Archives for category: showers

Ever since I heard a story about someone’s mother pissing blood, turning up with advanced cancer and croaking I’ve been terrified to look into the toilet bowl after going. But tonight, I finally looked, and there was inky gray water, lake water, sort of slushing around, a tiny weather system inside of a porcelain cloud.

My grandfather started dying more than ten years ago. That’s when everybody first found out that he had lymphoma, the bad kind that takes you slowly. He’s been held together with scotch tape for the last few years, but somehow he and my grandmother have found dignity and a way to still drive an hour on Indiana state roads from their house on a lake to the nearest town where their doctors and extended family live.

I have a video of my grandfather and I walking across his property to the water I shot a few years back, before the weight left him. “Here’s where I’m going to build the dock,” he says on the video, pointing to a few tires visible through the surface. It’s that little stuff that’s kept him going, the thought of buying another place on Klinger Lake as a family summer home, of piecing together piers and harvesting.

He used to buy a new truck every year, and he had a string of Irish setters I’d see in the back of them over the years. Star, Misty. Then Gillie. When she died a few years ago my cousin Ross started to ask, “where’s Gill–” during the Christmas meal. He stopped himself, but anyone could have made the slip. Because she’d always just been around in one incarnation or another.


I found this letter to the editor about five years ago in the Muncie, Indiana Star Press. Now I never liked Bush at all, but this guy? He takes the cake.

Please, please read the last paragraph. I can’t believe it actually made it into print.

PDX berry tree

Buy Olympia’s office/warehouse space in Portland:


“Getting a swine flu shot,” dad says, “is turning out to be harder than getting you a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas in the 80s.”

A few years ago, I peeled a star anise into shreds by the same Indiana river

I used to dream as a kid would swallow me up in a bath of chocolate milk.

Sitting down to dinner tonight, I fixed a salad, plucked mint from its stem

while you set the knives together so they touched at the tip.

If family is a bridge from myself to my mother’s mother, let’s be bridge builders in reverse

so all-of-a-sudden the water moves backwards, turns to spiced milk at the bed where we meet for a stiff drink.

Outside, it looks like blueberry pie smashed on Nathalie’s dad’s rich face in that party crashing scene from Girls Just Want to Have Fun: