What we didn’t get this week

Fake chicken

We got the fancy beer for the first time in a month, but not the other beer.

Instead of 2 cartons of a dozen eggs, we got 2 cartons of 18 eggs. Really, for two weeks, we could’ve gotten away with just 18 eggs.

We had fried eggs on toast this morning, a luxury with the nice bread from the bakery I picked up yesterday. The bakery run was mostly to make sure we got flour.

And pie. I got a pie.


On my rainy walk, I passed a family that seemed to be dressed up—at least for rainy Saturday afternoon in Portland standards—with umbrellas, walking together. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten the suspicion that some church in my neighborhood is still functioning in some way that people are leaving their houses for.

A few wet blocks later, I passed a church that’s definitely closed. “God heals,” says its signboard, “But wash your hands.” Three people were standing in the parking lot holding a banner.


I smiled at them.

Then I cried, just a little.


I’m starting to daydream about restaurants.

Ever since I read the word “budino,” I’ve been thinking about sitting at the bar at Nostrana, drinking a Campari and Soda, cutting my pizza with scissors.

I used to daydream about restaurants all the time, back when I could actually go to them. Which one would I want to try next. Where would I go for my Friday treat. What kind of seasonal menus look good on Instagram.

Now I just want to sit and be surrounded by a human hum.

Die mad, I guess

I hadn’t really gotten mad until last night.

I was walking through the park, and saw my elderly neighbor waiting on the side of the path, leaning on his cane. Someone was coming his direction, and just breezed past him, a couple of feet away.

What is their problem??? I thought. Six feet is six feet even if you have to get your dog-walking sneakers wet.

On the way out of the park, there were a few cars coming, so I had to wait to cross the street. The dog-walker was coming out at the same time, so I stepped back into the parking lot to let them pass.

Maybe I gave them a little mean mug. I was wearing sunglasses, how mean could it be?

They gave me a little mean mug back, maybe for being so OBVIOUS about getting the hell away from them.

I don’t know what it means that I could only feel anger on my neighbor’s behalf.

He’s got his front yard totally planted with tomatoes. Tomatoes are new for him. Usually it’s just a big field of corn in the back yard.

He seems to be doing okay.

You’ve gotta walk

A few years ago, I was visiting my grandma in her assisted living center. We were making our slow way to the dining room when a woman called to us from a second floor landing.

“I’m always telling them,” she says brightly, “you’ve gotta walk!” She may have chastised my grandma lightly

I haven’t been able to do much exercise the last few weeks, but I do try to get a few good strolls in every day.

I’ve been hearing that voice in my head. You’ve gotta walk! You’ve gotta walk!

Because the alternative isn’t cute.


My car got hit by another car on Monday.

It’s not a unique experience, and no one was hurt, so it was just an annoying one. Could’ve been worse, all that.

But what I keep thinking about is how the pickup bumped into my parked van, bounced off, and started rolling back into me again. There was no one in the pickup, but that took me a minute to process.

So I was sitting in my van, laying on the horn.

Honking like hell, to an empty pickup truck.

The more you think about it, the funnier it is.

That was unexpected

I  was feeling pretty low the other day — for valid reasons, I guess, but the persistent Portland grey wasn’t helping.

“Can I ask you something?”

A man was parked half in the street, leaning toward the passenger side of his rattling truck to call to me, the only person walking down the street. I came closer, but not much.

“I won’t bite.”

I’m trying to be more open to strangers, but I wasn’t born yesterday. I stepped one half step closer, wary of what would come next.

“I only have one leg. Do you see those balloons?”

I was ready for a couple of statements or questions, but not those two, together.

“Right in front of my truck. I don’t want them to cause an accident.”

On the curb, between two parked cars, was a bunch of about ten green balloons tied together in a bundle. “I see it.” I grabbed them and smiled at the driver.

“Do you you want them?” he asked.

“Oh, I’ll pop them and toss them,” I offered.

“Will they fit in the window?”

I gently fed the balloons through the open passenger window. He smiled.

“Thank you!”

So I walked on my way down the street. About a block later the man with one leg drove back by in his clattering pickup, cab half full of green balloons.

I threw my head back and laughed.


I started to think of how some of these posts are like bad poetry. Then I wrote bad poem about how the bus is like bad poetry, and posted it (naturally) on Twitter.

It got one like.