1-101: A History, and an imagined transcription of a real conversation.

M[iranda]: "Hey."

m[ark]: "I'm so sorry, that was the slowest response ever to an ASAP message. Are we even friends anymore? Can you possibly forgive me?"

M: "Funny you should put it that way. This conversation feels extremely illicit as of late. How's Laura?"

m: "Good. Good. So there's no emergency?"

M: "No, there is. There's not. I need a favor."

m: "A big favor?"

M: "Not a big favor."

m: "Hmm. I'm intrigued."

M: "Okay...I need you to meet Chase. I mean, I need him to be okay with you. No, wait! I need him to be okay with me, and you are part of me. This is serious. You are my version of 'my parents', not that you are my dad, because that would be gross."

m: "Ha ha! Yes, revolting. Not to say I wouldn't delight in having a daughter like you, I'm just not a huge fan of throwing up in my own mouth on a regular basis."

M: "Yes. Yes of course. Not many are."

m: "So, is Ms. Moure's little 'list' catching up with her? Is that what I'm hearing? I feel like that's what I'm hearing."

M: "Mark? We're not crazy, are we? I mean, we blog and like bourbon. We both delight in midday beers and greasy food, albeit considerably less greasy as the years have gone on. Okay, yeah: we have a history, but fuck it, no? Doesn't everyone have a history? Ours is just less complicated than most. That's the only difference I see."

m: "Right. You seem spot on: of course I'm not the one who's not going to agree with you."

M: "Right. That's why we need dinner. Soon. Early next year. Seriously, pencil me in, and I promise I wont write the event into my moleskine as "Dinner With Dad".

m: "That's mildly funny. But the gag reflex..."

M: "Okay, I'll stop. Promise."

m: "Yes. This is good. On all counts. What are you thinking?"

M: "I'm thinking that if this gets out of hand, I could lose 5 of my 9 preset speed dials. I mean, people do this, right? I mean, probably a good 30% of my current friends are in the same situation as you and I, and if you add even 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon, it could reach upwards of 75-95%. That's a lot."

m: "I meant more like in destination, but yes I concur: even but two degrees of Kevin Bacon can make things pretty sexy."

M: "Right. On all counts. Your choice. Put it together. Anything. Anywhere with food and beer."

m: "Right. I'll shoot you a line."

M: "Perfect."

m: "Good talking to you, Ms. M. Be in touch."

M: "Kay. Late."



Still Life With Moxie
It's a Small World Afterall

Story time.

So Amanda, who is my co-worker and sometimes-partner-in-crime, comes into work the other day with stories from visiting her hometown of Olympia.

"[So there I was] in downtown Oly at Caffe Vita, and I start talking to the barista there. He's all like, 'oh, you live in Seattle now' and stuff, and I'm like, yeah, I make coffee there too. So he asks me where I work, and when I answer Victrola, he inquires as to which one on Capitol hill I work at. So I'm like neither, I work on Beacon, and he starts freaking out! He's like, 'Omigod, my friend Ben lives on Beacon Hill, and he goes to this coffee shop all the time and used to date this black chick that works there. Do you work with her?' and I'm like, holy shit, I do work with her."


And in this, in this very small world that two people can have a conversation about someone they're not even quite sure they mutually know but in fact do, or sort of anyway, is it so hard to believe that everywhere is close to home? That time can't be spanned by singular event?

I just mean that, be it here in my hometown, or five years ago in Miami, there may be hands placed on hearts and hospital gowns and morphine and endless time for many things to be said, but as it should pass there should be requited I Love You's replacing fear and spanning five years and some 3000 miles.

You may take that as you will for the time being.


How we operate.

I am home, finally, because it has been days since I've been home.

And I have bought many books in the last couple weeks, and am happy that there is just enough snow on the ground to warrant me lazing around and reading them. Even the Vonnegut.

I had so many stories I wanted to tell, and now I'd rather just put these days behind me instead; and the one story that I'm dying to tell is still so close, so seemingly intimate that I can't bear to put it in print quite yet. Save in the e-mail I sent earlier to L and K of KLM.

Give me some time. I'll come around.


"I have brought news, and I have brought literature."


I really, really miss you today.

Let's start in the middle of this, because I've been having the most terrible sense of deja-vu and I can't get you out of my head, even after our text-message-tet-a-tet last night, and I miss you because I just got home and I can barely type because it is 39 degrees outside. 39.

I remember the window in your hospital room at Mt. Sinai, and I remember looking out of it and thinking "I am never going to forget this view as long as I live", but here I am some five years later not remembering it at all save that I'm sure there were palm trees and lights and maybe you could see the water. What I do remember is the night your morphine drip stopped working and nobody would believe you, and even after you finally fell asleep behind your little curtain with your fingers entwined in mine over your heart and sweat dripping down your forehead that I just kept pushing that fucking button in vain every five minutes hoping I was giving you that much sweeter of dreams. I think I've written about that night before, me hiding in your little room from all the nurses far past visiting hours, you gulping for air, and all of your stitches from your surgery earlier that day.

Yeah, so like I said, Chase's lung collapsed, and I joked about it to him on the way to the hospital all like: "Omigod, you can't breathe right? Maybe you have a bubble in your lung...no wait...maybe your lung collapsed! That happened to my friend Rob once, and they had to jam a fuckin' tube through his ribcage--it was fuckin' knarly!"

Yeah. True story. I said that to him not two hours before his diagnosis.

And so today, instead of telling him that he is likely facing the same lengthy hospital stay you had and the exact same surgery, I went to the bookstore and bought him a mini library of Vonnegut and Kerouac and Burroughs and Miranda July, and when I placed them on his little tray I said "You're going to love Miranda July" and without so much as a single beat skipped he said "so you're saying I'm going to love Miranda?" and then I was left with nothing else to say.

And after I said I Love You I stared into his blank blue eyes as the silence just got longer and longer, and all I could think in my head was how badly I wanted to explain why--why it had to be now, because just like you did, he could die on the fucking table, but he might not be as lucky to be brought back to life some ten minutes later.

No, instead, I kiss him sweetly and tell him he's gonna be fine because you were, but I can see him glancing at the stack of books and newspapers I bought for him and I can tell that he knows that I know that he might be there for a while.

The VA, like Sinai, is a maze of hallways that I'm beginning to be able to navigate without getting lost. I don't like knowing that I know my way around, and I hope for his sake that Christmas will come and he will be with me in his own bed, not waiting until eleven until I show up with a copy of Holidays On Ice, a can of cranberry sauce, and some carefully wrapped t-shirts and flair and music with tags that bear a hand-written heart and an M. I told him of your birthday spent in the hospital, joking about how I had gotten you a sewing machine and only brought the manual because you wouldn't have even been able to pick it up to unwrap it because it was so heavy. He asked me how long you had been in the hospital by the time your birthday came around. I didn't really answer.

He hasn't asked me about Christmes yet and I fear it happening.

But not as much as I fear losing him before that.

Happy Hannukah, Rob. I'm so glad you came back to us.

I miss you and love you.



Rather Quite and the Two Christmases

December 1, 2008

This morning in the Pike Place Market, local philanthropist Audobon Poe was seen savagely beating male model Apollo Quite with a phone book. Quite, who also happens to be the younger brother of King 5 news broadcaster Rather Quite, was taken to Harborview and cannot be reached for comment. "We were just shopping and stuff," says Clever-Ann Rhymes, who was strolling with the assailed at the time, "and right when I reached in my purse to grab my flask, BAM! Fuck man, that dude came out of nowhere." Rhymes describes Poe as, quote: "old and gross", but lacks the ability to elaborate further on the incident. Poe was released on bail this evening, the money posted by none other than Rather Quite himself. When asked why he would want his brothers assailant released, he only repeated the phrase, quote: "who's clever now you fucking two-timing bitch" about five or six times. It is not known whether Rhymes and [Rather] Quite are still deeply intoxicated at time of print, but it is being reported by Harborview staff that [Apollo] Quite is, quote: "pretty doped up."