The Scream in My Heart–from And Now This

Chimps are funny. When I was a kid there was a television commercial for Red Rose Tea. Four chimps, dressed in plaid jackets and black slacks, playing swing music at a club called The Savory Ritz. On stage there was piano chimp, trombone chimp, and string bass and drummer chimp.  Also, in the foreground, lady…More

Comfort, Comforter, Comfortest–from American English, Italian Chocolate

“Help me with the piumino,” she says. My wife is holding an armful of comforter cover, still warm from the dryer. We’re going to stuff the comforter (piumino in Italian) into the cover, an ordeal that makes me long for the simple days of my youth, when bedding consisted of flat sheet, blanket, and bedspread.…More

When We Went Hither–and what we swore

“Don’t even think about it,” Tizi said. We were walking down to the local market the other day, a two-mile round trip on foot. It was a bright morning in October, perfectly autumnal. I was telling her about a professor of mine who used to say au-TOOM-nal, a pronunciation I liked and tried on for…More

Ride It–desert miles and wild horses

“That’s two,” Tizi says. “You’re counting?” Whatever she murmurs in response I can’t hear. Because even with my hearing aid cranked to HIGH, I can’t hear murmur in the car. And besides, this I don’t really want to hear. It’s a little tense at the moment. We could be counting wild horses. When we drive…More

Toothpicks–walking, Uncle Buck, an old song

“Did you bring a flashlight?” Tizi asks. We’re setting out on our morning walk. It’s January, cold and dark. The snow that fell a few days ago has all melted, leaving puddles in the depressions in the asphalt pavement. She’s wearing her bright yellow Flectson vest over her many layers. A passing car will light…More

More Not Most–and who is the more ignorant

When Tizi and I argue about which of us is the most ignorant, I usually win. Case in point, we’re walking home from a local grocery store early this afternoon. I’m carrying a plastic bag with a can of whipped cream inside. It’s going to come in handy later. She’s talking about the Futurists, a…More

Sing It–but keep it to yourself

Since the beginning of Covid time, four or five days a week we take this walk. And every morning a song visits me, unbidden.   This morning it’s the theme from “The Odd Couple.” Where did that come from?  Yesterday it was “I Think I’m Going Out of My Head,” which, for sentimental reasons, I was…More

The Big This–baubles, back pain, purgatory

My wife says I have plumber’s butt.   We’re in the kitchen. She’s applying a lotion that’s supposed to help with my lower back pain.  I’m a drug man, myself. Every six hours I’ve been hitting the Ibuprofen and extra-strength Tylenol. “Better living through chemicals,” my dentist friend Dennis says. Better living through stretching my MD…More