The sky was overcast this morning as I drove to work. A thick layer of gray clouds hovered overhead, making it seem more like eight at night instead of almost eight in the morning.

A shaft of light suddenly shone from behind, illuminating the backs of my hands on the wheel and the tail lights of the cars in front of me. It was like someone pointed a bright light down a dark hallway. I tried to find where the cloud break was, but I couldn’t see it in my mirrors.

Continue reading “Luminous”


It rained over the weekend. At the same moment a semi-truck passed and sprayed my windshield with silver drops, a plane took off to my left and lifted into the air. A few minutes later I saw a man downtown with long, silver hair, his clothes dirty and torn. He reached into a garbage can, took out a bottle and drank from it.

The death of a butterfly

It wasn’t a good day. I was stressed. Because of work. Because my eyes weren’t better. Because the house still sat on the market. Because of the car accident and all the aftermath from it.

Then I did something stupid. Without thinking. I embarrassed someone dearer to me than my own life. I guess some might consider it small in the larger scheme of things. But it was thoughtless. Insensitive.

Though I’d already apologized, I felt sad. And angry. Would I ever learn to think before I act?

Continue reading “The death of a butterfly”

My thoughts last night after almost being flattened on the expressway by a semi-truck

I hate big trucks and I cannot lie

You other drivers can't deny

That when a truck cuts you off taking every bit of space

With a tailpipe in your face

You get sprung

Wanna pull up tough

'Cause you notice that truck is deaf

To the horn you're blaring

You're pissed and you can't stop swearing!

P.S. Only the gist of the above came to me in transit. Had to look up the actual song lyrics to complete it, because, no, I don’t have them memorized.

Life is not a dream

Had a sobering experience yesterday. I was on the expressway, driving to get Ikuni, and I found myself surrounded by semi-trucks—one in front, two on each side and two behind me. I was listening to the song “4th” by Gackt (a cacophony of synthesizers, rhythmic static, sounds of war and Gackt’s amazing falsetto voice), which added a kind of surreal soundtrack to the situation.

Continue reading “Life is not a dream”

“Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.”

~Jean Baudrillard

When driving, most of the time I listen to an audio book. When in between books or simply in the mood for music, I put in a CD or turn on the radio. When listening to the radio, I tend to choose a classical station in the morning (for instance, yesterday I heard an “historically informed performance” of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony on the way to work, and I must say it seemed a fitting accompaniment to the rush hour traffic). While driving home, I usually choose a rock station. Every so often, I drive in silence.

Continue reading ““Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.””

Time flies when you’re having a transcendental moment

It was a pastel morning. Cornflower blue clouds looked liked distant mountain ranges, the sun highlighting their sky crevices with the palest of yellow-rose.

I turned on the car radio and Arleen Auger’s clear soprano voice sang Bach’s Bist du bei mir (no. 7). As I drove into the sunrise I felt transported, enraptured, entranced.

Just then, and as the queue of traffic I was in merged onto an off ramp, a woman in a blue Mustang almost clipped my back bumper trying to cut in line and speed around me. I gunned it and didn’t let her have the satisfaction.

“Bitch,” I snarled.

Transcendence, it seems, only lasts so long.

Chance meeting

Driving with Ikuni yesterday, on a two-lane street lined with cafes, bookstores and antique shops, I saw a young woman walking alone. She wore an over-sized button-down shirt, her hair needed brushing, and it looked like she had a beer in her hand. She was walking slowly, deliberately. She was not smiling.

Continue reading “Chance meeting”

Sign language

Okay, not only do I jot down bumper sticker adages, I also take note of signs I find amusing or ironic. Two from this past weekend:

A dump truck, crawling at about five miles per hour, had a notice on the back that read: “Watch for sudden stops.”

Four or five sparrows and a big, black bird hopped in and out of a garbage can on a city street corner. They were pecking at the leftovers, and a sign on the side of the can said: “Waste Management Services.”

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