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the lost years

I spent almost 25 years living alone in New York. There might be a moment on a shoot, when it became clear we would be running late. Phones were slid from pockets, as the crew had hushed conversations with their loved ones. That solemn, apologetic tone was the same no matter who was talking as they answered the question "When will you be home?" I had no one, nothing but an empty apartment and some dirty dishes. I had half-written books, and guitars leaning against the walls. There was film in the cameras, waiting to be developed.

I have almost no memory of these years now.

Right now, V is sick. Nothing terrible, but enough to stay home and parade around the apartment in her favorite pyjamas. N is cooking various treats for her, unable to predict which one she will actually eat. The doorbell rings, and it might be a doctor visiting from the local clinic but it is her sister. The rooms are full of conversation and fresh cups of coffee. I try not to step on the toys that are a…

Pushkin's wind



As Pushkin wrote, Like an infant wailing low. That is how the wind whips around the houses. Trees bend wildly, like giants losing their balance. 

We were on the playground when the first drops splashed on the seesaws. "Maybe we should go home." I say half-to myself but N agrees. I hoist V to my shoulders, one of her favorite things in life. With her arms grasping at the empty branches over our heads, she sings a made-up song. And then the wind comes and we are all running. I bring V down, burying her face in my jacket. She shouts at the weather, as if her demands will slow it down. The rain comes hard and the streets are dancing with little rivers in less than a minute. The windows above us in the new houses are rattling like ghosts are inside them. Inside the front door, soaked and out of breath we hear the howl as it trickles through the cracks in the windows. 

The next day, I see an entire tree uprooted, its roots as big as its trunk. 

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