Monday, December 6

James is sniffling, time for soup. Into the truck, to the market, to play our favorite game. Best Shopper. Come home with everything we need while saving the most money. Today I win with 34 percent.

Onions, garlic, carrots., celery in the pot. Chicken and water. Boil. And boil. And boil. Remove chicken, strain. Add new onions and garlic cut smaller than needed. Add carrots and celery. Add broth. Pick chicken.

When picking a chicken be sure to have a bowl of cold water handy for when you burn your fingers. My first chicken picked in this house, counters are different so I set myself up new. Put the old vegetables in a second pot and add whatever parts of the chicken are not going in the soup. Add water and boil for a second batch of broth to freeze.

Careful with the chicken. Growing up a knuckle or two found their way into my soup. Unpleasant to find. Some people like it, like they like tendon or tripe. My grandmother would gnaw at the ends of chicken wings.

Add chipotle peppers, roasted corn. Simmer. Make a grilled cheese with red onion, Dijon mustard and tomato. Test soup. Try not to turn the television on. Sunday night, baby nursing and I’m not tired enough to go to sleep. I will regret this in the morning.

Thursday, December 2

Nine o’clock knock on the door, Abigail and me still in bed. Next-door neighbor, faux-fur collar, looking to babysit. Extra money. Christmas season. House up north, rising taxes. Business not going so well. Sitting , listening. Abigail upstairs.

First take out the rocks and the jackets then take the car to Linsky’s. No coffee left in the house so stop at Uncle Moe’s. Jack says: Hello Beautiful. Jack says: I know you love coffee. Grilled cheese, turkey soup, coffee. Old woman comes in. Plumber comes in and tells her she has a flat tire. Guys at the counter banter, argue about who can and who will help her out. Banter ends with no resolution, until I offer to change her tire. Someone gets up to do it right away.

Home now to balance the checkbook. See how much for when the mechanic calls. Sounds like the head gasket. How much is too much? How long is too long? She’s a good car, I’d hate to see her go.

Monday, November 29

It's great to see you. I have a baby, yes, a girl. She's home now. With her dad. I'm not working, no, not really. We live in Gloucester. Just bought a house. What are you up to?

Hi! Yeah, this is great. I'm not sure if you saw me with my husband. I eat breakfast with a lot of men. But we've been married for seven years. No, just one, she's lovely. I like it a lot. Good to see you too.

So, you live in Gloucester still? Me too. I never see you. I have a baby. We walk downtown. What do you do with your time? Financial advisor? I never would have guessed. I play violin. At a third-grade level. Maybe fourth. What music have you been listening to?

Read any good books lately? I read that when I was pregnant. Yeah, I used to say when people asked if I wanted a boy or a girl that I wanted a boy OR a girl. She's a girl. Abigail. Tell your wife I'm sorry she didn't come. And I'm sorry. I hope she's doing well.

I remember catching minnows with you when we were in sixth grade. No, we only did it once, but the way they moved in the sun, shiny and silver... Your Abby is 4? She must be lovely. A tomboy? I guess mine will be too, with all of those cousins. We should get together sometime.

So, you knit? Me too. Do you remember when you pushed me out of our group of friends in sixth grade? It was for the better, I think, especially after seeing you all here. You look good, pretty hip, but what the hell does that get you in Gloucester? Anyway, I like your hair. I don't think I'll bring my film in anymore. I wonder what else your friends know about me now.

Have you got any extra drink tickets? It's good to see everyone. I'm not good at burning bridges but I'm great at letting them crumble under their own weight. I had a crush on you in seventh grade but you were cuter then. And less of a flake. Your engaged? And living in Kingston? I don't know why you would live there. But living here doesn't seem to matter much, nobody leaves their houses anyway. I'm a rare book dealer. Yeah, lots of money to be made there.

Funny, yeah. No, I get out a lot, even with the baby. I bring her to a bar on weekends to wacth soccer. A Scottish team. You don't play anymore? That's too bad. I can see your wife is furious with me for talking to you. That's okay. I'm just trying to talk to everybody I recognize. The airforce? New Jersey? Wow.

This is your boyfriend in the Red Sox shirt? Nice to meet you. We new eachother a long time ago. Used to swim to Ten Pound Island and flirt with tuna fishermen on the docks. You're living a few houses down from my sister. Are you still hanging out with the guy I had a restraining order on? I really never understood taking his side. I didn't ask anyone to take sides. Just not to tell him where I was going to be. That's okay. Everything passes.










Saturday, November 20

Bathtub caulked, ceiling painted. Everything done means something left undone.

Monday, November 15

Slices of quince for breakfast. No runcible spoon- does that affect flavor? I always assume that fruit we Americans tend not to eat is tart and not suitable for smoothies. I like tart. The quince, however, is not tart. Its texture is a little grainy, like pears from the tree in the back yard. Its flavor is light, like watered-down old wine. A little musty. I think I will cook the rest to see if it improves.

I was just saying last night that I hadn't seen Woody HArrelson for along time and there he is today on Ellen. Doing Elvis.

Abigail has fallen asleep. Today isn't going so well. I had an idea of what I should do today but it depended on other people and they didn't know. I tried to tell them. Now I am contemplating the list of things I could do today. Paint the bathroom ceiling. Put weather stripping on the cellar door. Recaulk the bathtub.

None of these things sound good to me today.

When ABigail wakes up maybe I will drag her out. The car doesn't like starting these days but we are picking up some kids at Waring this afternoon. Maybe a little trip to Cabot Street. I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Wednesday, November 10

The thing about it is that you never know when someone is thinking about you. My ficus tree is dropping its leaves, I haven't found a place it likes in this house yet. Ficus generation.

I don't know what my options are but for this: I must not add to the confusion. Two new valves for radiators. I will master this system by spring. I need a mirror and clear plastic. Power tools and foam.

Each move leaves a six. This is Main Street, this is Rogers, that is Porter. Two bars closed. One owned by the cook from the White Lion, the other by a new friend. One building torn down at the station. Another one, as well, but earlier and already replaced. It's easy to mess things up these days. Just one slip and it's done. Note: Do not remove weight-bearing walls on the first floor. How many restaurants does any one person need? Or any three?

I used to read things and hope that they were written for me. I know better now.

Wednesday, November 3

Oil burner's broke again, we all have to break sometime. Ice cream is cheaper than Zoloft and doing the dishes tonight makes tomorrow better. Even if it's cold. Abby's talking to a ball and I am trying to keep a positive solitaire score until the diapers are ready for the drier. Or is it dryer? For the life of me I can't remember. Abby's talking is nearing crying.

Spit up on mu shoulder and I wonder what will give next. The neighbor tried to trade the cover of my garbage can for his ratty one in the wind this morning. Caught in the act. Not that he thought mine was his but it was easier than looking...

Electric heat upstairs so we won't be so cold. Isn't there always something to complain about? Life is good here with this little girl, her coos and smiles, and still I throw disinfecting wipes across the room. Because I don't get upset often I shouldn't get upset and when I do it doesn'y show so tonight I throw things and they come to an abrupt stop under the cold radiator. A couple tears and that doesn't help anything, family is still family and ashes thrown to Ipswich Bay can not be gotten back. Decisions made can not be changed when pride is on the line. You can't make a son visit his mother or a father visit his daughter. You can't stop a train wreck even if you see it happening.

Coffee with Gerrit this afternoon. Got a package from Glasgow, registered mail, signed for it at the post office. Walked down Dale Ave next to a man in Patriots gear who talked to me the whole time. Saw a woman at the Lone Gull who sort of knew me but couldn't figure how. Spoke with Jack at Mystery Train about babies and writing.

Abigail keeps turning her head like it's all the rage. Talk to the curtain. Wave at the light. Peek-a-boo! I see you.

I wish there were more Moomin books to read. That someone would stop by and say "Hey, want to go geet a quick drink?" That politicians didn't interupt soap operas. That I got more mail.

Why is it so hard to call repair people? Other people don't think they should be plumbers, carpenters and electricians. Why does it make me feel so useless?




Some good advice from eeksey peeksy.

Monday, November 1

Truth be told I am sick of cool. Like heavy talk with an upspeak like having a dream of talking like talking like yeah. Black and white and drunk and my art and yeah and wow. Of winning and losing and co-authors and blocking projects knit by other people. Complaining and matter and driving around looking at signs- Welcome home sailors and marines and soldiers and No More Bush and Lordy Lordy.

I have to admit I don't understand my boiler. How to keep the water in the glass tube right and which way to turn the vents. Can't afford to have the guy come show me and don't have the guts to admit it anyway. May go to the heating supply store near the state fish pier and ask with babe on my hip. It's cheaper that way. I need a new vent anyway.

What is this crap movie? Animated people talking about dreams. Crap. Referring to Lorca, of course.

I am also sick of weird.

If there are beautiful women at a party and I don't feel beautiful I am not one of them. I do not feel beautiful. I feel more like a machine. There is a list of things that need to be done and I will turn myself on and do them. I will turn myself off and rest. Repeat. No, that's not true. I wish I felt like a machine. There is a list of things I need to do but because I feel about too many things I can't seem to get them done.

I wish I were watching Monday Night Football with Jim Dunn.

Bills keep coming bills are always coming and no one no one knows how to pay them. Camper has a monkey shoe I can't resist but will. Tomorrow might bring me to Portsmouth for Kerry but the baby's in charge and I have no definite plans. Monkey shoes are in Portsmouth. Monkey shoes or boiler? Heat or food or fashion?

I need to say this before I forget: Fuck Curt Schilling.


Tuesday, October 26

A night without baseball and instead of sleeping like I should I go out. Six mothers to the Pickled Onion, first time out really for me without little Abigail. We talk about labor and politics and gossip we are all too far out of the loop to have. Out too late baby girl crying and I don't know how she can cry but she can.

She's lying on the floor now two months old and making the most delicious sounds. Spit up on my shoulder but the clothes don't make a girl the baby does. Slept too late today, I'll wake her up earlier tomorrow and we'll sleep for sure. Had another drink tonight to make me feel like I was with old friends. It didn't work.

Thursday, October 14

Instead of falling back asleep after Baby Girl nursed this morning I am up and running. Trash out, two hand-me-down air conditioners moved from upstairs to down, kitty litter cleaned. Coffee half decaf today. If I am going to drink it all day I must compromise.

Fourteen of my father's old shirts are in the middle of my living room floor. My brother is having a baby. Naming him after my father. The shower is Saturday and I am making a quilt. From these shirts. From Richard. For Richard.

I never called my father Richard. Most called him Rick. I heard someone call him Dick in the supermarket once and decided then that I didn't like the name. It didn't worry me since I never used it. But after he died and I didn't know which kind the baby in my belly was I felt guilty, like maybe I should think of it. Like it is the right thing to do.

Funny that last day he was conscious, just barely. Monthly check-up in the morning, happy to be just about iver the miscarriage-hump, 12 weeks and hurrah! Celebratory sandwich at the Grange, mostly to see Zac, and when I finally got home 12 messages on the machine. He's not doing well. They're rushing him home in an ambulance to die. They don't think he'll make it that long. Meet at the house. Go to Mass General.

He wasn't talking anymore when we got there but was smiling and squeezing hands and when I told him the baby was fine, heard a heartbeat, this one is going to make it he squeezed my hand and smiled. Tear in his eye. He was so happy I was pregnant.

Now my baby is asleep across the room. The silly aqua and white shirt with the knit collar is on top of the pile. I am making a quilt for Richard out of it and for the life of me I can't do it. The Porter line will continue. What the hell does that mean? Last names. City officials shake my brother's hand, recognize him by name. And they will do the same for his baby- pay reverence to the name. As Abigail sleeps in near anonymity.

I've got to take scissors to the shirts on the floor. Cut them up. Make something new. I wish I had religion right now, that I believed he is somewhere looking down on what I am doing. That he sees Abigail in her cradle. That he's seen her smile. She's cooing now, in her sleep. I've got to go.




Tuesday, October 5

Feeling a little disoriented, maybe alienated. Looked online to find my friends but I can't remember which go where. Looked for Pedro's midget, knit Ugg boots, a place to fit in. My arms are tired. I am tired. Could be from the weekend still, could be the non-stop nursing. Baby Girl is on the floor and I should be putting out the trash in this time.

Busy weekend, too much time out. Too much too much too much. Red Sox win tonight and it feels late because the game is over. Last week games at Gerrit's, games and debates and what's the difference? Hitchhikers turn into white crosses. Memorial mass and Abby could be a Catholic for Halloween, no?

Turn the heat on, steam out the back of the furnace. Basement full of steam, no heat, new valves no use and the oil man on the way. Two trips later and heat for the baby, quiet hissing in each room. This will be the soundtrack to our lives.

I don't know what to do tomorrow. Aside from the list of things I have been putting off. Insurance company, IRS, thank-you notes and scones. I should build radiator covers before the baby can crawl. Abigail is watching the debate. All she sees in contrast.

Sunday, September 26

Sunday one day after one month. These moments are hard to find and I should be doing more with them—laundry, dishes, find my clothes. One thing I know to be true: these things will still need to be done. They will not go away.

I bought a camera yesterday and have been wasting time with it since. Pictures of the baby girl. She’s eating her fingers like they’re just another meal.

She’s sleeping now. I got the black skirt I bought to wear to my father’s funeral out of the cellar and fixed the seam that had come undone at the slit. I am going to a wake this afternoon, for my father’s neighbor. At one month after birth I am about the same size as I was at almost two months pregnant. At least I hope I am, I haven’t tried the skirt on. I haven’t got anything else to wear so it must be true.

I should go now and get ready. Abigail is getting into more of a routine; I hope to be able to write more often.

Tuesday, September 14

Finding both my hands free for the first time in weeks, dinner done and waiting and Baby Girl on her daddy’s shoulder. Nurse nurse nurse- my daily routine. Little bits of doing things in between. Mostly laundry, mostly diapers, an occasional walk. She sleeps well most nights and I sleep

Wrote that last night, the time was short-lived. Right now the baby is sleeping and that worries me. If she is sleeping now will she sleep later? If she doesn’t sleep later when will I sleep? Strike that, little sounds of waking are coming from where she lies. Some like stretching, some like cooing, some about to be upset that I am not changing or feeding her.

Before I need to go I should say that I read your email and will write back soon, I hope. I look forward to seeing you, hopefully I will make it, but it is too early to promise. It all depends on the baby girl.

Quick note- while I was checking my email I took that quiz about fucked-up composers and was Joe Strummer. A girl (woman, I should say) I knit with is good friends with a woman who was married to Joe Strummer when he died. This knitter also has a mother-in-law who lives in London and is called London Joan. London Joan calls from London and says “This is London Joan.” London Joan sends European baby clothes. Gloucester Abby get them handed down and finds they suit her well.

Wednesday, September 1

One week old. I don't know what to say. Waking up to see that she is breathing, singing to her wrapped in my arms. New sleep patterns, new ways for everything. Watching her eyes lighten from steel grey to blue. Changing her and dressing her and taking good care. Friends stop by with love and fruit. Holding her close, as close as I can.

Friday, August 27


Abigail Faulkner Aisling Cook
born August 25, 2004
at 5:49 p.m.
8 lbs. 2 oz.
19 inches long


Tuesday, August 24

Looks like there should be some news soon.

Saturday, August 21

Had something to drink, something to eat, and took a good look around. I'm feeling much better now.
Instead of napping when I should have I read a book. Now I feel flustered like I ften do after reading a book in one sitting, unable to seperate the book from myself or my thoughts from the book. The boy in the book was afraid of things he didn't have a system for. I am afraid of things I don't have a system for.

Driving home in the rain my stomach hurt. It hurt on and off while I was reading and my lower back too but in no pattern. I was lying down and it is hard for me to tell sometimes when I am lying down because my hips can hurt as well. Now I am sitting up and I feel fine. Better, at least.

I am unsettled by never having done this before. And by the fact that there is no pattern to follow, no right way. My uterus contracts. I feel pain. Nothing happens for hours or days. My back hurts and this is normal. And it could mean nothing. I am afraid the book had something to do with this-- I was not unsettled before. Unsure, yes, uncertain, of course, but not unsettled.

It is my mother's birthday. She thought I would have the baby today. She is bucking the system and thinks it is a boy. Because I have an innie. It would have to be an incredibly short labor to make today the day. I have been counting on a longer prelabor to tie up loose ends. I think I will tie them up now. Maybe then I won't feel unsettled. But I don't just want to wait. Having things undone means I am not just waiting. My head is woozy, I am going now. To get something to drink. And tie up loose ends.


Friday, August 20

Walked downtown for black cohosh and ginger teas. Lala at the Lone Gull, humidity bothersome and feet swolen. Sausage and pasta at Trupiano's. Home walking tired feet and heat and longer from the train tracks with belly contracting but not progressing. Nap with Gata.

Cook sausage, remove, add olive oil, enjoy the smell. Add garlic and onions, the other half of last night's eggplant bitterness bled out. Tomato. Oregano. Basil. Move the table out for four for dinner, only three end up eating. Zac in effect via cd. More arrive late, then more on no particlular time. Too tired to move for much the rest are held captive by our one-channel tv and the Olympics.

Just one day late, too early for the risk of cohosh but not too soon for ginger. Sister says the baby will come on Mother's birthday, so it can be about her. Those who know say try for a Virgo. Painful contraction this morning but oly one. That won't do at all. Warm night, sleep may come hard or not at all. New neighbor. Lock the doors, try not to worry. Don't worry. Gata is already witing upstairs. I'm off to bed.


Monday, August 9

Monday morning. Did the dishes, swept the floor, nearly done with the laundry. I never thought I would enjoy laundry this much.

Watching movies lately, what else to do at 9 months? The rumor that I don't like movies is not true. I just like to watch them at home where I can do something useful at the same time. Or at Gerrit's, where he treats me like a princess.

Odd couple of days there, Friday and Saturday. Down, not out, but down and not happy about it. Family information I am uncomfortable knowing. Makes me think in a way I don't like to think. Friday baby slow to move, or just sleepy, who knows. But enough of a change to make me worry. Might have been me doing too much and not taking the time to feel little kicks and nudges. Could be because it is a little more cramped in there than before. Saturday spent being more still, eating more regularly. Kicks back to normal. Friendly faces in the afternoon and evening. Mystic Pizza. Irby's lemon tart. Tea in a big cup.

There is so much longing right now I hardly know what to do with myself. Make lists. Cross things off lists. Make new lists. List of lists:

* people to call when I have a baby (find phone numbers)
* people to email when I have a baby (make email list)
* things to pack for the hospital
* movies to get
* things that need to be done before I bring Baby home

If you have anything I should add to my lists or my lists of lists let me know. I haven't done very well with them yet.

My grandfather finally opened the pool, no locust trees this year and even no chairs. But I can go and pack more junk, swim. Remember mermaid days. Skin sliding through the water, light and music from the barn as friends shoot pool. Night swimming, naked, when the air is as cool as the water. Swimming until teeth chatter and limbs are useless, finding my way inside, sleeping with the moon in the window and off the water.






Friday, August 6

Hips are sore in the morning, the weight of the womb and all. The sun wakes me long before the bus honks outside for Eric, the boy who lives in our backyard. Took a bath into a shower and back into bed. Why can't I stay naked in bed all day? For modest visitors I would pull the covers up to my chin. Getting dressed is such a hassle these days.

Gerrit arrives for coffee and Portugese sweet bread, new corn broom in hand for the new house. Gooseberry jam and Xtina's condiments. Gata wants out the back door, asks politely with one paw raised. I still say no. Bag of baby clothes left on the back porch, no note, but 12 months written in a hand I recognize.

Nap time, morning nap, Gata with paws crossed over my hand as I sleep. One hour of sleeping and one hour of thinking. Thinking of you, of all of you. I am starting to say sentimental things and I hope you don't mind.

Sent home last night with leftover turkey, open-faced sandwiches for lunch. No cranberries but dried, thrown in a pan with some orange juice then zzzed. New table in the kitchen, old diner table kept for years in my father's basement, moved from James's grandparent's house. A better shape for facing eachother. Wooden table into the study.

Off now to the old house, to get plants and cinder blocks and wood for building shelves. Mirror and the wedding present from Chris. Painting of me at age 5 riding the carousel at St. Peter's Fiesta, wearing my favorite dress. Maybe the antique cradle. Medium dishes for serving sweet bread toast to your favorite people.




Wednesday, August 4

Lost the post I was writing yesterday, blue screen before burgers at Halibut Point. No big loss. Birthing class and cleaning, basinette set up and laundry away. Rooms vacuumed, waiting for my mother-in-law to visit.

I should talk about the weekend.

Missed poetry on Friday, promised my sister I would take Caleb and Elijah. Elijah, 2, well-behaved and flirting with my friend Kelly, sitting in the evening on the back porch eating popcicles. Caleb, 6 months, fussy from the heat but still wanting no more than to be up against me. Kelly leaves at 10, door slam wakes up Caleb. Singing on the front stoop, sleeping on my shoulder, waking every time I try to put him down. One o'clock brings the parents through the door, followed by James and MC. Everyone happy with the evening but my body, tired from pacing and holding.

Saturday morning stayed in and rested, conserving energy for the evening's trip in for the Massacre. Shocked by the trade, worried about D. Lowe, driving into town listening to sports radio. Excited to hear and meet new people. Glad to see Tina and Matt again, and all my friends. Nice to meet Stephanie Young. I wish I had more of a brain these days but I haven't. If whomever is in my belly is a boy I want hand-me-downs from James-- that kid has style.

I enjoyed the readings on Saturday night. I wish I could give more details but right now I haven't got much left in me. I remember being relieved by xtina's political poems and knocked out by Dottie's reading. Being surprised at how quiet David Hess was both reading and talking. How I wish Kim Lyons had gone over 12 minutes. Being flattered by Joe's reading. And finally, Saturday night, being overwhelmed by the lack of care in Douglas Rothschild's game show.

Maybe it was because I am 9 months pregnant and can't sit still for so long anymore. Maybe it was because the poetry was so good to that point. Maybe it was hearing complaints about people going over time, which I had hardly noticed. But I think it is bigger than that. New York is New York and Boston is Boston. I like them both. But the game show tried to bring a New York event to Boston without acknowledging what an important character place is. If the audience were playing the game it would have probably been okay but scripted as such it felt a little like I was supposed to be seeing how much fun they have in New York. And after listening to so many good poets it was a bit of a downer to sit and watch people taking poetry so lightly. I was still deep in it, the words and ideas and the respect that made the evening go so smoothly. I could have gone out into the night with that in my head. By the time the game show was over I just felt hungover.

(I should note here that I don't mean this as a criticism Rothschild's performances. I really enjoyed his piece at MIT last year. The care and attention put into it, as well as the focus on the language of the city, were wonderful.)

Sunday tired, Frank from Gloucester at Donut Jim's and a boy sitting with his family rearranges his baseball cards to line up with the trades. MC, JC and I into the city again. I am getting too tired to get into readers but I think I really enjoyed them all. Charlie's after, happy to talk to Mitch, hoping I didn't scare David. Sunday driving home and into the house where the smell of orange blossoms fills the air. Quick bath and out for a drink (water for me). Ran into "family", a story for a later day. I'm going to bed now, the rest of the stories will have to wait for another day.

All my love to those I love.

Friday, July 23

Tired from the heat.  Rooms are cool at certain times, lights off and fans going.  Drink water.  Drink water.  Always boxes on the living room floor, always new boxes to replace those we have emptied. 

Gata sleeping mostly on the floor, water in the bedroom window by the street.  A strange mark with no fur near her nose, no idea how it got there.  She doesn't seem to mind it.  This window as good as the last and closer to the action. 

Dinner at P and A's last night, the boys talk about Leanord Cohen and those lines from Sisters of Mercy stick in my head- we weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be alright.  Girls into one room, boys in another, talking and talking.  Pavement in the kitchen. 

Went to Trader Joe's today with my sister and two boys.  One left here with James and two more playing elsewhere.   Food in the freezer for now or later.  Tomorrow maybe Farmer John's for fruits and veggies.  Kitchen stuff still unpacked and I have no idea where to put it.   Need a curtain for the window upstairs, may take out my sewing machine this evening.  Tired of not being able to do and tired of asking. 

Baby kicking something crazy today.  Belly moves as whomever shifts and I feel my insides pushed around.  When will the heat break?  Shoes didn't fit this morning and I don't know where the rest are.  Bags of sweaters upstairs, I can put them away.  Laundry has a place to go once it is folded.   Should I wash the sheets tonight or wait?  May go to bed very early....

Hoping for thunder.

 


Monday, July 19

Slept in the new house last night- mattress on floor, boxspring too wide for the stairs.  Gata howling on the way over but content after a few minutes of cuddling.  Not too hot with the fan going, bed made like home bcause it is home now. 
 
Book cases in the study, quick visit from Lansing etc. while I took my first shower.  So much to do and so much done.  So many thanks that need be given.  Thank you for your help.   A little overwhelmed still, made it through only crying once this morning and that was after slamming my finger in the door. 
 
James took the tape off of the edges in the living room.  The couch is set against the left wall, the computer as well for now.  Mountains of white bags in the living and laundry rooms.   Two loads of laundry done, fridge moved a little, shower curtain up.   So tired today and trying not to do too much, a day of rest, etc.  Nothing to eat in the house and I'm not going shopping. 
 
Let the fish go this afternoon in my brother's fish pond.  After looking lost for a moment he started to swim with the big fish, following their circles around the lazy brown school near the deepest part.  I wonder if he will be so pale next time I look.  The orange fish in the pond are so bright, the white shimmer, the brown sulk.  My pale little fish stands out. 
 
Gata likes the back of the couch for sleeping.  I might try the rest in a bit.
 
Spent some time at River Rd., mostly talking to my grandfather.  Cleaned a little and left James packing more.  Someone is coming to look at the house on Tuesday or Wednesday, hopefully the latter.  Our place is a mess but Hamer isn't worried.  I won't worry either.  Tomorrow I will go and try to make some order of it.  Today it is too much. 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, July 15

Awestruck by the beauty of the world today.  The red of a barn between 133 and exit 13, the orange and yellow of lillies by the road.  Blue sky turning grey then white then blue.  I am not as overwhelmed as I could or should be, but I am sure that will pass.
 
Emptying drawers for the move, room by room.  This should all be done by now.  The heat is getting to me.  Packing nearly naked, and it isn't even that hot.  Unaccustomed to corners without clutter, embarassed by how many things I have.   Books, yarn, clothes, shoes.  Dishes and pans and pots and fabric.  Records and books and books and books.
 
Gata was out but now she's in.  In heat, too.  Xtina may get the Gatitos she is looking for.   Meowed when I called her, easy to find, now rolling on the floor and kicking her head.  Something must be done.   /:>N.  That was Gata jumpingon the keyboard.  Maybe I should have left her out. 
 
Back to packing, while I still feel full of life.  ++++++++++++++++++++++++   More Gata.  .
All my love to those who kno
w 6it,2 0...
3333
 
 
+6
3..3+++++25
 
Gata won'
 
t+ l-et me -+t-7y
 
typ
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 more.  --
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 29

Coffee with my mother, sister and some of the boys, sunny table at The Market and everything seemed good. Kenny H. had a good joke about my grandfather's cliff driving- "they didn't have air brakes?" Just heard on the radio that an accordian festival will hit Boston next month.

Saturday night I should have been drunk given the occasion of afternoon football at the Kinvara, but baby says no. Kicks so much it must be a striker. Dino looking good for not smoking. I miss the lads. By the time the Celtic season starts I should have a wee one at my breast.

To the 108 with treats for Lucy, Thai food from across the street and a dress that didn't do too well containing me. The music was nice but I would have preferred no horn- too close to the voice sometimes. I wish Joe was there. I have words for him that don't make it into email. I wish I saw John more.

Baby keeps me from sitting still too long, chair then floor and stretch this way and that. I wish I could have softened some of the sounds for my womb, thinking of Lucy and Anders and Caleb all overwhelmed by noise.

If Mike County were a plant he would be lamb's ear, planted in the shade of a rosemary bush in the front garden of a row house in the southern outskirts of Cork.

Jim Dunn read about the beach in Magnolia. I spent the summers of 14 and 15 drinking at bonfires there while my stepmother played oblivious 100 yards away. Cheap beer with fraternal twins twice my age. One I wanted to kiss. The other declared one night sitting on the stone wall next to the local garage that if the world were to end tomorrow he would take me up in his arms and not let go. Saw him years later at Pavilion beach watching the greasy pole, still drunk. His brother was the one who told me my horn was going off at Friendly's a couple years ago.

Breakfast at the Dory yesterday. The guy who walked the pole dressed as a jester at the table in back, telling the story of Andy who fell off the wagon and hasn't been seen since. Didn't even swim in with the rest of the walkers. Swam to the boats instead, leaving his girlfriend waiting on the beach. Heard he's alive but he still hasn't made it home. Then the boy who won on Friday and Saturday comes in. The waitress was hoping he'd win all three days. He's no Jake Wood. No Peter "Black" Frontiero.

Henry Ferrini in with big news about his film and his son holding a stuffed animal and a spatula. Out the door after a moment or two. Turn around in the lot looking into the harbor. Remains of Fiesta still in St. Peter's Square, carni truck and tinsel angels. Scaffolding bones of the altar. I'd challenge that guy who said the Fort was gentrified to carry Peter through the streets and watch the women throw confetti from the windows. There have always been a few outsiders living there but let's make it clear: Olson wasn't a fisherman either.

The sailors weren't as good looking this year. Might be because I wasn't drunk. More so I think it's the war. Walking the streets with James, talking to former students, now enlisted men, trying to keep themselves out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Little boys still, not more than babies, looking for ways to stay safe. And Dan home on leave, a few more weeks left in which he can be sent away, all our fingers crossed and we pray even if we don't believe.

I should pack more now. I've killed the difficult plants and won't have to move them. I should never be trusted with jasmine or gardenia. The hibiscus by my bed hasn't got the weight to handle the sea breeze and I haven't the heart to close the window. Yesterday its three blossoms were overshadowed by the lillies from Greg, standing tall in their milk-bottle vase. Perfect backdrop for my reading Women Poets of China. Fragrant flowers near the cool sheets of my bed.




Wednesday, June 16

I didn’t get the love notes I was hoping for. I can bring myself near to tears with anticipation, foolish anticipation.

In some ways I got more.

My list was a bust. I can’t eat gorgonzola while pregnant and really I have no idea how to find a prostitute. Didn’t make it to the beach. I did visit the newspaper but that’s it. I didn’t even buy soap.

There is a general feeling of uneasiness around me. In some cases it leans toward bitterness, in others hopelessness, and in me I can’t figure it out. I spend hours imagining what could happen, hours talking myself out of or in to what I have imagined, and hours cursing myself for hours wasted. Right now I am waiting for water to boil, which means these moments can’t be considered among them.

I have left helplessness out of the uneasiness. Please forgive the mistake.

Molly Bloom and the baby she lost, shouldn’t have buried him in the sweater she knit but what else could she do? I have a sweater started for my last and I can’t bring myself to finish it for Whomever. Can’t bring myself to take it apart. My grandmother here remembering her lost child, her youngest, named James. Two sons gone and she is left to her wine bottles. Now when she counts her children I don’t know what the number is.

My stomach is upset, it might be affected. Some things I wish I didn’t know and I know it is better I do. The truths we know but can no longer deny once given the facts. The truth being variable and the facts constant. The chart Gerrit made me is hanging by a clothespin above the computer. It reminds me of parts of myself…

My body has never been a teenage body and never will be. I can’t say why this matters but as I get closer to being a mother it feels like I am fulfilling some kind of prophecy. The decision was made by my hips and breasts before they knew to show themselves. My body is heavy and will always be heavy. My troubled mind is in my bosom and womb and I can’t seem to get my arms around it. My body feels like the vessel it is and I can’t make it feel any different.

Tuesday, June 15

To Do List, June 16:

- buy liver
- buy soap
- get letter from lover
- visit newspaper
- attend funeral
- go to prostitute
- masturbate on beach
- eat gorgonzola sandwich

Monday, June 14

Sunburned from graduation. Right arm lobster-red, left arm protected by a sleeping baby. My chest in the deep v of a new halter dress. Cheeks and nose and forehead. I haven’t been burnt like this in years. Seven years today, when the scalloped neck of my wedding gown was burnt into my breast.

Not a word about my mother missing my shower. For years she fought tooth and nail to claim the role of parent and now not even a fa├žade. She has no problem with my stepmother taking over the public role. Maybe she gave up the fight. Maybe the fight was never over us.

Sunday idyllic looking out on the Canal at Newell Stadium. Boats going by and the field filled with kids in maroon and white, my half-sister among them. James there on the field watching his students and handing Samantha her diploma. She wore the pink lei, put on her by my nephew as I sat in the stands with my grandmother BJ and the rest of the kids.

Tuberose flowers falling off of the other, too much for a girl trying to fit in. The woman behind us remembers the smell of the airport in Honolulu. My grandmother says tub-e-rose where I pronounce it tube-rose. I will change my way. Fallen flowers in the buttonholes of my cardigan. Caleb crying on my shoulder from the noise of the band but sung quickly to sleep. Lovesick ballads again.

Bring the baby back to my sister. Look down- no wedding ring on my stepmother’s finger. Speeches about childhood and movies. I hope you dance. Names and names and names, proud parents with noisemakers and cowbells. Fighting our way onto the field to find Samantha and James. BJ hobbling down eventually, by then me collapsed in a city councilor’s chair. Pictures and congratulations.

At home tired from the heat and sun, skin aching against the sheets. Aloe sinking in slowly. Cool breeze from the water making me shiver. Asleep by the third inning.

Saturday, June 12

Reading short stories this morning. All of them are about love, and none of them are happy. There is just the moment. If I cut my hair short it won’t hang down over my breasts in the moonlight. One ends with horses, another with going away.

Thursday was for parents and Friday for grandparents. Today is for me and I must dress well. There will be disappointments, there always are. I would like to unwrap hours and give them to people to spend with me. I would like a quiet day. My mind and body are tired.

I will be happy with women I know who love me. I will be grateful for the help and gifts they give. I will write thank-you notes. I will mean it. But I will be wanting to be quiet with somebody- the baby in my belly or a warm body in my bed.

Tomorrow is pomp and circumstance. Sit in the stands, be together. James and Samantha on the field for different reasons, a lei for Sam and one for my father’s grave. Collapsing I’m sure by the end of the day to do the work I should be doing now.

This next week quieter than the one before it, Simon gone and others resting. If I could fill in some of the time the same way. I will get my hair cut. I am not sure how. Noah’s haircut is wonderful and he looks so much like I looked at 5. But it is short and might not do.

Into the tub now and to get ready. My toenails are chipped and should be painted but I can barely reach them. I have a birthday outfit to wear if it fits me and a smile to paint on. I should be prepared.

Thursday, June 3

Listening to ballads that bring me to tears.

Gerrit and Elijah and I off to lunch today then at the cafe, with Gerrit playing peek-a-boo behind the neon signs and he says something about the people we can never introduce...

I'm bound for the waves, and rain comes in a serpent-cloud over the harbor. In the car home a Kinks song covered by Kirsty MacCall makes me cry. Predictable, really, but still. Bits of sun fighting to shine on the Annisquam , my peas haven't come up yet and my baby will never meet my father.

Then doing dishes just now- this cruel country has driven me down. I've only sad stories... my dreams have withered and died. Thinking of friends who hurt eachother and jealousy and love. They'd run and hide. Sad but with sorrow, not depression. And when those you love hurt eachother, silver moon sailor, silver moon shine. Last night's moon the strawberry moon-- ifI were a butterfly I'd live for a day. My dreams have withered and died.

Baby kicked hard while I was in the tub tonight, hard enough to see my belly move. To Canaan's Land, I sang at my grandmother's service. At a friend's grandfather's funeral old people I can't name asking me to sing when they die. And how time passes-- a love-light shines across the sea and the soul of man never dies.

My grandmother always with something red about her and drinking manhattans. Elijah so dear to me and conceived barely a month after she died. Elijah the same age as the second baby I lost would be and so dear to me, whistles between his teeth sometimes when he breathes and blows kisses. My heart it bleeds, for she loves him indeed. Sing Hi-ho-lay at the end of the day. Elijah who calls "manna's home" when I arrive and who is so dear. Let the years come and go...

The song that made me think of Marnie but now I think Judy and little Emily who isn't so wee any more. Who now will sing me lullabies? Listening to it in the barn playing pool with my sister and Noah then 3 starts to cry because the song sounds so sad and Elizabeth and I can't not cry. The stars are all fading and Emily in California never got her lullabies.

Some tyrant has stolen my true love away. William and Davey, come round here no more- wed I am oh and happy I shall be. Rise my love and go away-- I wish to God I'd gone before you.

The good ship sails on the ally-ally-oh.


Friday, May 28

Rain, rain, go away. At the beginning of the week I was happy for the rain, for its watering my garden. Now my lettuce looks like it could use a little sun.

I could too.

Wednesday, May 26

I think I will stay away from comment boxes from here on out. Except I do need to point this out: My local IGA carries brown bread without raisins. I bought some for Mark. This may be the best thing to come of a comment box.
Winded.

It is safe to say that carrying things from my third-floor apartment down to the car is not the best way for me to spend my time. My lungs have less and less room to work and after just one or two trips I am winded.

It is another rainy day here and I am trying my best to keep myself moving anyway. I don't think I'll ever get enough done.

Monday, May 24

I missed the lilacs. Didn't cut them for my bedside in time and now they are turning brown. I did get some hydrangea which are pretty but not as euphoric to smell.

My new to-do list helps get things done.

Sunday, May 23

Babs came home for the weekend and got me going-- boxes packed and moved over tot he new house, garden planted with peas and lettuce. Sunflowers that came up on their own put together in clumps for my mother to paint later in the year.

Trimmed the rose bush a little. It is big and mean and left me bleeding. My clippers are too small to get the great branches but I have cleared some of them enough that they will be easier to pull out of the mess once I find some bigger clippers.

Friday, May 21

Ate a good breakfast and I'm getting ready to leave the house. Shopping list in hand- silly little things but necessary, all of them....

I will get a crib from my sister today and see if it is safe. I am getting a little less freaked out about baby stuff as I am coming up with lists of things I can borrow from friends rather than buy or have bought for me. Baby Bjorn, car seat, swing, etc. So much stuff.

Tuesday, May 18

I thought I was ready to have a baby until I tried to register this afternoon. I think I am ready for baby, but I don't know if I will ever be ready for baby stuff. Any advice on strollers (esp. from people who walk on city streets with bad sidewalks), car seats or diaper bags would be greatly appreciated. I need help.

Saturday, May 15

Instructions for the day:

Take one lilac blossom from a bunch.

Place the blossom in between your lips, crown side facing out.

Gently breathe in the nectar.

Thursday, May 13

A lot of people say things like "I'll come help you with your house." I am realizing now that I need that help. I don't know if anybody is really into doing things that really aren't fun, but I thought I should just write what I would like to get done here and if anybody feels like doing them they can tell me.

This weekend I would like to get a room or two painted or ready to paint and get the cellar swept so we can put things in it.
Today I am going to try to be more hopeful about everything. Things are good- these kittle kicks in the belly are proof of that. And how many people can say their grandfather drove off a 35-foot cliff, flew for 85 feet and will be okay? The house is going slowly, but for crying out loud, we have a house.

It's not that I have been down. I've just been really really really stressed out. I've got to get over that. My bedroom smells like roses and there are birds singing outside.

Wednesday, May 12

So I had a lovely birthday, thanks in no small part to Gerrit Lansing. And I start to relax, things start to calm down and I am a little less stressed out. Then I get home last night and find out that my grandfather has driven his RV off of a cliff somewhere in Utah. He's okay, things will be okay, but I am back thrown back into my weepy state of family stress and pregnancy hormones.

This too shall pass, right?

I owe a lot of people messages. I'm getting there.

Sunday, May 2

Home in a clean house. 10 River Rd was shown for the first time today. Out of respect for the real estate agent I did my best to make it very clean and attractive, at least on the third floor. Now it looks real nice up here but since I spent all day yesterday working on it I can't seem to move today.

I developed the pregnancy waddle overnight. Just woke up this morning and couldn't walk in any way that doesn't look duck-like. I guess I knew this would happen.

I'm in a knitting slump. I think I will try to overcome it by knitting things to send to Afghanistan. You can try too, if you want- visit Afghans for Afghans. I'll be sending stuff soon, hopefully. Yeah. Anything I send to countries we are in the habit of bombing I don't have to move, right?

Friday, April 30

Rain delays are no good for me-- saw Fuddruckers on the Phanton Gourmet and got to thinking about my father. One of the last times we went to Boston together for appointments we stopped on Route 1. He couldn't eat his whole burger but we had a good time. Cleaning yesterday I found a letter I wrote to my father while he was still in isolation after his lung transplant, me sitting at Fuddrucker's on the way home from the hospital because I wanted to be somewhere he enjoyed.

Saw the hot peppers on the condiment bar on the television and it got me to thinking about how much my father enjoyed little things in this world. I realized how much pain he must have been in to decide to die and how long he must have been in pain.

So I start crying and I leave the room. Come in here and try to get things off my mind by checking who was voted off American Idol. Give me baseball or give me fluff-- without whiskey it is the only way I will make it through.
Do you like mail? I have a bunch of address labels I think I should use before I move. If you would like some mail send me your address and I'll see what I can do. You never know what you will get in the mail.
Just heard Frank from Gloucester for the first time ever-- funny thing, me listening to sports radio in the middle of the day. I am in a good mood today, a very good mood. Had a nice breakfast with my mother and Ralph. We walked to the house and after they had seen it all we sat on the linoleum in the living room talking for an hour or so. Good for them, good for me.

I have lettuce and peas to plant in my garden. I don't think I will plant more than that, maybe some radishes or something fast. It is sad to think of planting a garden you may not be able to harvest.

I am in serious need of paper bags for recycling.

Thursday, April 29

So we bought a house. And we invited people over. And we tried to turn the water on. And there are holes in the pipes. And the plumber can't come until Wednesday.

Tired from yesterday's events and feeling a little odd. I get worried sometimes, for no reason really. All I want to do is sit very still and feel for little kicks. And they come.

Monday, April 26

Playing with Barbie

James has gone to the li-berry to see a Move-On movie and I am staying home to play with Barbie. Last time I was up in the barn I found a box of dolls and clothing, all the things my sister and I played with when we were little, covered in some sort of seed and fluff left by some small rodent. Elizabeth has asked me if I had seen this stuff a few times and I knew it would just get tossed if I didn't grab it...

Most of our Barbie stuff came from yard sales. There are 3 Western Barbie outfits but only one doll, the blue eyeshadowed winking action barely working. Outfits my grandmother made for us out of her old flannel nightgown and the legwarmers she knit, roller skates and the Barbie Dream Store, a horse carrier and dog bed... Pillars and the elevator to the town house, but I can't find the floors or back. Lots of heels and go-go boots.

Elizabeth's favorite Barbie was the one with the bangs and the long hair. She is here with just a few spots on her legs, in a Sunshine Family dress that barely fits over her curves. One of my favorites, a princess with a crown permanently atatched to her head, also fared well. Black Barbie's hair is a little much for me to handle right now. I thought we had a ton of Barbies but there are only 5 or 6 now, lined up on my kitchen counter after a thorough bath. There isn't a single Ken here. Maybe there's another box in the barn.

Clothes in the sink, some will make it into a gentle wash in the machine. Pink satin dresses, the first we had, and mini skirts made from my mother's short dresses of the sixties. Orange dress with frills much like Orange Blossom from Strawberry Shortcake would wear and a yellow and white lace number in four or five pieces to layer. Our Barbies would give Xtina a run for her fashion money.

Friday, April 23

Whiplash.

On my way to Peter's reading last night some girl thinks my car shouldn't be where it is and boom she tries to take its place with her ugly aqua machine. Baby was safe in an amniotic cushion but my head was craned over my left shoulder. Felt okay but for the ringing last night. Went to work today and found I couldn't turn my head one way. Then I couldn't turn it the other way. Then I couldn't look at the books on the top shelf.

I called the doctor and went in. Nothing to do but wear this silly collar and wait- a week or two, she says. Not my doctor but a fill-in who is as cold as ice. Now it hurts a lot and I can't do a thing. Perfect timing, no? We close on the house on Wednesday and not only will not be able to lift anything I doubt I will get much packing done since I can barely move.

Yuck.

Sunday, April 18

Something tore into our trash last night, a trail of food across the front lawn. Had a very sad dream last night, a silly dream but it made me so sad I woke up crying. Sometimes these dreams come with flashing lights, neon signs saying "This is how you feel! Don't pretend you don't!" Fell back asleep again so I could wake up from a better dream.

Saturday, April 17

Finishing jars of jellies and jams. Rose petal and quince, beach plum. Ginger, gooseberry, apricot and orange still too full to consider. Wash the linens and pack them away, tablecloths embroidered with the initials of Faulkners long gone.

Talked to the man who will sell me insurance for our house. Seems he used to own it. Talked about used books and NPR, book dealers selling online. He reads science fiction and orders British authors from a man in Canada before they are published here. He is happy we don't have a dog or a trampoline.

Work today, new catalog out. Body feels wrecked, back and hips. I swear I will be in better shape before I do this again. This winter's stress and sorrow must have taken its toll. Strengthen and stretch to baseball, music and reading. Must not sway my back.



Tuesday, April 13

Time to take time for myself. The little one in my belly is making his or her presence known. There is a house on Knowlton Square that should be ours by month's end and with it hours of cleaning and painting and moving. The old folks downstairs have left for a month or two, granting me rights to their cable and Red Sox games and leaving rooms I can fill with boxes until I have a basement of my own.

Rush hour traffic this morning and I don't see how people do that daily. Funny how as each of these issues is resolved-- big and little worries washing away-- the sadness and joy is still there. With more time to think I miss my father more and more and with things quieting down I am enjoying these little feet kicking my belly. All this makes a girl weepy and it is best not to ask her why.

Saturday, March 27

Stayed out too late three nights in a row, spent the day trying to make it up to my body but couldn't find a way to get comfortable. Tried napping but the music is too loud shut the door and just when eyes agree to stay closed wake to the sound of furniture being thrown off the front porch. The round wooden table I have eaten at since I was a child and the metal couch I had helped my grandmother cover with blue vinyl to withstand the weather- the perfect place for an outdoor nap in the sun. Both thrown off the porch and broken before being sent away and all I can think of as I am listening is my aunt a few weeks before she died sitting in the sun on the porch eyes almost vacant but still some light and her little girl barely a year old playing on the same furniture I played on.

Why do this? Why break things? Can't we just leave them be until the time comes to leave them behind?

Monday, March 15

If the Irish are lucky I am going for the luck of the Irish. So much going on here, house-hunting and baby-growing. It keeps a girl busy.

Sunday, March 7

I guess this suits me....

The Empress Card
You are the Empress card. The Empress is the
archetype of the Mother. She creates and
nurtures life. She represents the abundance of
Mother Earth. The Empress is capable of using
nature in a productive way. She espouses art
for art's sake. Her planet is Venus, and she
embodies love of beauty and a strong value
system. Here is also found initial sensation.
This is the first really physical experience of
the world that The Fool has entered. The
Empress has a rich understanding of the world
based on her five senses. In a reading, The
Empress represents pregnancy, actual or
metaphorical. She indicates an act of creation
and a sensual experience of beauty. The Empress
is a nurturing force that wishes to see the
product of her experiences reach the next stage
of development. Image from A Photographic Tarot
http://www.bluewitch.com/healingtarot/healtar.htm
Deck


Which Tarot Card Are You?
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Tuesday, March 2

Trying not to be so silent. This little thing in my belly is taking most of my mind. Literally- blood meant for my brain ends up in my uterus and I'm left stuttering for hours on end.

It feels like spring here. May be time to leave our shells. Walked along Halibut Point Sunday afternoon, mud and rocks and a few moments so close to the surf I had to reach down and taste the water carried in. That side of the Cape is freshest to me, more Atlantic than Bay. I spent my childhood swimming less than a mile away at the Flat Rocks, crawling into granite caves and gathering sea glass.

I'm happy to be earnest, especially after reading some of the Jim-Tim Shuffle. I could take Tim's Buffalo note personally if I took things like that personally. Instead it makes me long for the baseball season to start. Maybe I will start my crush list again... although I was -10 in 1966, Joel Sloman is one of 3 people I would really like to share a martini with.

Friday, February 27

These names sure are tempting....

Thursday, February 26

Watching the minutes tick away... Celtis is ahead by two goals, check it out at UEFA.com.

Sick yesterday, recovering today. Happy to spend some time out of bed.

New list for the sidebar: potential names. What would you name a Cook baby?

Thursday, February 19

Beans delayed until a later date, cooked but no fun to eat alone.

Wednesday, February 18

Soaking small white beans overnight. For baked beans tomorrow. To eat with Fenway Franks, in celebration of the new year.

Monday, February 16

Having one of those days. The little things that shouldn't bother me do. I can't do anything about the big things. Paid bills, forgot to leave money for the car in the shop with the busted air-conditioner compressor. Trying Gata on dry food only. We keep running out of wet and feeding her tuna and kippered snacks. She won't starve.

Head hurts, congested and stressed. Can't take anything for any of it. April is the cruelest month, huh? I'd like to challenge that one.

Wednesday, February 11

Can I enter the draft? Do I count as i or ii?
Washed the leaves of the plant that has been next to my bed for years. Moved it to the top of the bookcase where the long-dead goldfish plant was. Moved the miniature orange tree to the window where the first plant was.

The car has gone from grumbliing to grinding to klink-klanking. Tomorrow she goes in. We'll see if she comes out.

Maray Cassat and candy heart stamps. Ralking about the mean postman with Lenny and Rob. His life must be bad. To be so mean.

Finished the book I was reading and it's too bad there isn't more.

Spring catalogs are easy to recycle these days. Nothing fits me and nothing will fit me for some time.

Sunday, February 8

In the worst mood today for no apparent reason. I think it's getting better. Wrapped books for four hours. Watched a stupid movie. That helped. Maybe a warm bath next.

I realized last night that I have started giving canned answers sometimes when people ask about my father. I am sorry for that. Sometimes it is easier than actually thinking about it. That's why Hallmark makes cards, so we don't have to think about things too much. Jack's first poem nearly killed me with the air in the lungs and all. Took things back out of catch phrases.

Gata has been stalking me whenever I am home. She wants me in bed at all times so she can curl up around my legs. I suppose that's what we all really want anyway.

Tuesday, February 3

Little heart beating double-time, swifter than I imagined. Mind wanders. Always wandering sometimes lost. On whom? Whomever!

Saturday, January 31

Cold and broken as the day. Tiny snow crystals dancing around outside the window, occasional birds and cars passing by. The views keep changing. My mother hasn't come to see me today. A little lonely, wish I were busy, wish it were warm enough to want to do anything. Just an hour left before I can go home. Dishes to do there, maybe a warm bath, a chance to just be home.

Wednesday, January 28

The world is in constant motion.

Tuesday, January 27

Home tonight, Noah's over. Lots of confusion over death and dads. Who is my father now? When Luke Skywalker's father dies Darth Vader became his father and then Darth Vader became a good guy and then he died too. If mom and dad die, we'll take care of you. If I die I promise to call your mom so she can come get you first. My father is still my father and is still Noah's grandfather. He's with us in spirit, like Yoda and Old Ben. But not in blue. That's in spirit in Star Wars.

Thursday, January 22

Ice floes crept over the edge of the pier this morning, stacks of packed ice. I looked for seals.

Lunch with my mother today. First time since my father's passing, first time we've talked. Looking out over Rockport water changing color: cerulean blue and cadmium red and cadmium yellow... now add fuschia... now no yellow... Her first onion ring in years; get rid of the small fears and work on the big ones. Talk a lot, cry just a little, more together than I'd expected.

To violin with coffee and cookies for a quick tune-up. Pegs keep slipping. Over-attentive parents of the next student offering advice for cheering up. I could play duets with their ten-year-old daughter. Take b vitamins. Long walks. They don't know what's going on and nobody tells them.

Finally signed up for Netflix. Maybe now I will see some movies. If you think I should see something, let me know. Chances are I haven't seen it.
As close as I am getting to the bottle...

You like it fast and strong and you drink for one reason: to get piss-ass drunk!
Congratulations!! You're a shot of some good old
hard liquor!


What Drink Are You?
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Wednesday, January 21

Over the bridge and out of town route 128 route 114 route 1 and 62. Fabric store and market and flower store then lunch. Philodendron gardenia dwarf orange hibiscus jasmine. Lamb change mind beef in the pot and mushrooms and onions and Guinness 3 Guinness boil boil boil. Too tired to finish wait to cool cook more in the morning and maybe chocolate bread pudding. Too hard on myself too tired this should pass soon sitting waiting for stew to cool glass shelves and room in the fridge. Someone on my mind someone always on my mind my mind always on someone and a new picture of my da and me got it this morning from my stepmother me young him young and not even any tubes.

Tuesday, January 20

Took this quiz to waste time. I guess the result was predictable-- You shook me all night long.

I need to get out and do something. Out of Gloucester, just for a little bit, and soon. I don't really have it in me to go out in Gloucester, too many people to talk to and everybody knows. Except in the seedy bars. I can't quite go to then right now either. Staying in isn't helping much anymore. I just get more and more tired.

Any suggestions?

Monday, January 19

Two days ago the water between here and the beach had iced over completely. Now that the temperature has risen water is flowing throught he channel, bringing chunks of ice with it. My little cove is still all ice. It is trapping other floes along its edge.

I guess I am well-rested but I lack any momentum. I make little lists in my head of little things I could do then I don't do them. I'll have to get up and do something soon but today is a holiday and that's reason enough for me to do nothing.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will do something.

Friday, January 16

Starting to breathe again, will resurface soon...

Friday, January 9

My Da:

Richard Lambert Porter, husband of Jane B. (Pirro) Porter of Gloucester died Thursday, January 8 in the Organ Transplant Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was born on May 22, 1950 in Washington, D.C. to Beverly June and Robert Arthur Porter. Porter grew up on Airforce Bases in New York, Texas, and other states around the country before graduating from Punahou High School in Honolulu. He then attended Boston University, graduating with an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a J.D. from Boston University Law School.

Mr. Porter began practicing law with Driscoll and Gillespie in Lynn before opening a practice with Robert Coakley on Middle Street in Gloucester. He served on Gloucester’s Planning Board before being elected as Ward Four Councilor in 1980 for one term then as a Councilor-at-Large for one term, during which he chaired the Planning and Development Committee. He volunteered at Wellspring, where he served on the Board of Directors and was honored for his volunteer efforts. He served on the Board of Directors at Child Development Corporation, was a member of and volunteered as council for the Magnolia Lions and the Magnolia Beach Corporation. He was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Magnolia.

After being put on the lung transplant waiting list in 1991, Richard Porter promoted organ donation and education. He manned tables at the Sidewalk Bazaar, public health fairs, and the Waterfront Festival, and he was involved with the petition to create an Organ Donation stamp. His enthusiasm and commitment drew many community leaders to the cause. In 1999, he received a double lung transplant.

Mr. Porter was a train enthusiast, building model trains, studying milk cars, and visiting museums and model train shows. He enjoyed history. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his growing family and his good friends. Rick is most remembered for his warmth, his empathy, his strength, and for always finding the good in any situation.

Mr. Porter is survived by his wife, Jane B. (Pirro) Porter, children Samantha K. Porter, Robert H. Porter and his wife Laurel, Amanda K. Cook and her husband James, and Elizabeth P. Grammas and her husband Corey, all of Gloucester. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Daniel, Andrew, Noah, Elijah and Caleb Grammas of Gloucester; his mother Beverly June Porter of Mililani, HI; his sisters Vicky Domingo and her husband Fred of Mililani, HI; Trudy Schaefer and her husband John of Sacramento, CA; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his friend and law partner Robert Coakley. He is predeceased by his father Robert A. Porter and an infant brother James Porter.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in his name to Wellspring House, 322 Essex Avenue, Gloucester, MA, 01930 and the New England Organ Bank , 1 Gateway Center, Suite 202, Newton, MA, 02458.


*****

Thank you all for your kind words. They mean so much. Remember to pass them along to eachother as well, to everyone you love. Now is and always will be the time.

Sunday, January 4

Sunday morning, coming down. Yucky feeling but less tired than yesterday. I can't wait to not feel worn out.

The house is just about back in order after the party. A total of 47 people made their way through our four rooms. Happy to have Boston friends come out, Dunns and guest, and many more. Lots of kids: Lucy Gavin Seamus Cole Aiden Daniel Andrew Noah Elijah and Caleb. I like my house to be full sometimes.

Resolutions. Are they out of fashion yet? I'm still sticking to mine. On a small scale I am not buying any yarn this year. I am getting rid of at least one thing a day. I have grander resolutions you may hear about later. Right now I have a little too much on my plate for explanations.

Thursday, January 1

Good new year and a seepy day-- lovely party yesterday, I like to have you in my home. Things are decided in an arbitrary way when the year changes. I am as guilty of this as the next fellow but am too tired to talk about it.

Maybe tomorrow.