Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Woman in the Black Hat

The woman in the black hat has no regrets, and that’s just as well, because she doesn’t have to live with her mistakes.

I do.

I am who appears in the days after the woman in the black hat has had her say and do.

I do nothing but regret.


The woman in the black hat is everything I wish I could show without crucifying myself the next day, because the woman in the black hat is me. When I’m pushed to the brink, there is she—she emerges. She  emerges out of my most base urges and she leaves me the next day debased.

I want to embrace her,

but she is too imperfect. She is too drunk dial, too give in, to fall on the dance floor and kiss strangers and say exactly how she feels when she feels it.

The woman in the black hat is too wild, when I was told that discipline would lead to righteousness.

The woman in the black hat says the things I think when I have been thinking them but silent for too long, but she never takes into account that I have to inhibit this space too. And in the mornings it is me who wakes with club-stained shirts and liner-smeared eyes and patchy memories of the sayings and the doings,

and quick leavings.

And it is me who is left holding my knees, rocking myself while wailing silently in an apartment with too-thin walls;

She is selfish.

The woman in the black hat never takes into account that I can’t handle her mistakes, I, the summa-cum-laude-this-is-how-i-determine-my-self-worth-graduate-student. I, the poker-face-best-foot-forward-product-of-a-long-line-of-fake-it-till-you-make-it.

There is darkness there,

and i fear ourselves merging.

I mean I feel ourselves merging; what is this?


The Existence of Magic




Juliette sat back, her mind blown.


8 one way, 13 the other.


That was how the spirals went on the pine cone she was holding.


She picked up the next. It was smaller. 5 one way, 8 the other.




Juliette wasn’t a math major or a numerologist. She was just a bored girl surfing the Internet at work when she came across a Kahn Academy site.


Well actually, she was looking on Kahn Academy to see if there were any videos on Linguistics, considering she had her final on Monday.


Not surprisingly, there weren’t, but there was a section called “Doodling with math.”


Juliette wasn’t a math major or a numerologist, but she did like stuff with the word doodling in it, so she clicked on the video. She wasn’t prepared for what she saw.


As she watched an indeterminate hand and disembodied voice explain to her that flowers, artichokes, pine cones and pineapples all spiraled according to the Fibonacci sequence, Juliette was sure this was proof of magic (because to her, the words “God” and “magic” were interchangeable).


She had to try it herself, so on her after-dinner walk that evening she picked up a few pinecones.


8 one way, 13 the other.


5 one way, 8 the other.


Juliette was sure it was magic.


All at once, she felt crushed and inspired. She soared because she was happy that her prayers were going somewhere, but she was crushed that her entreaties for powers beyond the natural realm were being denied.

What was it? she called to her higher power. Why won’t you give me this gift?


There was a stirring inside her that she wasn’t sure was an answer, but she felt like she needed to paint.


So Juliette got up and squeezed tubes of greens and blues onto a palate, and then she stuck her fingers in the paints. The stirring inside her just needed to feel. There was a blank canvass in front of her, but Juliette continued to cover her hands in the paint. She squeezed more, and rubbed her hands until they were completely covered in blue and green. Then she started on her face. She had no idea why she was doing this or how it would turn out, only that it was her that was the work of art; it was her that was the canvass; it was herself that she most needed to create.


I’m on a boat!

I'm on a boat!

Spent the day with my paternal grandfather, grandmother and one of my older cousins. April 2 will be his 80th birthday. And if there’s anything that makes 2012 special, it’s got to be that I got the blessing and privilege of helping both of my grandfathers celebrate their 80th birthdays.