a more interesting job. And I succeeded. It’s just lately, when I’m working past midnight, in windowless rooms, like Rumpelstiltskin without the magic, that I have my doubts.

Niece

July 3, 2012

My sister sent me an email the other day called “mei funny comments lately.”

This was my favorite. (Mei, if you don’t know, is about to turn 7.)

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Mei:        Mom, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a “bootybutt.com?” [snickers gleefully]

Janna:     Oh, there probably is.

Mei:        No, we checked, and there isn’t.

Janna:     We did?

Mei:        But there is an icecream.com.

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Lair + Den

July 2, 2012

I know I’m into a guy when I walk into his apartment and think, “Well, maybe I could deal with earth tones. For the rest of my life.”

Yup, I’m scary. I don’t just imagine marrying a man after the first date; I have actual inner monologues about whether I could live with his couch. In this case, I was prepared to overlook an entire apartment done in rusty orange and mossy green.

I liked him.

It can go the other way too. I once went on several dates that left me lukewarm — until I saw his place. I came home and gushed to my roommate: “I can’t describe it! The rooms are so well-proportioned, and there’s a fireplace, and this great mix of thrift store finds and amazing art and…”

Julie interrupted me to observe that I seemed to like the apartment more than the man.

“Well, but he’s really nice! And he’s got this collection of vintage glasses, you know, tourism souvenirs from the 50s…”

It took me another 8 months to realize Julie was right.

Which brings us to Friday. When I was invited to possibly the worst bachelor pad in Southern California.

The living room was so crowded with furniture I had to stand on tiptoe and do that little squeeze-shimmy you do between tight tables at New York restaurants — just to sit on the couch.

Which was horrible: leftover from who-knows-what decade, covered in brown velour, and 6 feet away from a 6-foot television. In addition to the inevitable black laminate coffee table, there were two auxiliary coffee tables in a corner, stacked directly on top of each other, like mating elephants.

As I sipped my flat, lime-less gin and tonic, he picked up a remote from the pile and turned on some 80s music, which came out of JBL speakers directly behind my head.

This man had seemed promising — smart and handsome — when we’d met the week before. So I told myself “Krista! Don’t be shallow! It’s just furniture!” And I tried kissing him. I really did.

But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d regressed 15 years, was being groped by a college kid on a couch that’d had five owners and never been cleaned. I thought, between kisses, about how much I’d rather be home, on my own nice-smelling sofa, alone.

And so I fled.

Gone

October 6, 2011

I never met Steve Jobs, but I think it is fair to say I worked for him.

I’m very sorry to hear he is gone.

A job isn’t everything, but my job has made me a better writer and a better thinker. It’s shown me I have grit in places I’d always thought were all wobbles. In a very real way — when you connect the dots backwards — the reason I’m writing this from a hotel room in Salt Lake City (the reason for London, the reason for the road trip, the reason my brain has these wrinkles and my skin fits just like this) is because of my job writing for Apple.

I will never meet Steve Jobs. I wish I could thank him.

Michigan

October 2, 2011

This is a place-holder for a post that may — or may not — be coming.

Adjustment

September 22, 2011

Ages ago, I started imagining what it would be like to take two whole months off work:

I’d spend mornings lounging on the sofa, dozing over a novel. I’d go to art museums with my mother, have dinner with friends. I’d wander the streets of New York. All the harried New Yorkers would pass me by; I’d be lingering by shop windows, eating an ice cream cone — just fast enough to keep it from melting down my fingers. The weather would be perfect. Indeed, an unusual portion of the day would be suffused with the kind of light you only see right before the sun sets. In my imagined future, I was completely relaxed. Languid.

Now that this future has — abruptly — arrived, I can report that I’ve been doing what I’d planned. Sofa, check. Dinner, check. But it’s not the same. There’s been rain and estate agents. I keep waking up at three in the morning. Languid? In the middle of major career change and geographic dislocation? As if.

I dislike this feature of the Future: No matter where you go, or how carefully you plan — once the Future arrives, it’s always remarkably like the Present.