Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not in Japan

My mom had a stroke. I'm not in Japan. For updates check here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

23 Years of Birthdays:

6? 7?

We're wearing burlap sacks that we decorated at the kitchen table and headdresses. I have the biggest headdress. We're fighting with sticks. I have the biggest stick and the biggest tribe and the new Nerf bow and arrow.

23 Years of Birthdays:


My freshman year in college was the first time that I would not be home for my birthday.
On October 8th a package arrived. On October 9th, Mom called to see if I'd received it. "I don't know if it traveled well," she said. "You might want to open it. Carefully."

I asked my roommate for a knife. He suggested scissors, but that's not how we open packages in this family. I lay the package down on the floor. It was surprisingly heavy. Dead weight. Gripping the steak-knife like a scapel I made the first incision directly down the center. Once the flesh of tape was sliced, I slid four fingers from each hand into the package's chest. A few passerbys stopped in the open door.

"Boone's got a package."

I pulled hard suddenly with my right hand. The adhesive ribs pulled from the carboard chest cavity with a squeal and a pop. I held the subject down with my right, pulled up with my left to a similar effect and I opened the box.

"Holy shit! Boone's got a cake. Boone's mom sent him a cake."

The homemade yellow cake was raised out of the box gently. It was thick and moist, tall and proud, still in its perfect rectangular shape. It sat on the desk for a minute and we marvelled that such a thing could be mailed.

"No frosting?"

I knew there must be frosting. Sure enough, in the box there was frosting, a knife, plates, napkins, and balloons. As I carefully applied the chocolate frosting, word of my mystical package spread through the dorm.

"I didn't know it was Boone's birthday."

Everybody ate cake. Then we started in on the balloons. First we inflated them and batted them around the dorm room. When we discovered that they could be filled to the size of a basketball, we headed to the bathroom.

Shawn stood with an obese blob of orange latex and luke warm water between his steady hands, three stories up on the catwalk over the courtyard. The balloon had to be held carefully. It could barely support its own weight.

"You sure about this, Boone? This thing is fuckin' epic."

"Gotta do something epic," I said, taking a sturdy stance. "What's the worst that could happen? It's my birthday."

Camera ready. Braced for impact. Gravity does all the work.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I had this ridiculous story I wrote last year in my head when I was packing. I don't know why.
Maybe it's because i stuffed extra socks into every available inch of the backpack.

Sniffing Around

I’m sniffing all the places I think you might have touched, or maybe brushed up against on your way out of the house. I’ve used up all the obvious spots; the pillows, the sheets, that shirt you swore you’d never wear again, but kept leaving around and I kept washing over and over until somehow it ended up stretched across your chest again. It just smells like laundry now. Either your scent faded or my stink covered it over. It’s hard to say, but it hardly matters really anyway. I’m smelling the spot on the carpet where you’d sit to untie your shoes. You were never shy about getting on the floor. My nostrils are tugging at the tendrils of a towel that you left folded over the rack by the shower, but it smells no more like you than the bedroom curtains, the loveseat, or the lone sock, left thin with wear that you lost somewhere beneath the sheets deep under at the foot of the bed.

Often I think you meant to leave that sock, though rarely can I agree on exactly why. Sometimes I think it’s a gift. Other times it’s an insult. It’s been a challenge, an accident, and a filthy love note. I haven’t washed it yet, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it would never fit me. Never could. You’ve got such small feet. It’s certainly not the smell. It smells like feet and whether or not they’re your feet or not it’s equally unpleasant. I’ll throw it away one day, I think. Or mail it back to you, if it ever seems appropriate. I imagine myself doing just this at exactly the right moment. You unwrap it and smile at the thin strips of candy striped cotton. You lift it and hold it to yourself for a moment in silence, greeting it as an old friend. Then there’s the times that I want to cut the toes off and send them to you one by one, each with a word written in all caps and folded up inside. Words like: Miss, Hope and Need. Please, Don’t, and Why. Fuck, Angst, and Love.


It’s Packing Day. You’d think I’d have started this earlier. Maybe a week ago, but that’s just not how things tend to turn out. My room’s a mess. My car’s a mess. My head is full of a hundred half formed thoughts and important items that keep trying to slip my mind. My favorite jacket is a coward, hiding somewhere under boxes in my closet.

Everything has to fit in one backpack. There's so much to leave behind.

The errands are piling up. I’ve got six stops to make before leaving town.

Today: Vermont to Connecticut. Tomorrow: New York to Seattle.

On October twelfth, the other side of the planet.

Ready? … Go!