Friday, April 29, 2022

Week in Seven Words #581

This covers the week of 3/7/21 - 3/13/21.

In the largely empty bookstore, a teenaged boy walks in a slow, wide circle while reading out loud to himself through a mask.

A riveting sax solo brings joy to this corner of the park.

Today, there's frost in their relationship. It keeps their sentences clipped and cold.

Two seals circle the small tank without pause or release, as the demented bells jangle on the hour.

First new pair of glasses in a while, and I like how they look.

A crackling cloud of seagulls electrified by the promise of food.

Crusty buildings, haggard strip malls. The brownness of late winter and early spring, everywhere brown, waiting to be relieved by flowers, leaves, anything green.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Week in Seven Words #580

This covers the week of 2/28/21 - 3/6/21.

We're caught in traps of compulsive behavior – web surfing, phone scrolling, screen watching.

What looks like ice on the lake is only the glare of sunlight.

The eyes always come out too large in the drawings. Large, placid ellipses.

His body shakes with his need to talk, to have someone listen.

A land melting into mud and puddles that seem like ponds.

Months from now, I sense this worry will seem superficial, a distraction from larger problems.

A golden retriever finds us as we sit shoulder-to-shoulder on the sunlit bench.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Week in Seven Words #579

This covers the week of 2/21/21 - 2/27/21.

Two people at opposite ends of a room. They're holding books, but they aren't reading. When will they talk to each other?

It's the first time I've been to synagogue in a year. The room downstairs has been organized into islands of chairs. Some islands have one chair, others two. The service is quieter.

Birds taking off and landing on the feeders, while nearby a chunky squirrel stares, waiting his chance.

The slip squish of mud. Everywhere mud. Most people grumble, but one kid is discovering the joy of a puddle in a field caked in mud and slush. He's not the one who will be washing his clothes later, which is part of what makes him happy.

Sitting in the pool of warmth from an outdoor heater, the cold air pressing in but pushed back.

Our relationship has cooled from genuine warmth to superficial friendliness.
Tired of online events. The small, detached faces, the audio that fails, the lack of energy, the lure of other browser tabs.

Week in Seven Words #578

This covers the week of 2/14/21 - 2/20/21.

We used to sit in this room with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the lamplight on the red couch.

They don't have sleds, but they do have bellies, so they slide down the hill head first, eyes squinting against the dazzle of sunlight on snow.

Beyond the dense branches there's light, white and faintly purple.

The silence of snow falling. At the bus stop, he says a brief prayer.

She's gained access to the roof, and from there, she feeds birds.

The fact that I have a good night's sleep is worth commenting on. I don't take it for granted.

Without his job, his days have turned to jello.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Week in Seven Words #577

This covers the week of 2/7/21 - 2/13/21.

The role she's been asked to audition for is an improbable one: the effortlessly gorgeous, socially awkward female nerd who's such a dork but never really says or does anything unattractive, she's just, you know, a dork with glasses and fashionable heels.

The pond is clinking with ice, the shores crusty with slush and mud.

I meet him for the first time beside a tree with a heart-shaped knot.

Low branches turned to lacework by the snow.

The head and torso of the snowman are propped up on a bench, like a grim warning from the snowman mafia. ("Double-cross us, and you too will be disassembled before you melt.")

It's cute how the author thinks that pairing a character in his 60s with a woman in her 20s is edgy.

"My problems," she says, "are about not asking for help when I need it, and getting the kind of help that holds me back."

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Week in Seven Words #576

This covers the week of 1/31/21 - 2/6/21.

As the elevators fail to come for 15, then 20 minutes, I speak to a neighbor from down the hall who's waiting with me. Over the years, our conversation has never gone beyond greetings. Now we talk about how her ceiling is flaking as if it has a bad case of dandruff. And we talk about the pandemic (wouldn't be a real conversation without pandemic talk).

A dog urinates on the fallen head of a snowman.

Sitting with all of them is like hosting a talk show panel. I turn to each, ask questions, and give them time to speak. I serve as a moderator for interruptions and insults. There's no need for me to share anything about myself.

The center of the frozen lake has softened into dark, slushy water, like a pond inside the lake. Some geese are at its gray edges.

After the billows of the blizzard, there's a mesmerizing gentle snowfall.

They take a shopping bag full of crumbled bread to the lake, and within minutes, a goose-duck metropolis has sprung up around them.

After the dog's leg injury, they've set up a ramp for her against the couch. But she still tries to jump on and off, her energy at odds with her body.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Week in Seven Words #575

This covers the week of 1/24/21 - 1/30/21.

Instead of buying a pandemic puppy, she has gone outdoors more frequently to feed pigeons, easily summoned by crumbs.

Through video chat, I've become familiar with the view of his burgundy couch, the cat kneading a cushion before settling in.

A special blue-white winter light on bare branches.

A fumbled song on piano keys in an unlit room.

Heavy metal drives her anxious thoughts away. But they come back in her sleep, bringing her to consciousness on a rising wave of dread.

While working, I pick at a platter of figs, apricots, dates, and almonds, and I feel as if there should be palm fronds over my desk.

He's tried to trim the shrub to look like a cat. It looks like a vaguely feline creature emerging from a terrible green fog. But I like the effort.