Repeat Happiness

Posted on 2 min read

I’ve had many happy moments in my life. Most of those I only realize the happiness in retrospect. In a rare few, I was aware of the love and happiness while it was happening (and I say love, because I’m not sure if my happiness ever existed without love, regardless of how perverse or alien from conventional love it might have appeared). What is rarer still, are moments of recognizable happiness that have occurred, and continue to occur.   Working from my bed at night, while my daughter sleeps next to me is that kind of happiness. And the only example that I can think of. We have a routine. …

Memories, again

Posted on 1 min read

The loss of memory is one of the most profound feelings of loss I have ever experienced. The irony is not that I didn’t expect things to fade. I knew they would leave me. I just never thought it would matter. I always thought I could replace the old with the new. However, there comes a time when you can’t do something new. And then you cling. But the nature of memories is that they’re imperfect. The details continuing to be viewed through dirtier and dirtier water. Sometimes I try to back into the details through deduction. It’s a gross and addictive exercise. That really only ends when I accept …

Sticky Notes

Music can take me back more than any other media. Or sense. Even new songs that are of a certain familiar style. It can happen very suddenly that I’m a productive member of the human race, working away diligently and with contentment in my soul, and then Spotify will switch to a song and the work drops away as I listen closely to the lyrics. An hour later, I’m in a music spiral, with the door locked and nothing to show for my time except for cheap thoughts and scribbled out sticky notes. This is one of those sticky notes. What does it mean to be fucked up? It can …

Conflict Avoidance

Posted on 2 min read

I’m eating store bought sushi and drink a premade smoothie when the woman comes up and starts gesturing. I look around. I haven’t said a word to anybody, because the few tables at the front of the grocery store are completely empty. “Sprinchst du Englisch?” I ask. “Nein.” She keeps gesturing, and I realize she doesn’t want me sitting there. I think because I was supposed to have bought something from the bakery by the entrance. “I thought this was a part of the grocery store.” I try to explain. She gets aggressive, her voice carrying across the store. “Ok, I’ll go buy something,” I say. I try to finish …

Prix Fixe

Posted on 1 min read

Every time I come to Paris, it’s different. More approachable. Friendlier. Is it because I have more money? It’s like New York in that way. Manhattan felt untenable in my 20’s: hard to traverse, too expensive, too old. Paris was worse. And now, for the most part, my interactions are patient and connected.  The people seem happy. Their English is better than where I live in Germany, and the French language easier to get my hands around than German. As long as we avoid the main sights during tourist hours, it’s so livable that I forget that it’s Paris. I like how it feels here. …

Henri

Posted on 2 min read

Oppéde is a somewhat modern French town close to the villa. It’s less beautiful than the other impossibly beautiful small towns in the area (Gordes, Ménerbes, Roussillon), probably because it is more recent. A run-off of people who descended from the hillside after “Old Oppéde” began to dissolve a hundred years ago. We start off early and hike up the hillside into Old Oppéde, knowing that it is a “ghost town”, but little else. What I discover is probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It’s not actually a ghost town, but it was at one time, and what does remain is mostly ruins. The only homes that …

Soft

Posted on 2 min read

I get to the villa in the Luberon region of Provence late on Monday after a horrific crisscrossing of Germany, Belgium and France. France is once again one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. In the past it has been Paris (obviously) and rural Bordeaux. Now it is the small villages stretching east of Avignon. The compound is built around a vineyard outside of Oppéde, below the ghost town of “Old Oppéde” that sits visible in the hillside. And what strikes me beyond even the undisputable beauty, is how little I have to say about it. It’s not because I find it uninspiring. I just can’t believe …

Back to Ohio (Part 3)

Posted on 19 min read

— Day 3 I can feel something shaking my arm and a presence near my face before I open my eyes. “Time to get up!” Zoe’s standing next to the bed, her eyes big and excited. I look past her at the clock. It’s 5:59. In Colorado it’s 3:59. I’m not even aware of my eyes closing again. “Sun is shining,” she says, pushing harder on my arm. “Yep. I’m getting up.” A faint amount of light is coming in through the drapes. How did she know it was time to wake up? I walk to the bathroom. She tries to follow me into the toilet. “No honey, just Dad,” …

Back to Ohio (Part 2)

Posted on 19 min read

— Day 2 I wake before my alarm. My heart’s racing like I was being chased by a tiger. I don’t bother trying to go back to sleep. I thought I had pulled the window shades closed, but a light emanates through the crack where they meet. I shuffle to the bathroom, take a leak, and turn around to see myself in the mirror. I know I’m not hungover. I know I’m not strung out. But you look like you are. My skin is loose and colorless and there are dark circles under my eyes. “Fuck you!” I scream at the mirror. I swipe my dopp kit from the counter …

Back to Ohio (Part 1)

Posted on 4 min read

— Day 1 I pull into the East terminal of the Denver International Airport and follow the road as it snakes around the parked cars. Driving by, I watch closely for any open spaces in the sea below. The sign leading into the ramp says the parking lot is full, but I don’t have time to back-track to off-site parking. I see an open spot in the far corner and speed up to catch it. I jog towards the terminal, my bag bouncing behind me, and skidding onto its side whenever I run over a rock. By the time I get to the elevators I’m breathing heavily. As it glides …