100 Words – Comment

August 27, 2015

It began with trash talk, murky memories of who won what.
Then the conversation turned to money and broken promises to pay for past events.
They moved to the start line each body carrying more attitude than muscle.
At the sound of “GO” they blasted forward churning huge white caps.
For the first 10 yards it appeared that this might be a race but the muscles of one suddenly remembered a childhood of weekend swim meets.
At the end it wasn’t the money or the glory it was the competition between adult sisters that began a long, long, time ago.

April 30, 2015

Five hours north of Big Sur, the sun is four fingers from the horizon.

Light punches through trees as we speed through an old forest that empties into a tweed like panorama of rolling green hills dotted by darker nubs of ancient oaks.

Suddenly we climb to a vista above the Pacific. Orange highlights reflect on curls of water. The seascape is peppered with huge boulders. A turn in the road and we are swaddled in fog that diffuses the sun-ball into a billion particulates of light.

We arrive under an endless cupola of cobalt, humbled by these many gifts.

April 23, 2015

“I can take him”

Schoolyard disagreements, the battle for a rebound or the competition for the pretty girl in the third row, we learned to measure ourselves against someone else. And the relevant question was “Who can take who?”

The venues change from locker room to boardroom and even in the bedroom, we wonder if we were better than him. The prize might be money or power, prestige, recognition or love. Some focus on one competitor others do battle with everyone.

It’s a lifelong war waged in our pre frontal cortex.

I’m waving the white flag. It’s time to drop the weapons, melt the armor.

April 9, 2015 

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Be kind. Always.”

I was exchanging email with a doctor yesterday. The quote was below her name and it hit me hard.

I don’t think it was about my recent illness as I was flooded by kindness

I think it was about my everyday behavior, my impatience with others.

The day before, I was to meet someone at 3PM. By 3:15 I could feel a tightening. By 3:20 the fuckits had entered. I was about to leave when he arrived at 3:25. I was pissed. Luckily I held my fire. His father had just passed.

March 26, 2015

I was meditating and a comet-tail from my past entered and left my head. A second later was the appearance of faces that had names I hadn’t spoken for almost 50 years.

There were a bunch of us, we would talk late into the night and I found myself back at the Cookery listening to an already ancient Alberta Hunter or at the bar at Max’s Kansas City and I realized that this time, at the beginning of what would later become a career, was when I first fell in love.

March 19, 2015

On a Sunday afternoon my wife and I decided to take our new medical marijuana cards for a test drive. Behind the dispensary counter were two guys. One might have been the winner of the Bob Marley look-alike contest the other a refugee from Brooks Brothers.

The store was packed with choices: Up, down, body, mind, laughter, introspection, the flavors of mango, cherry, pineapple, pills, beans, candy bars, cookies and cakes, There were the old tools and all kinds of new technologies.

After an hour of giddy questions we were leaving with a shopping bag of products. As we entered the revolving door I could hear Brooks Brothers say to Rasta man “Aren’t they cute?”

November 19, 2015

I inadvertently said something to piss off my wife. This is how it feels:The sun is shining on an enormous meadow of spring wildflowers. Not one telephone pole, road sign, or roof can be seen. There are cumulous cotton balls above. Given the downward pitch of the hill and the breeze on my back I feel the hand of god pushing me forward till my face tilts to the heavens and I begin skipping like a five year old. Higher and higher I leap till my right foot comes down on a landmine and my legs have been blown off.

December 11, 2015

It was July 4th 1976.

We were in a house in Bridgehampton with 20 friends who had spent the day laughing, toking and drinking. As the sun lowered I took a camera and tripod to a huge potato field behind the house and invited everyone to sit for our Bicentennial portrait.

Once everyone arrived I said “ great, now everyone take off your clothes” and instantly a small mountain of jeans, shorts, bathing suits formed. The group arranged itself as a chorus line in a very horizontal frame. I set the timer, dropped my overalls and ran into the shot, the girl in the center pulled out a small American Flag,


December 4, 2014

The negotiation between my deaf father and a hotel banquet manager for the price of my bar mitzvah

HBM         “Would you like the roast beef or chicken?”

DF             “Chicken”

HBM           “Roses or Carnations?”

DF             “Carnations”

HBM           “Linen table cloths or Dacron?”

DF               “Dacron”

At the end, the banquet manager added “4 Piece Band”

DF              “What’?”

HBM           “It’s a union requirement. Affairs of 1 to 64 guests require a 1 piece band, 65- 78 are 2 pieces, 79-97 3 pieces, 98-114 4 pieces”

My father then put pencil marks next to some names on the guest list.

DF             “38 people on the list are deaf they cant hear the band. Once they’re subtracted we have a 1-piece band.

I had a 1- piece band

November 13, 2014

The evening began with frosty martinis and warm remembrance.

We were five very close friends who once vacationed together and celebrated holidays in each other’s homes.

This dinner in Manhattan was rare now that life had tossed us to separate corners of the country. Our laughter grew louder as each round of drinks was replaced by another.

On the sidewalk we gave sloppy hugs before returning to our separate lives. As I put my hand around my wife’s waist I detected a chill.

She was angry about something I said.

For the rest of the evening it would be my vodka speaking to hers.

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