Decline

My coworker Bob called them chapter breaks—those steps in our fitness level that we periodically tumble down, never to return. I noticed this first in my thirties. I lined up a string of successes, personal records in a couple of races—a 10K and a ten-mile—a respectable marathon time, twenty-third overall in a thirty-three-story stair climb … Continue reading Decline

Ode to Suburbia

♫ My sister got lucky, married a yuppie, took him for all he was worth... ♫     --Lyrics from “Yer So Bad” by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne “This is suburban music, right Jeff?” Maria, denigrating my friends from Virginia. We stood immersed in a din of drinkers shouting over, or singing along with the album … Continue reading Ode to Suburbia

The Big Trees

Two-thirty in the morning, awake, paralyzed with pain. I turned on the TV for distraction. Counting the minutes until my next morphine dose. This went badly. Me: Hey it’s been four hours since my last dose, can I have my morphine now? Nurse: I already gave you your morphine. You need to wait four more … Continue reading The Big Trees

Fragility

Pattern in sand left by thirty to forty mile per hour winds  -- Jeff, are you OK driving? Is the drop-off too steep? -- Dad, you’re really off balance, are you good? -- Jeff, did you eat enough for this hike? -- Dad, are you still feeling dizzy? -- Jeff, be careful, don’t touch that … Continue reading Fragility

Alpha-Gal Syndrome or something like it

Alpha-Gal? No, it’s not a superhero from the 1960s. Not the PTA president at your kid’s elementary school. Not the captain of a cheerleading squad. Alpha-gal is an abbreviation, the familiar name of Alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme prevalent in red meat, and useful for breaking down oligosaccharides into monosaccharides in our digestive system. Beans, I’m talking … Continue reading Alpha-Gal Syndrome or something like it

Admitted

I drove into one of those industrial parks that sit out beyond the suburbs. Buildings lined the street in various stages of construction, off-white concrete, nondescript. Gravel parking lots surrounded by ten-inch-high curbs still awaited macadam and white lines. Yellow construction vehicles, all types—backhoes, dump trucks, bull dozers, steam rollers—scattered throughout the complex. Wide, desolate … Continue reading Admitted

Junk Shops

Dammit. I can’t find that post. I searched the blog for flea market, junk and vendor. No luck. No patience either. I want to write, not browse someone else’s blog looking for a post I might never find. I read it during my transition phase, shortly after I attended the West Virginia writer’s workshop. I … Continue reading Junk Shops

Aware

Each year, I link a blog post on Facebook and call Tourette Syndrome Awareness month a success. In my mind, I check it off the list. I spread some awareness, time for a break—a 364-day break, well earned, I need the rest. Last year I linked my thoughts on the book Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem’s … Continue reading Aware