Monday, October 23, 2006

The Ninth Circle

I took this on my way in to work this morning.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I can still feel the scar tissue in my upper lip—a reminder of the night at Milo's when some Neanderthal wheeled around and punched me square in the face.

Early in autumn the basement guys kick the office furnaces into high gear and the overhead vents belch their first heat with the lightest of summer's settled matter. The odor and texture takes some getting used to—the ragged dust and airborne particulates cleave to my sticky places and suck out the water. They dry out my nasal passages and stew hot in the space behind my eyes. Flecks of dry skin work their way out of my epidermis. I need to moisturize. Exfoliate. Rejuvenate. My skin needs therapy.

My lips tighten and the scar is visible—a white line I can feel on my teeth.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

They are jackhammering outside. They have been jackhammering outside since the beginning of time. My thoughts vibrate to the jackhammer beat. But the streets will soon be smooth again. The lanes repainted. Life will go on long after the jackhammering has stopped.

Speaking of life, I got an email early last week from my mother's half sister. [I'm not going to capture the feeling here properly. It's impossible, really.] My mother was adopted. And she died a long time ago. I won't get into all that—that stuff I already knew.

Somewhere in Florida right now, there is an 84-year-old woman in ill health. Her daughter has been helping her get her affairs in order. [I would not pun about this grave matter.] As she riffled through the matriarch's papers, she came across my mother's obituary. And then she asked her mother who it was and moments later a bigger family was born. Her mother told her she'd had a child with a young man named Charlie. He wasn't interested in marriage. That was years and years ago.

The daughter [my half-aunt?] found me. We've been corresponding for the last week and a half, and I've been given pieces of myself that I'd never counted on. For instance, I now know that I am one eighth Danish and one eighth Greek. My one half German took a hit and is now one quarter, while my Italian half remains intact. My blood is distilled from descendants of the four corners of Europe. [That sounds good, but Europe has no corners, really. Nevertheless, I shall not edit that out.]

It's strange. My life has been jackhammered. My lanes repainted.

The road seems smoother.